An RPG of epic potential, let down by dodgy controls and long bouts of tedium.

When the Seven Deadly Sins were first conceived, they were divided into venial sins, which referred to minor offences and were not of grave importance, and capital sins, which could potentially render a person’s soul as “dead.” Deadly Sin 2 is a gorgeously pixelated RPG with a huge storyline and plenty of skills and moves to keep the most hardcore adventurer busy, but ultimately commits a whole host of sins. Fortunately they are all of the venial type, but the overall experience is still heavily impeded.

Players take control of Carrion, an Imperial Soldier to the Empire who finds himself stuck in the middle of deadly conflict. Along with Maric, his adopted brother who can be a little crude but always has his back, Carrion sets out on a simple mission to rescue the Imperial Princess, but soon discovers there are troubling times afoot.

 Shining Faith

It’s worth noting that while this is a sequel, it does not carry on the story from the original and you do not need to have played the first release to understand what is going on.

This is generally your standard RPG Maker affair, with some lovely visuals and smooth dialogue to boot. City environments are brimming with life, and the story ebbs and flows along, bringing mystery and intrigue. It’s not exactly unique, and veteran RPG gamers will no doubt find resemblances between this storyline and others, but it’s still very well written.

Over roughly 25 hours of play, Deadly Sin 2 takes the player through a variety of different lands, encountering enemies which gradually become more and more deadly. All battles are turn-based, allowing the player to pick their moves and defeat evil creatures as they see fit. Boss battles in particular are really challenging, and have a wonderfully epic feel about them.

Deadly Sin 2 brings several interesting concepts to the table – some of which were seen in the prequel – which build on normal RPG elements. Each character has a skill tree, and points can be earnt and spent on new skills and moves, or on upgrading your character. Pick-ups found dotted around the world in treasure chests can also be assigned to members of your party, potentially making them stronger.

 Shining Faith

The game also uses a ‘threat’ system during battle. Characters who attack the most furiously and have the best skills will earn a higher threat value – this means that enemies may choose to attack them over the rest of the party. This can make for some really tactical play, as using one character as your main striker can mean he or she will feel the full force of opponents’ attacks. Hence, trying to use every party member equally is a must.

Sadly, although Deadly Sin 2 provides some unique ideas, it also falls short in numerous areas. First off, the controls feel a little confused – players can use a combination of the mouse and keyboard, or simply opt for the keyboard alone. Trying to use the mouse to play is incredibly pointless, and it’s a wonder why it was even included – however, the keyboard-only controls also feel a little dumbed down at times, with menu navigation a prominent issue.

If you’re not a huge RPG fan, you should probably steer clear on this particular release, as it was definitely not designed with newcomers in mind. Barely any of the controls or menus are explained, and from the very first quest you’re thrown straight in at the deep end.

It’s also fairly dull in places, especially the dungeons. Sometimes you’ll find yourself roaming around a cave or forest for up to 30 minutes at a time, with no advancement in story or conversation to divulge in. There are puzzles to be found in the midst of all the walking which definitely help to break up the tedious trekking, but these are few and fair between.

Battles can also be pretty boring, with random encounters usually solved by simply hitting the attack button over and over until all the bad guys are taken down. The main problem is that, while Deadly Sin 2 definitely adds some interesting ideas to the mix, it doesn’t do much with the regular RPG elements, and hence can feel a little yawn-inducing.

Deadly Sin 2 is a huge undertaking and for hardcore RPG gamers, seeing it all the way through to the end can be a wholly worthwhile experience. For anyone else, however, it’s probably not worth bothering with. There is a free 1-hour trial available for anyone keen on giving it a go.