Dragon Ball Xenoverse is a huge game. You can go 20 hours and barely scratch the surface of it. By all indications, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is an even bigger game. There will be race-specific missions, everybody gets transformations, over 80 characters from the Dragon Ball series will appear in some capacity, and there will be extra hubs set in areas like the Namekian Village. It’s massive. In fact, it’s so big that you probably won’t get to see many, or perhaps even any, of these things in the PlayStation 4’s Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 open beta between October 14-17, 2016. Rushing through and trying to will only make what should be a fun experience. Instead, you should take this opportunity in stride and enjoy what you can.
That isn’t to say you won’t get to see some of the things that are new to Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2. Some of the changes are obvious and immediately available. Conton City is the primary hub, and it’s substantially larger than Dragon Ball Xenoverse’s Toki Toki City. I don’t think the previous hub can even hold a candle to Conton City. It’s a more fully realized and active city. I saw plenty of NPCs during the closed beta, as well as a handful of other players. While important locations are a bit more spread out, I didn’t feel like too much space was wasted in the process. I always felt Toki Toki City was nice, but a little generic and more of a place to do your business and go. Conton City struck me as more of a place to linger, meet with friends, and explore.
Of course, this means faster means of exploring such a large area are a necessity. Unfortunately, you aren’t immediately able to begin flying around. Instead, vehicles are going to be your Conton City BFF. One of the first things the Supreme Kai of Time will do is teach you how to ride around the city. Every Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 open beta player will have access to Vehicle Capsule #315. Press the square button to hop on, use the analog stick to steer, press L2 to accelerate, and hold R2 to bring up the map while you’re riding along. It’s a godsend, I assure you. That map is going to be super helpful, because there’s a very good chance the Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 hubs will be hopping. 300 people can be in the hub at the time, and you don’t want to get lost in the crowd.
Once you start taking some Parallel Quests and enjoying missions in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, you’ll see some of the in-battle tweaks that have come with this version of the game. You start small, of course, with a one star PQ that has Elder Kai teaching you the basics of exploring and batting when on a mission. During this portion, only Gohan (Kid), Yamcha, Raditz, Turles, Jaco, Nappa, Tien, Piccolo, Goku, Goku (GT), Krillin, Saibaman, Vegeta, and Captain Ginyu will be available. (Naturally, you’ll have many more options in the full game. It’s also here that you’ll see some of the biggest and most important changes to the game – the ones that make the battles more realistic and enjoyable.
It feels like Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2’s open beta does a good job of showing how little changes can really add up. I mean, I noticed the differences in the first tutorial mission and appreciated them more and more as I went through the quests that were available. Flying is a big deal. Since I play ranged characters, I spend almost all of my time on quests in the air when I can. I found it easy to ascend and descend, as well as suddenly speed up or press square and cross for a homing dash that would get me right in an enemy’s face. And, as someone who chose a Majin female for my current avatar and understood the value of stamina, I loved being able to press up and either square or triangle at just the right time during a fight to break my opponent’s stamina. Especially pressing up and triangle for the stamina break that would send an enemy crashing to the ground.
That is so much fun, all because Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2’s environment is more interactive. You can send someone careening into objects, ground, or water. I found the underwater battles the most fun, since you could actually keep going and battling under the sea, perhaps even finding a new place to fight it out. Though, seeing someone you hit smash through stones or some other environmental feature really made it seem like your attacks did pack a punch.
When people begin their lives as a Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Time Patroller, you’re going to enter a huge, open world with tons of missions and battles. Think of the open beta as a sample. We don’t know how busy it will be once it kicks off tomorrow, and three days isn’t a lot of time to really take in all that a game like this has to offer. But, you can test out some of the basics. If you’re able to spare even three hours to explore, you’ll be able to see and do enough to determine if the full game is something you could see yourself spending 10, 50, or maybe even 100 hours playing.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 will come to North American PlayStation 4s and Xbox Ones on October 25, 2016. It will come to European PlayStation 4s and Xbox Ones and PCs worldwide on October 28, 2016. It will come to PlayStation 4s in Japan on November 2, 2016.