Octopath Traveler 2’s Opening Feels Like A Chore

Despite improvements across the board, Octopath Traveler 2 still suffers from the same tedious opening.

by James Carr
Octopath Traveler 2 Listen OST
Image: Square Enix

Octopath Traveler 2 takes the same HD-2D art-style and multi-story formula from the first game and makes meaningful improvements in almost every area. Latent Powers adds more flavor to combat and the day/night cycle gives an additional complexity to side quests. However, the opening hours of the JRPG still suffer from the same problems as the original, which is the tedious task of gathering up the eight travelers that make up your party.

Octopath Traveler 2’s Opening is Repetitive

Octopath Traveler 2 features eight characters, each of whom have their own individual story and missions that you will play through. In the majority of the game, you do these story chapters and missions with your entire party, letting the travelers help each other out. However, the opening of the game works differently. You pick which traveler you start with, play through their opening chapter, and get set into the open world. At this point, you must travel the world to find the other seven party members, which itself is quite good. What happens each time you find a party member is where the problem is.

Related: Who is the Best Character to Start with in Octopath Traveler 2?

When you meet a new party member, you are prompted to play their first chapter, which must be done without your current party and without your current items. Each opening chapter follows the exact same formula, where it introduces the character, teaches you their class’s path actions, and defeats a mini-boss to kick off their story. Since you start at level one each time and don’t have any items, the enemies and mini-boss presented to you are incredibly easy to fight, adding to the repetitiveness.

Doing this once isn’t a big deal, but doing this eight times total, in relatively short succession, makes the game feel repetitive. None of the opening chapters shake up this formula either, so by the time you reach your final traveler, you could do it with your eyes shut. The biggest problems here are that it is repetitive and it kills any momentum you might have felt from the stories you have already seen. Based on the suggested levels of Chapter 2 for most of the characters, you are encouraged to gather all of the party members before continuing any individual story.

Octopath Traveler 2 does have the option to skip the first chapter of a character’s story when you first meet them, but that creates a new problem. Instead of playing through the hour-long tedious chapter, you just skip it, with the option to view it later at a pub. Now, you have a new party member who is level 1 and you have no idea what their story is, which might discourage you from continuing down their individual path since you aren’t invested in them.

While playing the opening of a new JRPG can be exciting, introducing you to a new world, conflict, and mechanics, doing it eight times in succession takes away the shine, leaving you with an easy tutorial section that has a better chance of putting you to sleep than endearing you to the characters or world you’ve been introduced to. While balancing eight individual stories is going to be tough, Octopath Traveler 2 would be better served with an opening that feels like one collective journey, instead of eight, similar openings.

- This article was updated on February 28th, 2023