Through social media like Twitter and Facebook, I had the pleasure of knowing some great artists all around the world. People whose drawings or simple sketches seem to be alive! A few days ago, I found some incredible sketches so unbelievably good that they seemed too good to be just a sketch… They looked real…they looked alive. So, I ask you: have you ever thought about your drawings becoming alive? Well, the developers from the American studio Hitcents have been making this crazy idea of mine a real thing since 2011 with the series Draw a Stickman. And now, for the joy of every Xbox player who is also a fan of the series, they brought us Draw a Stickman: EPIC 2!
In this sequence to 2015’s hit, you must rescue a friend who is tearing the world apart after a mysterious ink fell on him. Use the power of your drawings to solve puzzles and try to rescue your friend in this charming game!
What do you do? Draw a Stickman: EPIC 2 is a very unusual RPG game that has some similarities to Capcom’s classic Okami: here you will use your drawings to fight enemies, solve puzzles and help the inhabitants of a magic book in a beautiful hand-drawn world.
- Visuals: If you have already played the first installment of the series, be it on your console or your cellphone, you have a good idea about what you will find here. The series is widely known by its visuals with the aspect of a child’s drawing book, what makes it unique and very special. This sequence follows the same formula of the first title, but with an overall more polished aspect than the first one – but without losing any of its charm so characteristic.
- Simple but charming story: You start your adventures in Draw a Stickman: EPIC 2 drawing your character (with the controller… don’t you go using a pen on your TV please) in a canvas. Feeling alone, you drew a friend right after but, when your friend jumps out of the canvas to explore the world, a mysterious ink falls over him, turning him into an evil… drawing and jumps inside a book. Without hesitation, you go after him trying to stop him from spreading evilness. At first sight, a simple story of good vs evil, but with enough reasons for you to pursue it to the end.
- Gameplay: Inside the book, you will venture through different chapters, solving puzzles to help other characters who live there. As you explore its pages, you will unlock new drawings and with them live the magic of the game because each drawing can be used for a special purpose: you can draw leaves on dead trees to make them live again or wires connecting batteries to electronic devices to make them work. You can also draw tools like pickaxes to break stones or keys to open chests. Unlike the leaves and wires, these tools are always with your character, so you always have them at your disposal. All your drawings are at your disposal in your sketchbook so you can redraw them if you get tired of their visuals (or like me, start comparing your drawings to the developers’ to realize how bad designers you are).
- Secrets: I don’t know about you, guys, but I love when developers hide some secrets in their games. While exploring the levels, you can find some hearts that will increase your maximum life and hidden colors for your drawings. But exploring them a little deeper you can find special sketches for your characters and tools. Can you find them all?
- 2 games in 1: Have you finished the game? Good for you! Now it’s time to venture through Draw a Stickman: EPIC 2 DLC, Drawn Below, which comes with the main game. It bravely changes the formula of the game to a dungeon explorer, keeping the other elements that make it so incredible. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I wish they make the next installment of the series following this DLC formula (hmm… How about ‘Epic Dungeon’?). It’s easily going to make any of those lists of best DLCs of the generation.
- Sound: While the sound effects of the game aren’t all that great, the music of this game is magical. Annoying sometimes but still charming, they give the perfect mood to the adventure. But it still feels under the overall level of the game.
- Combat: The combat is, by far, the worst aspect of the game. In the final part of the adventure, you will unlock the ability to draw a sword and use it to eliminate all the foes that gave you so much trouble up to this point. But fighting them is really despairing! You can almost never say if you hit an enemy or if they hit you because the collision detection is pretty bad. It makes obtaining some achievements much harder than it should be. I really wish they address it in future updates.
This second adventure in the world of Drawn a Stickman is as Epic as the name imply. It’s simply amazing to see your drawings gaining life in a game! The visuals and gameplay mechanics are splendid, be you a fan of the first game or just a player seeking something different – and I doubt you will find something even close to what you will experience here. It’s a pity the combat mechanic feels so broken, taking away some of its shine – especially in the DLC. But it’s unquestionably a great game. Kudos, Hitcents: you did great again!
With a history of gaming that goes from his old man’s Atari 2600 to his Xbox One, Rafael or RAF687, our Brazilian editor, has a love for games as old as he can remember. He has already spent countless hours in many consoles (Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, PS1, PS2 and Xbox 360) and is always ready for more (as long as his wife is asleep). Raf has been writing for LifeisXbox since 2017, with a passion for games of almost all genres – though we know he has a special place in his heart for RPGs, racing games and anything that includes pixel art. Writing about games has always been a childhood dream to Raf, dream that he has fulfilled reviewing games for you here. You can drop him a message at Twitter, Facebook or Xbox Live at any time.