Nearly three years on from the release of Deltarune Chapter 1, the long-awaited release of Chapter 2 is finally here. Available as a combined download on the eShop with the previous chapter, it’s far from a conclusive follow-up, and it introduces more questions than answers, but this generally feels like a worthwhile continuation of an intriguing release. Plus, it’s also free, so you really don’t have any excuse to pass up giving it a try.
The story picks up right after that cliffhanger ending, though it amusingly treats that event in a rather anticlimactic fashion. From there, it isn’t long before Kris and Susie find themselves back in the Dark World and caught up in another adventure with Ralsei. This time, your party has to explore a city inspired by the early internet and you primarily fight against a goofy, wine-drunk antagonist named Queen. And while choices made in the previous chapter may have affected the story leading up to the ending — but not the ending itself — there is a notable second route you can take here that leads to a fittingly cold and substantially different result.
As expected of a Toby Fox game, the off-color and absurd sense of humor is on full display here, making for a refreshingly silly take on the traditional RPG format. Item descriptions are often written in a sarcastic manner and there are occasional moments of fourth wall-breaking to keep things interesting. For example, when one notable boss fight is dragging on for too long, one of the party members decides to do an action they aren’t ‘supposed’ to be doing to speed things up. The humor is well-balanced, however, with sudden contemplative moments and sharp tonal changes that keep you on your feet.
Gameplay mostly mimics the previous chapter, with the biggest change here being that you can ‘recruit’ most enemies. If you choose to go the pacifist route in battles, you’ll eventually recruit your foes into a town where all the other recruited enemies go, and you can then go back to interact with them and learn more information about them. Then, when the final battle is initiated, all your recruits will come together and make the final fight a little easier depending on how many you saved. Recruitment isn’t a massive adjustment to what came before, but it adds in a nice bit of extra content for completionists looking for more replayability, and it feels like an organic extension of the morality system that lies at the heart of Deltarune’s combat.
Much like the previous chapter, it still feels a bit like Deltarune is struggling to form its own identity. That’s not necessarily a bad thing—Undertale was a massively popular game for a reason—but the borrowed art style, battle system, and writing do mean that the distinct ‘X factor’ that made its predecessor so pleasantly surprising is now something that you merely expect. At any rate, Deltarune Chapter 2 is a fascinating, fun, and thrilling deconstruction of RPG tropes and for the retail price of nothing, you might as well give it a shot.