Dust to Dust
Brown Dust 2 is the highly anticipated sequel to Brave Nine, formally known as Brown Dust. Both games fall within the same genre of tactical adventure RPG, and you do not need to play Brave Nine to understand Brown Dust 2‘s story. NEOWIZ has crafted a profound lore-rich universe, and small connections can be made from one game to the other. However, it won’t affect your experience with Brown Dust 2; only enhance it if you know the events of Brave Nine.
Brown Dust 2 takes place years before the events of Brave Nine. You play as Lathel, leading a band of adventurers. Brown Dust 2 does something unique: instead of following a story that has you play until you meet an end goal, players follow different sub-stories known as story packs. For example, the first pack is about Lathel encountering and helping this mysterious traveler, the White Reaper. Through her journey, she gets recruited to your team. The second story pack has you do the same with another character known as Scheherazade, and this is the formula for collecting characters.
Each story pack will introduce the player to someone new. They take them to different locations to explore, and each has different story beats and themes to follow. One pack’s story will vastly differ from another, and it has become delightful to explore each one and discover what they have to tell. There are also other packs beyond the stories. Character packs give you more gameplay challenges since you have a preset team to work with. And special packs lead to different game modes like PvP or daily objectives. What I enjoyed the most about this is that it made me feel like I was leading a party on all these different quests. It is a fun way to tell different adventure stories, and I wanted to return for more.
Brown Dust 2 gameplay can be a little complex. It feels like chess but on a smaller scale. When you start a battle, you preemptively set up where you put your characters on a three-by-four grid and what attack formation you want them to run. There are a wide variety of attacks from different characters. Some are good for front-on attacks, a few are for frontline defense and there are strictly ranged fighters. Most characters also set up items like bombs and special attacks that do devastating damage. There are many ways to approach the battle, and discovering new strategies for attacking is addicting.
Another thing Brown Dust 2 excelled at was the game’s overall art style and music. The music score makes you feel like you’re in a fantasy world, traveling the lands as you encounter new adventures. Mobile game music usually misses or is not mentioned in most reviews, but Brown Dust 2 could not help but get me to talk about it. Graphically, the game has a beautiful painting-like art style. Locations can feel vibrant, and dungeons feel dark and brooding. Characters have unique designs that are only elevated once you incorporate the game’s gacha mechanic: character costumes.
Collecting characters is done in story packs. Most of the cast of characters are free, and what the game has you roll for are costumes that give the characters new abilities. This is a personal preference, but I did not enjoy this method of gacha. The costumes could be more worthwhile, and the game tries to get you to purchase more since you need duplicates to enhance your character. Brown Dust 2 just feels different from a gacha with players collecting characters to build a team. However, some may find this much more enjoyable.
Diamond In The Dust
Brown Dust 2 is a fantastic tactical adventure RPG with stunning visuals, great music and unique storytelling. The gacha mechanics come off as greedy and do not feel like they are worth the gacha rolls, but being able to collect characters through the story makes up for it. NEOWIZ is no stranger to gacha games, and it has a clear winner on their hands.
Is it Hardcore?
Brown Dust 2 excels in almost every aspect and focuses on gameplay rather than gacha mobile game cliches.