Preview: Tails of Iron 2 Adds Monster Hunting, Undead Bats in Scaled Up Sequel 1

The original Tails of Iron was quietly a big success for developer Odd Bug Studio. The action RPG about a kingdom of rats has drawn in a lot of fans thanks to its sketch-like art style, deliberate combat, and explorable world. We suppose the fact it's narrated by Doug Cockle — voice of Geralt in The Witcher series — may have something to do with it too, but whatever the case, the team isn't resting on its laurels for Tails of Iron 2: Whiskers of Winter. After watching the sequel in action in a hands-off preview, it's clear there's plenty here to stop it from growing stail — sorry, stale.

Though it's a numbered sequel, Tails of Iron 2 follows a whole new story with fresh characters. Set after the events of the first game, you play as Arlo, a rat of the frosty northern region who's on a quest for revenge. His home, Winter's Edge, has been ravaged by the forgotten Dark Wing bats, who have suddenly emerged and are wreaking havoc on the land. Game of Thrones has been a large influence on the game, informing the icy setting and Day Walker-like enemies.

Another clear inspiration is Monster Hunter; one of the major new additions to the sequel is, well, monster hunting. As you explore the game's large map, you'll encounter big, nasty beasts to vanquish. Doing so will not only reward you with valuable resources, but it'll also alter the enemy types you come up against. These creatures will roam around, may escape, and will sleep to recover, so aren't as straightforward as typical boss fights.

Hunting these beasts is part of the sequel's more meaningful side missions, though a new day/night cycle means you could come up against them whether you choose to or not. Another new feature, the time of day will affect which enemies you see and, as mentioned, you'll discover new foes as you slay more monsters.

Other nods to Capcom's series include the ability to break parts off of bosses to prevent certain attacks, and a weapon sharpness mechanic that adds some tension to fights. This isn't the only way combat has been overhauled; the sequel adds invincibility frames to the dodge, colour-coded attack warnings (dodge red, parry yellow, block white), and elemental damage. While combat will be fundamentally similar to the first game, Odd Bug has imbued it with various new mechanics to master.

The improvements don't stop there, either. Traversal has been given various boosts to make getting around much faster in Tails of Iron 2. Arlo is able to use grapple points to get around each biome more quickly, and he can also sprint while exploring, meaning backtracking won't cause as many headaches. What's more, you'll also be able to fast travel around the map, which will help when searching for the sequel's increased number of secrets and hidden areas.

Overall, Tails of Iron 2 just seems far more fleshed out. As well as bumper new features like monster hunting, we've yet to mention that Winter's Edge becomes a customisable hub as Arlo rebuilds his home, unlocking better equipment from all its vendors. Simple skill trees have also been added for your weapons and armour, and you can also lay down elemental traps to catch foes off-guard. It's a sequel packed with fresh ideas, then, and it's all delivered with that familiar, hand-drawn style and, of course, Doug Cockle's dulcet tones as you play through the story.

It's arriving on PS5, PS4, and basically everything else later this year. Are you excited for Tails of Iron 2: Whiskers of Winter? Tell us in the comments section below.