When Dragon Ball Xenoverse released in February of 2015 I was excited. It had been a while since Dragon Ball Z fans had been presented with a game they could be proud to champion. With the ability to create your own Z-Warrior, level them up and fight alongside your online buddies, Dragon Ball Xenoverse was everything I wanted in a Dragon Ball Z game.
Earlier this year it was revealed that Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 was incoming, and it would be released this very year. I wasn’t surprised by the fact that there would be a sequel as the first game sold pretty well; but I was surprised that the sequel would be coming this year, as it’s still so soon after the first. Typically it takes around 2 years to develop a quality sequel; judging by that it’s easy to assume that Xenoverse 2 had a fast development cycle.
This raised the question of how different this game would actually be from the original. The overall concept is exactly the same. Take your Z-Warrior and fight to preserve all the best Dragon Ball Z moments and contest the evil conspiracy that is taking place. Considering the fact that there are missions based on exact moments that were in the first Xenoverse, it’s important that we ask the question – “what will be different in Xenoverse 2?” To be completely honest, not a whole lot. But the great thing to know for fans of the last game is that the biggest pitfalls are going to be addressed in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2.
Firstly, the game’s hub world Conton City is seven times larger than Toki Toki City in the first game. The beta overall felt much more interactive than the first game, and the ability to use vehicles adds to the social experience. Eventually, there will even be a way to earn your flying license so that you can Superman around Conton City with your friends when you’re not on missions fighting. As the beta was limited, I’m not certain what it takes to get your flying license but I do love the fact that it creates an objective outside of the missions themselves and it’s something that will no doubt add to the social element. Furthermore, I hope when the final game releases we’ll discover that there’s a range of different challenges and mini-games in Conton City that players can participate in. Being that Conton City is the place to meet other players, it needs to really feel like a community that we want to engage with, and I believe that’s exactly what developer Dimps is going for.
Secondly, it seems like Dimps and Bandai Namco will aim to address some of the biggest criticisms when it comes to customization. I was satisfied with the last game because it allowed us to create characters based on a number of different races. The problem was that the Saiyan race seemed like the most satisfying race to play by default. This was because your Super Saiyan transformation gives you a visual change in addition to the buffs you get while fighting. This time around, the other races will have transformations. We’re not entirely sure on the extent of these transformations, but it sounds positive and this should help balance out the appeal of the other race options.
On top of that, I noticed there are much more hairstyles and facial options when creating your character. I also noticed more clothing options in the various stores around Conton City. Hopefully, this means we’ll be able to build a much more unique warrior in the final game. You can even import the same character you created in the first game.
Finally, there’s the story and the missions. Although many of the missions seem like repeats of the first game, we do know that the story itself is completely different this time around. After the events of the first game, your Time Patroller helps to develop the organization (hence your character having its own statue as shown in the gameplay video). However, trouble presents itself as history begins changing once more. This will unravel a brand new conspiracy. In addition to that, we’ll also get to revisit scenes from popular Dragon Ball Z movies and the Dragon Ball Super series that we never got to visit in the first game.
Overall, you could certainly make a case for the game being slightly rehashed based on the game mechanics and repeated missions. The fighting element feels very much the same, except it’s a little faster being that they’ve managed to make the jump from 30fps to 60fps. The visuals have also been greatly improved since the first game, with additional shading and lighting techniques added. But beyond these few changes, it seems that the best thing Xenoverse 2 will have to offer is more content for both Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Xenoverse(1) fans. This is enough for me personally, being the Dragon Ball fanboy that I am. But for others, this may not be enough to get excited about.
The beta will open up to the public on October 14th; be sure to get online and try it out for yourself so you can form your own opinions. Also look out for the official release of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 on October 25th.