The journey begins in the best traditions of the literary adventure genre: the ship with the expedition is enveloped in an unknown lilac fog, a destructive storm begins. It seems that this voyage came to an end, but it was not there: the ship still leaves the depths of the raging elements – right to the shores of a small, unexplored island.
Here they are waiting for: acquaintance with a friendly tribe of aborigines, a couple of dusty battles with local animals and, of course, a shocking find – a giant ancient mechanism responsible for the purple veil around the island. What it really is – remains to be studied, but for now – a brisk walk on the ship to Paris!
img src=”https://techweekmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/sm.Curious_Expedition_2_screenshot_onpage_1.800.jpg” alt=”You never know where your life path will lead you: today you terrify the savannah, and tomorrow you cause envy and admiration in the shop window of "genuine leather goods"” width=”800″ height=”450″ />
The harsh everyday life of an explorer
The simplicity of the introductory assignment is deceivingly deceiving. The very first real expedition will make it clear to the novice researcher – he has chosen the wrong profession! An untrained discoverer can easily lose an entire group due to one bad decision. For example, my first squad disappeared for a rather ridiculous reason: the jewels on the sacred altar glittered very temptingly. “What not to take,” I thought. As a result, a huge depression formed in the middle of the map, and the aborigines, peaceful before this incident, considered it their duty to plug my group with spears. And they succeeded …
Trouble awaits here in general behind every stream. Sulfur spring cages wreak havoc on expedition members, as do clouds of mosquitoes; a sandstorm can take the group to no one knows where, and the jungle and swamps significantly slow down the party. And, of course, the map is full of animals that think of us exclusively in a gastronomic manner. What can we say about the tribes of natives, which can inflame with hostility and complicate an already difficult life. Even “colleagues”, other adventurers, strive to get rid of unwanted competitors. In a word, skirmishes cannot be avoided, and even a victory in a battle does not guarantee the triumph of the campaign, because any injury to a member of the detachment threatens with blood poisoning and a slow death.
Satellites can disappear for a variety of other reasons. The most common is insanity. Moving around the global map consumes a resource – sanity (the original name in the game is Sanity; and yes – localization is not yet visible on the horizon). As soon as his indicator passes the zero mark, the team slowly begins to lose their nerves. With this, “fun” is brewing: the most harmless of the rich palette of madness is a psychedelic journey through the depths of consciousness or a lowering of the character’s level, the most unpleasant thing is the sudden death or an unexpected act of cannibalism of one member of the expedition towards another. In a word, it is better not to start mental health: eat a chocolate bar that restores a tangible part of the spiral scale; put on whiskey; lick a hallucinogenic toad; drinking tea or playing a horn flute – soothes.
Basics of Field Diplomacy
The obvious conclusion, obtained by bitter experience: it is better not to quarrel with the natives in vain. That is: you should not take values out of their sanctuaries, as well as attack the local fauna for no reason, and, if possible, try not to steal in their villages, and if you really steal something, then at least not get caught. Relations with the natives can and should be improved: for example, help hunters catch game, give a thirsty peasant drink, cure a dying man, or present gifts to a scouting squad they accidentally meet. They can also be asked about the location of their village in order to look at the light on occasion.
In the settlements, you can always benefit from the campaign: they will happily bargain with strangers and even allow them to stay overnight, but it should be borne in mind that the attitude towards the guests who are late will immediately worsen (as I understand the natives). And if the indicator of the relationship allows, then it will even turn out to visit the leader. Access to the first body of the island state promises additional opportunities, but, alas, you have to choose – the ruler has a lot to do, and he only has time for one request. Options are: add a recruit from a village or dungeon to your team, find out more about the tribe, or ask if the village lord has any dilemmas that require a momentary solution. Usually there really are such people – either a feral shaman terrorizes the district, then there is no one to deliver the parcel, then something else.
Other interesting personalities can also be found on the islands, such as a hunter. You can ask him to get rid of a certain beast on the map, which does not allow you to go to the required place, or you can get a reward for success in the hunting industry if you personally managed to cope with a representative of the local fauna. There are also Catholic missions in the tropics, where you can also take a break, trade or send valuable items that weigh down your inventory to the ship’s warehouse. Well, the most remarkable meeting awaits at the crashed frigates, where the ominous ghosts of pirates await the travelers to … play dice with them. Yo-ho-ho!
In the world of Curious Expedition 2, skillful handling of dice decides everything. Most often, the skill comes in handy, naturally, in combat. In a turn-based duel, we have several bones at our disposal that are responsible for skills, depending on the number of living members of the expedition and the weapons in their equipment. Some of the faces of the cube are painted in one of the colors – blue, green or red, while others are empty. The variegated side is responsible for one of the character’s skills, and the unpainted side, accordingly, reports failure. Fortunately, you can reroll all unwanted polyhedra once per turn.
