Return to the enchanted world of Ni No Kuni!
With very little revealed since the original announcement of Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom at PSX in 2015, it was exciting to see it once again at this year’s E3. With so many new characters, new themes, and mew stories to tell, it was time for developers Level 5 to finally unveil more of the game. With new kingdom building mechanics, more action packed adventuring, and a new narrative, it’s almost time to start hiking through this new and enchanting land.
We had a chance to talk with Bandai Namco’s PR Manager Nick O’Leary to figure out as many tantalizing details as possible. And though he remained tight lipped about most of the secrets, we did discover some interesting new facts that are launching with the game.
We haven’t heard a lot about Ni No Kuni 2, even when it was announced to be coming to PS4 and PC. How has progress been on development so far?
So far everything has been going really well. We announced a release date of November 10th. The development schedule has been chugging along.
The overall story is interesting especially with regards to rebuilding one’s kingdom. How much more will players know about Ni No Kuni with the focus being on Evan?
It is about Evan. He is the deposed as the king. He set off to build a new kingdom which is the main objective throughout the game, and you will be able to – something we teased at E3 was Kingdom Mode. You create your own new kingdom by recruiting villagers from other kingdoms, put them into your kingdom and they provide their services for you. You’ll go through the land of Evan’s home world, and you’ll learn more about the different areas and kingdoms, who rules and where. You’ll learn a lot about the world.
What is the timeline in which Ni No Kuni 2 takes place in relation to the first game?
Ni No Kuni 2 is a separate world from the world of Ni No Kuni 1. So it has similar elements: there’s Ding Dong Dell. There’s places that will look familiar thematically to place you’ve visited in the first Ni No Kuni, but it’s a completely different world.
"One of the new things about Ni No Kuni 2 is the combat system. It’s a lot more action oriented than the first one. "
Will there be any relation to past characters in this one?
No. There will not be. [This time it’s all about] brand new characters.
What are some of the new areas that players will explore this time around?
We’ve talked about a kingdom called Gold Paw that’s ruled by a dog king. The king is big into gambling, the way he rules is by chance. So he will roll the dice and see how it goes one way or the other. We learn about a beast there called King Maker. King Maker has become corrupted somehow and he is now terrorizing the kingdom of Gold Paw. Evan has to go and defeat King Maker and see what happens with that.
Besides Ding Dong Dell, are there any other nods to players who enjoyed the original Ni No Kuni?
You’ll see similar things stylistically. You have another helper who is called Lofty who is similar to Drippy’s role in the first game. And Lofty also has a Welsh. He kind of helps you out. There’s also Ding Dong Dell, the cat people, the mice and everything. So you’ll see familiar yet different characters.
Can you tell us about the game’s kingdom building elements? Will players eventually war with their ex-kingdom to take it back?
We can’t talk too much about it, other than you’ll recruit people from other parts of the world who raise your kingdom. Make it your own to rule in Evan’s own kingdom.
Will players be able to eventually war with ex-kingdoms?
We will be talking about Kingdom Mode later.
Okay. How has the sequel evolved over the previous game and how do the Higgledies work?
One of the new things about Ni No Kuni 2 is the combat system. It’s a lot more action oriented than the first one. The first one, you were commanding your Familiars on the battle field, and you were going through menus and choosing their attacks, and watching everything play out. In the new one you control Evan directly and the party members, which you can switch between automatically. Everything is realtime again.
There are no more menus, no more menu base. It’s very action oriented. You have light attack, heavy attack, projectile attack with your wand, and you have a set of skills you can use to augment your abilities. There’s also no more Familiars in the game. They’ve been essentially replaced with these things called Higgledies. They’re these little sprite characters that will help you out in battles. Higgledies are based on different properties. So there’s fire Higgledies, wind, water, then plain which are called Higgledie Piggledies. There will be more in the final game. Those guys will help you out in battle, and they’ll also give you the ability to help out with buffs, or defensive spells. Fire Higgledies can help create a fire barrier.
Going back to the art style, it seemed like in the first game a lot of the art style went into Ding Dong Dell, and the stylization fell a little bit after that in other worlds. Is it going to be more flared up in the other worlds in this one or is it just sticking to mostly the first world in this one again?
So we’ve only shown one world actually: Gold Paw, and Ding Dong Dell in the trailers. So you have a lot of different variety and variations. And I think you’ll see a lot of cool aesthetics with each world you visit.
"So Level 5 is working on making sure that PC players of all specs, low end and high end will be satisfied with the game."
Which allies can we look forward to besides Evan, Roland and Tani? How do they change up the action for players?
So far we’ve only talked about those three. You will get more as the game progresses. You can switch between characters mid-battle. Evan is good with the sword, he’s good with melee attacks, and he also had a wand. Tani’s main weapon is bow and arrow. So she’s able to do long ranged attacks. She’s quick and agile. Roland has a gun. He also has more melee attacks. Each have their own attributes and special attacks they’ll be able to do.
With Ni no Kuni 2 coming to PC, is there a chance that the original also gets a PC release?
There are no current plans to release Ni No Kuni 1 for PC.
As a more story-oriented JRPG, how long will the game be compared to the original? Will there be additional content to wrap up even after the story has finished?
Ni No Kuni 2 will be comparable in size to the original Ni No Kuni 1, so around 60 hours. We aren’t talking about anything post-launch right now.
Will the PC version have specific graphical enhancements compared to the PS4?
So Level 5 is working on making sure that PC players of all specs, low end and high end will be satisfied with the game.
Any Nintendo Switch announcements?
No. Ni No Kuni 2 will be on PS4 and PC.