A Valley Without Wind 2 is the sequel to the cult hit A Valley Without Wind. What attracted gamers to the original was the unique art style and stylistic gameplay that was bot challenging and skill oriented. The blend of RPG elements with platforming adventure, A Valley Without Wind was a game that more people should have noticed. It stood alone in a plane of existence and there was not a game quite like it. The sequel contains everything great about the original with some nice additions that make it feel like a new adventure.
You are a mage that has infiltrated the inner circle of the evil Demonaica and with the power of immortality it is up to you to purify the land and make it a peaceful area once again. The story is pretty cool, a very D&D feeling to it and that is something to behold really. As you travel you learn more about the lore and history of the land you are in. There is a lot to be discovered and this is one reason to continue playing the game even after you beat it. Odds are you missed something as the level design for this game is spectacular.
The gameplay comes and goes in two stages, there are the paltforming adventure segments and the overworld segments where you play commander and tell your troops to fight, purify, recruit etc. Now, as any person who reads my reviews know I am slightly biased towards strategy elements in games. However, that just means my standards are much higher in that regard. A Valley Without Wind 2’s strategy buts are my favorite part about the game. While the interaction may be small and quick in the grand spectrum of things, but it really makes you think about where to send troops and what areas to prioritize so the inhabitants and yourself can survive. Big things come in small packages and this is a game where the turn based strategy makes the biggest difference for the flow of the game.
The platforming segments take place in the areas that have been mostly cleared out by your knights so the monster level I reduced. To purify the land you must perform certain tasks in each area. Afterwards you can build structures and move inhabitants to the area. While exploring caverns, houses, abandoned dungeons, and underwater you will come across various monsters that are weak to a specific element. You are given an element to start with and you learn more as you progress through the game. Each element has a different kind of attack set up that can be combed in different ways. At first the game has a fixed targeting system but like any great developer, Arcen Games listened to the fans and the old aiming system from the original is back and the game is much more enjoyable.
Along with the platforming areas and there are a variety of customization options with equipment and skills you pick up. Just like any RPG you will have to work your way to get the best spells but use them wisely, you never know what is in the next area. The controls are tight and rather organized once you get used to the HUD. With 50 different classes, 64 character perks, and a plethora of equipment customization no two characters will play the same.
The next parts that make this game brilliant are the environments and the art style. There are over 125 new monsters with 200 spells and plenty of other stuff to collect and look at. The visuals have a unique art style only found in A Valley Without Wind 2 and this modern take on 16-bit visuals is truly something ambitious for Arcen Games to release. The backdrops are a wonder to look at and I have not seen such visually pleasing environment since The Dark Eye Chains of Satinav (Daedelic Entertainment).
The music is incredibly well done as well. Music in games like this is important because they set the mood and get you immersed into the game. You will be doing a lot of exploring so music is something you end up listening to while killing hordes of monsters in your path. I have a full review of the soundtrack here.
The final things worth mentioning are the random generated maps and the 8 player Co-Op. The Co-Op is fantastic with friends because nothing says cave diving like yelling for help because you got ambushed by skeletons. The maps are also randomly generated so you will not get the same experience on your other playthroughs. The game is incredibly challenging and the conveyance is kind of out there. In all honesty, that is the only negative thing I have with the game. You will occasionally stare at your screen saying, “What do I do? Where do I go?” That is usually remedied by just exploring new areas.
Despite the bad conveyance problem A Valley Without Wind is a very original game and every PC gamer should play it and experience the magic. I give A Valley Without Wind 2 a 9.5/10. Pick it up on Steam right now.