One die can be spent for a single use of the ability, or you can add other faces of the same color to it to enhance it. This creates incredible variability and thoroughly captivates, because every time an unpredictable set falls out and you need to think carefully before doing something. Put up a shield for the whole team or invest in increased damage to the enemy; or maybe first weaken opponents and impose on everyone the effect of burning with a powerful jet of flamethrower; or, in general, to give dyora, sparkling with heels – the choice is immense.
The dice decide the outcome in other situations as well. For example, if a follower is crazy, you can try to calm him down – throwing out a certain color on the required number of edges. Alas, you won’t be able to roll the dice here, but you can increase the chances of success with a torch or elixir. Also, the following depends on a dexterous throw: the success of the theft, luck during a search (yes-ah-ah-ah … – a search) of sanctuaries, the possibility of verbal persuasion, a chance to escape from deadly traps and a favorable outcome of a dispute in a tavern or at a dance competition in Paris !
Star of Paris
Having miraculously returned from another risky expedition, the heroes, of course, become the main sensation of the season: the survivors even ride on a platform along the streets of the capital to solemn music and throw confetti. But we are not returning here for the sake of laurels, but to prepare for the next foray into tropical hell in the name of science. For a start, it doesn’t hurt to drop by one of the sponsors.
Only three organizations agreed to fund our questionable travels: the Royal Society of Avalon, represented by classic prim aristocrats; Lux Laboratories, admirers of teslapunk and universal robotization; and the Taisha Academy, masters of esoteric practices from the East. For one voyage, you can enlist the help of only one institution, and upon returning, you will receive bonuses in the form of new characters, weapons and consumables – everything, however, is not free. You can also visit each of the associations and use their various services: improve weapons, heal from unpleasant features, or increase the level of a certain character.
Even in the dark back streets of Paris, you can find a suspicious businessman offering a variety of goods at rather undemocratic prices. But the main cultural place of the experienced adventurer is the local pub. All the cream of the research community is concentrated here, and, of course, we are also always welcome. You can order your favorite hit Farewell to Grog and arrange a friendly competition. Or, moving on to practical matters, provide the next expedition with more financial allowance, or even freak out and lower the difficulty of the game … But it’s better to hire a fresh recruit for the team.
Playable characters in Curious Expedition 2 fall into three general categories: Leader, Leader, and Legendary Adventurer. The first is the backbone of the team, the most loyal and, most often, the strongest mentally and physically, will never run away and will be faithful to us until our death. The leaders of several classes with special skills are represented: a seasoned hunter, when attacking an enemy squad, gives an ambush effect, ensuring that the first blow is behind us; the herbalist grants immunity to poisoning and the ability to buy medicinal ingredients from the natives; the pirate adds fifty percent to his sanity score, and also supplies each expedition with a treasure map and, of course, a shovel.
Famous adventurers are notable primarily for the fact that they are, in fact, famous. Among them are such famous people as Annie Oakley, Sacagawea or Jules Verne. They can be found in different parts of the game, and they will gladly help us in our quest, but as soon as the goal is achieved, they will solemnly go into the sunset.
But ordinary members of the group will not leave the team after the first success. Yes, and the success of the adventure depends on them a lot, and their skills will help both in battle and on the global map. A field nurse will mend in the heat of battle, a British Army soldier will deal increased damage with firearms, a monk will increase defense against supernatural enemies, and a corgi can sniff out buried treasure. By the way, you shouldn’t get attached to these characters – something bad happens to them all the time …
They regularly die in battle, due to insanity – their own or someone else’s – and, as already mentioned, from blood poisoning after receiving a wound. Misadventures show negative traits in survivors that worsen their attitude towards us. Having collected several of these, a member of the expedition can throw a tantrum, or even leave our group, taking with him a little good. And then return, asking for forgiveness – and again run away, taking everything that did not fit in your pockets last time …
But it also happens differently: characters can be imbued with sympathy, make friends or even love each other, thereby increasing loyalty to us. And if, for example, you pull the prince of the salamanders out of the mole casemates, then he will have a feature of “blood debt” – even with strong discontent, he will not leave us. True, he will still express his “fi” and, thus, will consider the debt paid. Well, fair enough …
- complex, varied and exciting gameplay;
- a sea of curious nuances and features;
- marvelous visual style;
- a huge selection of characters with all kinds of talents and abilities.
- sometimes the game is too harsh and ruthless.
Curious Expedition 2 delights with depth, detail and atmosphere. And sometimes it makes you want to throw the computer into the mouth of a volcano – the circumstances are so bad. A sure sign – the game is good!