SteamWorld Dig 2 is a metroidvania type game set in a post-apocalyptic world with western and steampunk influences. The game is a direct sequel to the original SteamWorld Dig where you played as Rusty. Now it's time to play as his companion, Dorothy, in the adventure of finding Rusty and the cause of the earthquakes.
The game has a lot of gameplay to offer. It follows a linear storyline, but at the same time it features open world mechanics like exploring optional caves and searching for artifacts. You can explore secret areas and instanced caves, each calculated to the total progress percentage. There are 3 types of collectibles: gold that's used to buy upgrades, cogs that are used to equip those upgrades and there are also 42 artifacts, each of them having a quick lore and they can also be exchanged for special blueprints. The game offers tons of places to explore, each having it's distinct minerals and there's even fast travel that will encourage you to return to previous areas.
Speaking of upgrades, there are at least 5 upgrades for each gear you discover in caves, except for the hook which is already overpowered. There is a clear progressive difficulty, but at the same time you unlock even cooler upgrades, that can improve a certain piece of gear or gives you bigger rewards at the cost of higher difficulty. In combat you can use more tools to defeat the opponents or you can use the environment at your advantage. Probably the only thing the game lacks is variety in enemies. So far, I’ve seen only 4-5 types of them, each type having it’s unique movement and attacking pattern, but between two of the same type there isn’t any AI difference.
The soundtrack of the game is impressive, somehow improving the steampunk side of the game. It is composed of different instruments combined with some environmental sounds that will bring realism to the caves. Also, each cave has its distinct soundtrack which contributes to the diversity of the zones.
From the graphical point of view, the game is full of amazing sceneries. There are tons of caves that can be categorized in different graphical styles for example: ancient caves, green caves that are full of plants, normal caves and much more. Exploring them is a delight for the eye, especially the green cave, that was my favorite because it has a lot of particles flying everywhere. Speaking of landscapes, there are also some towns, for example El Machino which has some interesting dynamic steampunk architectures that not only create a cool background, but also have some moving parts in them. There is also the oasis, a town created by shiners, underdeveloped man, and it looks as impressive as the main town, at the same time keeping a good balance between landscapes and the characters in it.
Particles and landscapes aren't the only thing that the game has. Characters are full of charisma, even for some tiny metal machines, and each dialogue is captivating and it brings life to every character. This is one of a few games that convinced me to read whole dialogue lines.
Mesmerizing artwork, great soundtrack and effects, particles and high-quality gameplay, the game, as indie as you may tend to categorize it, it’s a must play AAA, offering some spectacular sceneries and keeping you entertained for hours.