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Grim Legends 2: Song of the Dark Swan Review

Grim Legends 2: Song of the Dark Swan Review

For the uninformed , point-and-click puzzle games are fairly uncommon on the Xbox One since, as a genre, there has been a general lack of interest. This is where Artifex Mundi comes in to save the day, providing a rather lengthy list of games of this exact genre. With at least ten of these titles on the Xbox Store to date, the Polish developer seems set on eventually releasing their entire library of games that span over several series that all feel eerily similar. Grim Legends 2 is no different in this respect, managing to be reminiscent of not only the original Grim Legends but also nearly every other Artifex Mundi game. Let me explain exactly what I mean.

For starters, we only need to look at the protagonist, the unnamed healer. While I have no issue with having more female leads in videogames, I find it strange that every Artifex Mundi game I’ve played has a female lead. My point is that I, a guy, would love to play at least one of these games as a man, just to shake things up. It would be one thing if all these leads only shared a gender but that’s simply not true. Throughout all of Artifex Mundi’s titles, our protagonist is a soft-spoken do-gooder that ultimately trumps whatever evil mastermind is behind the current catastrophe. I suppose this is also an issue the story should address as well since Grim Legends 2 follows the trend of throwing obvious hints at the player until the ‘big reveal’ is completely ruined. Although, I suppose you don’t need a strong story if you have interesting puzzles, right?

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Fortunately, this next problem is far more isolated than the lack of character development or deep story. To put it simply, the puzzles in Grim Legends 2 are fairly easy. I was only stuck twice and both times were due to a lack of information. Beyond this, a lot of the puzzles found throughout the game are clearly recycled from previous titles. This isn’t a problem by itself, but it seems like very little was changed when put into this newest game. While this isn’t the case for the hidden object scenes, I will say that this set of scenes may be one of the least interesting looking yet. The backgrounds that the scenes take place in are a lot tamer than those seen before. Although, that’s probably my only complaint about the hidden object scenes.

On the positive side, there are several different types of hidden object scenes, making them feel unique each time despite all being rather similar. On top of this, the scenes are usually spaced out well enough that I began to want one right as one came up. This timing applies to the puzzles found throughout the game as well, always showing up just in time to give me something to really do. While they may be on the easy side, I will admit that I had fun completing them on my initial playthrough. Several of these puzzles were based on things like filling in every node, navigating a maze, or following instructions to brew something. That last one may sound out of place, but Artifex Mundi managed to work our protagonist’s profession into the story rather seamlessly.

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Unlike some other Artifex Mundi titles, there is actually a reason for our heroine to be where she is. When the Eagle King’s wife seems to be falling ill, he contacts our healer, requesting her assistance. Once the player has arrived at the castle, it doesn’t take long for something terrible to happen. This event also leaves evidence that the Eagle Queen is to blame and she is taken into custody. This is when the King asks the newly arrived healer to find evidence of her innocence. Good thing too, since our heroine will have to use her knowledge of herbs several times throughout the story.

If it isn’t clear by now, my feelings are mixed on this title. On one hand, it doesn’t do much more than the previous titles. Although when previously used ideas show up, they are executed well. While it doesn’t have the best animation it could, it has decent voice acting (compared to other Artifex Mundi games). I’m not one to oversimplify things, but I think it’s fair to say that Grim Legends 2 is one of the better Artifex Mundi games while not quite being the best it could be. I would suggest this to gamers looking to introduce non-gamers to some easy to play games or fans of casual puzzle games.

6.50/10 6½

Grim Legends 2: Song of the Dark Swan (Reviewed on Xbox One)

Game is enjoyable, outweighing the issues there may be.

If it isn’t clear by now, my feelings are mixed on this title. On one hand, it doesn’t do much more than the previous titles. Although when previously used ideas show up, they are executed well. While it doesn’t have the best animation it could, it has decent voice acting (compared to other Artifex Mundi games). I’m not one to oversimplify things, but I think it’s fair to say that Grim Legends 2 is one of the better Artifex Mundi games while not quite being the best it could be. I would suggest this to gamers looking to introduce non-gamers to some easy to play games or fans of casual puzzle games.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Tyler Schurwan

Tyler Schurwan

Articles Editor

Not an actual Bishop.

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