Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy Review thumbnail

Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy Review

Journey into an epic generated world

Alex Legard

Reviewed by playing a PS4 on 🗺️

Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy is also available for Xbox Series X and Xbox One

Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy is rated Everyone 10+ by the ESRB

Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy has players explore a procedurally generated world filled with mysterious locations and monsters. You embark on a quest as a wayfarer and if you die, you pass the torch and your best items to the next Wayfarer many years later.

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Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy screenshot 1
I finally made it to the end of a long journey

Explore Unexplored 2

Before you start playing, you might notice that Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy has a lot of difficulty options. You can make it very easy or very hard which is done at the beginning of your game by picking and choosing interesting modifiers such as reducing the number of enemies and increasing your maximum health. Plus, there are many cheats that you can enable at any time from the pause menu. For example, you can deal double damage or reduce all damage you take to 1. If you turn on all the cheats, it'll be nearly impossible to die. v1d30chumz 35-172-230-154

Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy's tutorial is unassuming. First, you move through a short dungeon where you kill a few enemies and learn basic combat mechanics. Then, you move on to an outdoor area, gather food, set up camp, and learn how to use the Staff of Yendor. Finally, you go through a cave where you put everything you learned to practice. After all of that, you create your character and inherit the staff from the Garden of Yendor but you quickly flee because the Garden of Yendor was located by the Imperials. Once you get to the nearby town Haven, the tutorial is complete.

It was at this point that I formed a negative impression of Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy and I sincerely didn't like the way the visuals looked at all. I think a lot of areas, such as Haven, would look much better with more vibrant and definitive use of colour. Plus, the game was already throwing some very long load screens my way and this is a problem that would not get any better. Finally, all the writing felt strange to me. For example, you have folk in the streets tell you about mushrooms in caves for some reason, you have folk in inns tell you about the location of bridges and whatnot, and even the lore books in Haven's library seemed like they were written by a robot.

In Haven, it's a good idea to talk to everyone you see, especially within the inn and the library. That way, you'll get a bunch of quest locations right off the bat. The first main quest location you need is Temple Jetbeak. This is a temple to the god Raaf who is worshipped by the people of Haven (the Raafi). Inside Temple Jetbeak, you'll pick up a few crucial quest items and learn the locations of 2 more Raaf temples: Duskfeather and Onyxclaw.

Procedural Generation

Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy's world layout and the names of regions are all procedurally generated. Every tile on the world map is a node that you can explore and each node is procedurally generated as well. Forests, plains, swamps, mountains, and desert each have a very different aesthetic and caves are also extremely common.

Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy screenshot 2
You might even meet supernatural horrors like this

No Save-and-Quits

Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy auto-saves constantly when you play such as every time you enter and leave a node or when you die. Hence, there is no possibility of save scumming. For instance, saving the game, trying a dangerous Fortune test, and loading the previous save to try again as you need to live with your decisions whether they're good or bad.

Tell your Fortune

Negotiating with bandits, reading ancient monoliths, scaling cliffs, and talking to spirits all have one thing in common: Fortune tests. You pass the test by drawing a success card and you fail by drawing a failure card or a partial success card. Cards are drawn one at a time at random and you get some free rerolls depending on your traits. For example, the Empathy trait offers one free reroll for every social Fortune test. You can also spend sparks to get additional rerolls and you find sparks in random locations around the world.

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This Fortune test is an opportunity to learn a new quest location

Traverse the World Map

Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy's world is comprised of regions and each region is a biome such as a forest, mountain, or desert and has a randomly generated name. Each region also has a challenge level from 1 to 3 that determines the types of hardships and the frequency of hardships and encounters. As I mentioned, the world is connected by nodes which are explorable areas. You can only see adjacent nodes and more distant nodes only if they have special quest markers.

Traveling between nodes entails both hardships and encounters. Hardships are countered by clothing and travel gear and generally speaking, you can only take on so many hardships before suffering adverse effects. These force you to rest by a fire or else you lose hope. Encounters force you into an encounter zone where there are bandits, wolves, or other enemies. You can usually just run past these enemies, though.

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This is the First Valley, a special endgame region

Fire and Rest

Players can start a camp where they can eat food to recover HP, rest to recover from fatigue, and start a fire to stave off the cold. Removing negative attributes like cold and fatigued is key to survival. Otherwise, players will lose all their hope points extremely quickly.

Clans and Diplomacy

Besides Haven, there are 4 other clans in the world: Jabar, Alzmidda, Wulfmane, and Sandreiders. Their envoys can be found in Haven and they will tell you the location of their clan capital. Each clan has a relationship with Haven that starts off as either neutral or angry. You can visit their capital to try to improve your relationship with them and when successful, their power level will increase as well; specifically, they become more resistant to Imperial attacks. Additionally, there are 5 possible relationships from hostile to alliance and you can improve your relationship by speaking to a clan leader, passing the Fortune tests, and offering gifts when you need to.

Bartering with Traders

There is no money in Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy like there is in most other RPGs. Instead, you need to barter with traders to get what you want. It's as simple as trading the items you don't want for the items you do want! Traders place higher value on items with green borders and if your items have a red border then that trader wants that item less.

