Slime Rancher 2 Game Review by TecmagDiamsTL;DR
If you liked Slime Rancher, you'll love Slime Rancher 2, just don't expect it to have the same amount of content going in. It's clearly going to expand through early access and already very much feels like a complete Slime Rancher 2 experience with lore and cuteness abound but there is still a lot you'll be left waiting for.
If you never played Slime Rancher, do it. You can play this game without playing the first but I really suggest playing the first one first for a handful of reasons. You'll appreciate the improvements to the art/graphics even more, you'll love the comments made by the NPCs that don't mean anything unless you understand the relationship with the player, and you'll get the same feel out of the games. If you like either game, you'll like both.
Everything. Honestly, this is a game where it's either your aesthetic or it's not.
Graphical Design: The graphical improvements from the first game are amazing. From the way the slimes look and move, to the way that the corals ripple when something shoots into them, to the colors in each area. Everything is vibrant and colorful and alive. This is hands down the biggest standout in the game. Everything looks and feels so good. The game will make you happy just with it's art, it's UI, it's colors. The
Monomi Park team has outdone themselves. Nick Popovich must be so proud of not just what he's created in the past, but what he's helped usher into existence with his team this time.
Sound Design: Harry Mack has done amazing with the soundtrack. But it's not just the soundtrack that makes the game feel magic. Those familiar with the first installment of Slime Rancher will remember the cute sounds slimes make. Well, many now have their own voices, their own unique sounds or tones. The game sounds peaceful, like a dream. Even the "hectic" moments of Tarr are sound magical. The game uses sound to queue you in on what's around you and where you are, but also to set the tone of exploration that the series so well masters.
Gameplay: Slime Rancher is both peaceful and hectic at the same time, and this game keeps the same core mechanics that make that true. You always feel like there are things you need to do, but never like there is a timeline to do them. You may be thinking, "I gotta grow the ranch. I gotta farm what I got and expand, but to do that I need to get more resources from exploring, and while I'm out there I need more slimes, which will mean I need more room to store them!" It's a lot of walking around, which is why the game is so pretty. You're going to become familiar with these locations as you explore, as you pass through, as you happily get to know the place you call home in-game. The game features platforming puzzles, exploration, and a sense of always keeping your eye out for something hidden just around the corner.
Potential: The game has MASSIVE potential. Building on everything that made Slime Rancher amazing, and adding so much more! Slime Rancher itself could have been expanded and expanded, but by choosing to make a second game they have set themselves up to improve the formula, make things work different in ways that feel more interactive, and expand massively. Honestly, I hope to see the game build massively by release, and I hope to see paid DLC again (even if just some Secret Styles) so I can further support this awesome team while getting more and more. It's crazy that at Early Access launch the game feels like so much already, because even without nearly as much content as one will want to see, it's still a very rewarding and complete experience.
Simply put there isn't any in my opinion. It's Early Access so expect there to be a lot of content that feels like it's missing or needs to be expanded on. Expect that to happen though. You're not buying a complete game at this time, simply the promise of one.
Let's talk about a few things I hope to see as the game develops though! Firstly, just more. More of what we've had in the past, and more new. Ontop of that I'd love to see more areas for EACH NPC this time around if that's still in the plan to have unique Ranch Expansions added later. I think that idea fit perfectly into the formula and hope it returns. I'd like to see more intractable gadgets you can place as well, even if they are just toys. More ways to customize slimes (secret styles DLC was awesome) and more upgrades for plots at the ranch, maybe a new type of plot too. Just general "more". We'll see what develops in time and I'm confident either way it will be amazing.
The game is amazing already, and bound to be everything you want out of a Slime Rancher sequel. Everything is cuter than you can imagine and the game is a perfect mix of a tycoon style game and an exploration game with nothing but chill vibes. I can't recommend it enough. Support great games by great devs!