Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was a game with a lot of growth. We saw Oliver at what was probably the lowest moment of his life, followed him as he journeyed through another world and saw him mature as the results of his experience. Likewise, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom feels like another coming of age story. Our hero is again a young man who has experienced some of the greatest tragedies in his life one after the other, and now finds himself surrounded by people who will help him grow as a both a person and a king. These allies are strong leaders in their own right, which has the potential to show the impact they can have on this young king and his kingdom.
Evan is the ingénue. When we first meet him, he is cowering at the window during a thunderstorm and has no idea how to handle a strange man appearing in his room. He has to look to Roland and his governess to protect him as he escapes his castle during a coup. After the actions here, seeing what happened to his loyal servants and running alongside Roland, we see his first hint of development. He goes from someone needing to be protected to someone who will try to fight on his own. This is all within the first chapter of the game, with even more growth happening thanks to the influence of other leaders who join his party.
Roland is the voice of experience. He knows what he is doing and has been a leader before. This means he can be a bit pragmatic. When the Ding Dong Dell coup is underway, he holds no illusions about what is happening. Considering everything that has happened to him, he is taking his new role in Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom in stride. I often feel like composed and measured are the best ways to describe him. He is there to keep Evan from getting carried away. We see him understand what needs to be done multiple times in the story, with some of his earliest actions involving taking up arms to protect Evan, leading him through a castle and pulling him away from a life-threatening situation.
Tani is a versatile young woman who offers us a view of the Sky Pirates sense of leadership. While Evan is still young, naive and being shaped by the world, with her we get the sense of someone who has been seeing her father, Batu, rule firsthand. This is a strong young woman that can be blunt and analyze situations in a way Evan and Roland might not. Because of her experiences, she is capable of seeing different solutions. We see this happen rather early, in Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom’s third chapter. The way she interacts with people is refreshingly honest. She wants to do what is right and will take action whenever she can. There is an enthusiasm in her that is appreciated.
What I enjoyed about this cluster of personalities is how I feel like it could shape Evan and his kingdom. He is constantly exposed to these two personalities in Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. In the early moments, it is already possible to see how he heeds Roland’s advice. He asks for his guidance, after all. But I also feel like Tani and her father, Batu, rub off on him as well as you play. There is a sense of growth here. Evan begins in this perilous situation and finds himself with a great destiny thrust upon him, and his company changes him as much as the game’s events do.
We often see characters grow and change in games. With Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, I feel like there is a more unique take on this concept. With Evan, we have a young man who has not been exposed to too many outside people and suddenly is going to be in charge of running his own kingdom. He is completely alone when Roland and Tani end up coming into his life. These two either are or are on the way to becoming leaders in their own right, with their own mindsets and personalities. I feel like we get to see their influence on Evan as the game goes on, which is quite a lovely thing.
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom will come to the PlayStation 4 and PC on March 23, 2018.