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You need to offer the right items to balance the scale and complete the trade

Don't Be a Thief

If you're in a town, farm, or trading post, don't steal, break stuff, or attack folk as this will make them aggressive toward you. Additionally, if you're in another clan's lands, be on your best behavior because doing these things can result in long-lasting damage to your relationship with that clan.

Inventory and Encumbrance

Your character has 2 different inventories: bulky items and small items. You can hold an unlimited number of small items. However, you only have 15 spaces for bulky items. These also have an encumbrance value which further limits how much you can hold. The last few slots of your inventory are encumbrance slots which you have more or less of depending on the total encumbrance combined for all your items. If you choose to use any of these extra slots for carrying items, your character gains the encumbered trait which will make them tired at the end of every journey.

Search for Sigils

Sigils are versatile things that can be slotted into weapons and armour just like Materia from Final Fantasy VII or put into machines that are found throughout the world to power them up. There are 5 types of sigils; each corresponding to an element: root (grass), sky, flame, flow (water), and form (earth). Try putting different types of sigils into your items as each element has a different set of effects. However, this can only be done at a forge which itself requires a sigil to power-on. Sigils also have the legacy trait which means they are returned to the vault in Haven after you die.

One other important use for sigils is to power the Serpent Gates found around the world. These are used to fast-travel to the other Serpent Gates and this is one of the only ways that you can fast-travel in Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy.

Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy screenshot 6
Sky sigils augment your attacks with lightning damage

Hope

Besides health, hope is a second resource that's easy to lose but difficult to regain. You begin with 12 hope but this is kind of misleading. Specifically, once you reach 0 hope, you will lose one of your hope traits (you begin the game with 4 hope traits) then you're reverted to 12 hope and once you lose all your hope again, you will lose your next hope trait, and so on and so forth. Hope traits are set during character creation and the last one to be lost is always the Vitality trait that lets you heal from food. Once this vital trait is lost, you will no longer heal when you eat food.

Death and starting a new journey

I managed to complete Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy with my second Wayfarer and only because I let my first Wayfarer die because I wanted some additional traits. The closest I got to death was when I tripped over one too many grenade rocks and I reached 2 HP with no food. Plus, I stumbled into a bush on my way back to town which put me down to only 1 HP! That should teach you never to give up. 😅

After you die, you'll be shown a cutscene in which actions around the world are played out. Monsters will attack the different clans and some clans might be disabled; whatever that means. The Imperials will also attack and any lands they conquer will become bleak wastelands. The clans will resist the Empire but only if you increase their power level by offering them gifts.

Then, it's time to create a new character. If you found Raaf Relics by progressing the main story and offered them to Haven's Loremaster with your previous character(s) then you can choose additional traits. Once you begin your new journey, you can visit Haven's vault to retrieve legacy items which return to Haven upon death. By the way, you can store any items that you want in the nearby treasure chests for your future characters to pick up. For example, if you come across a large supply of healing potions, you might want to store some of them away for when you visit the First Valley.

Things I didn't like

As I said at the beginning, I do not like the way Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy looks. For example, Haven uses boring colours so the whole city comes across as bland. Compare this to a game like Arietta of Spirits where the colour of the grass and trees look so much more appealing. Secondly, the loading screens are just too long and there are way too many of them. In fact, the frequent loading screens regularly sucked away any enjoyment I was having. I played Unexplored 2 on PS4 so if you play on a different platform such as PC then you might have a different experience.

I experienced a problem with the map generation which I wouldn't consider a bug but one that created an unfun experience for me. I had to reach the Earth Shaker in order to progress the main story. After traveling all around the world, I found out that the Earth Shaker's node was inaccessible. It had a mountain range to the west, the First Valley to the east, and the ocean to the south. I could not cross the mountains so I could not get to the Earth Shaker from any direction. That is; not until I quit the game, opened it up the next day, and a mountain pass had appeared for some inexplicable reason. If the way hadn't opened, I would have had to go to the First Valley prematurely with a high chance of death.

Finally, I want to mention that there is an alarming number of bugs. The procedural generation has some problems and it can create areas where there is no way forward. Players can unequip their weapons and pray in order to get to the other side of locked doors and other obstacles but this seems like a ridiculous solution to me. Usually, developers fix these sorts of bugs, not just put a band-aid over the problem as is being done here.

There was also a situation in a zone where I couldn't rest or else I was put into an infinite loading screen. This didn't happen just one time, either. The only way I could rest normally was to close the application and restart it then move into a different zone.

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This is Haven and it's mostly dull colours where the grass is more yellow than green

Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy is a fun and interesting take on roguelikes and survival games with a colossal amount of things to do and I know that a lot of people thoroughly enjoy it. However, there are just too many problems for me to overlook, especially the overbearing load times on PS4.

  • + Lots of mini-quests and areas to explore
  • + Complex world with a feeling of mystery
  • + Plenty of difficulty and accessibility options
  • - Many issues with map generation; some of which require unintuitive workarounds
  • - Overall bland use of colour
  • - Exceptionally long load times on PS4
6.0 out of 10
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