Curious Expedition 2 review (PS4)

Switch owners were the first gamers to go hands on with Curious Expedition 2 when it launched last year, but publisher Thunderful and developer Maschinen-Mensch have now brought the game to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well. As you’d expect, both versions are also fully compatible with the latest console generation, and a brand new DLC package was released alongside them as well.

If you’re not familiar with Curious Expedition 2, then it can be summarized as a curious quest to find curiosities all over the world. That doesn’t say much, but it does set the tone for a game that’s set against the background of a World’s Fair at the end of the 19th century. Your job is to travel and find the most exciting and strange exhibits for the fair with your party of explorers, and you’ll encounter a mix of strange, mythological and even dieselpunk influences as you travel the randomly generated game map.

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With all this strangeness, sanity becomes your lifeblood, and you need to make sure you hold on to it. Fitting with the bizarre tone of the game, one way to do that is to drink alcohol, but the end can also come quickly in the encounters you have with others. Native tribes can decide to off you, and RPG-like turn-based battles can also not end well. And while that sounds like a game that’s somewhat grounded in reality (and to a degree, it is), you shouldn’t be surprised when you encounter a dinosaur or giant sand worm at some point.

Curious Expedition 2 doesn’t have the most polished combat mechanics out there, and it can feel awfully random in how a game develops at points, but it certainly is quirky and fun, and has an art style to match that. The new Highlands of Avalon DLC builds on this, adding more items, enemies and party members to the mix. It makes your travels all the more original, and we found it was well worth it to set sail on this expedition. But how will we explain to the family members that a member of our party was eaten by a party member who suddenly went full cannibal? These are the types of things that this game throws at you, so this is definitely a game for those who enjoy surprises.

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