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The free-to-play online game, Seven Knights 2 was released to a worldwide audience since November 2021, meaning the waifu collector has been available on PC, iOS, and Android for about four months. However, you may be wondering if this game is more than just another cash grab, gacha, run of the mill mobile game. In this review, I’ll go into details on why this Action-RPG has a lot to offer, and how once you start it’s hard to put down. If you’re a fan of Genshin Impact this one will grab your attention in the same way, bringing its own unique flavour into the mix.
Seven Knights 2 Review – 100 Days In
Developed by: Netmarble Corp
Published by: Netmarble Corp
Korean Release date: November 2020
Global Release date: November 10th 2021
Platforms: PC, iOS, and Android
Price: Free, with optional in-game microtransaction shop
What is Seven Knights 2?
From the creators of Star Wars: Force Arena, Seven Knights, Raven, and Marvel: Future Fight, comes Seven Knights 2. I won’t beat around the bush, it’s a gacha, free-to-play, online Action-RPG, with hack ‘n’ slash elements to put it plainly. Like Genshin Impact, it has a massive cast of characters, with one or two new characters released every two weeks so there is no shortage of characters. Seven Knights the original title was released only for mobile, but Seven Knights 2 is also playable on PC.
The goal is to collect as many characters as you wish, to face various challenges. Similar to Genshin Impact, you get some free characters, but you have to wish/summon to get these other characters. With a pity system that gives you a guaranteed legendary hero after a certain number of wishes.
Unlike the open-world in Genshin though, Seven Knights 2 has a linear campaign and instanced endgame content. So think of it more like Honkai Impact. You finish the campaign on five different difficulties to increase the challenges and rewards you get.
It doesn’t have character creation, as the story follows a certain set of characters. However, you get to highly customize your team with the choice of four characters, as well as the gear and stats they use. You need a big cast of characters levelled and geared to face various challenges, especially with some content locking characters into a certain challenge, forcing you to pick another team for the second and third challenge. So it relies on strategy and planning.
Seven Knights 2 Review: Story and Setting
Seven Knights 2 plays into a heroic fantasy setting, with the team of heroes venturing out to save the world, after a catastrophe emerges upon their hometown, taking those who are dear to them.
The game starts 20 years after Seven Knights 1, but it witnesses some significant changes from the original story. Hence, it implies that the second instalment occurs in a Parallel timeline, so not a direct sequel in that sense.
It picks up several years after the sacrifice of Karin, to prevent the awakening of the God of Destruction. After the day of advent, the seven knights have separated, each going his separate way. Some are nowhere to be found, while some held onto old grudges and continue their plight. The once Empress of Fodina, Eileene, has raised a daughter and continued her life as the commander of the Daybreak Mercenaries.
On a calm day, in a remote village, a destruction stone appeared. The Daybreak Mercenaries went to investigate, but the Legion of destruction caught them in an ambush. Things get rather ugly quite quickly, and Eileene has to sacrifice herself to give her company as well as her daughter a chance to escape. And in her very last words, Eileene prompts her daughter, Lene to go search for Rudy, the Knight of Light, one of the last remaining Seven Knights.
This is the starting point of the Seven Knights 2, and from now on, players will fight the legion of destruction tooth and nail all over the world. The plot goes on, with some twists and turns, until an eventual final showdown with the Legions of Destruction leader.
The Story’s Strengths and Weaknesses
The story plays through frequent cutscenes, and have a full voice acting for all the characters, which is surprising for a mobile game; especially since Seven Knights 1 had the entire story playing through simple text exchange.
The voice acting is decent enough, however, the writing itself is not that good. The dialogue is so simple, and the character’s reactions can go over the top sometimes. Some of the severe moments in the game, such as betrayals play out pretty casually and have little to no consequence.
The plot points you go through are reasonable, and down to the earth at the start. The game tells you, your team is a cast of prestigious and honorable mercenaries, that’s kind of believable at least. The team follow the new leader, Lene, faithfully, going through with helping people, and exchanging favours for information, or support.
They quarrel, argue, sometimes doubt some of Lene’s decisions, but ultimately they never leave her side, or stand in her way. Though they don’t outrightly mention it, but to me, it seems to honour the deceased original leader, and Lene’s mother Eileene.
Sometimes the story leads the group into impossible situations, and the group favour escaping, rather than playing superhero. Though one mysterious child that accompanies you will do extraordinary things, that get you questioning the logic of the whole game.
Overall, the story is nothing compared to heavy story-driven games, such as Genshin Impact. However, it still gets the job done, and introduces you to various mechanics and challenges you will face in the endgame; such as Raids.
Seven Knights 2 Review: Gameplay
At first glance, I saw how Seven Knights 2 has an auto-combat feature, and I almost discarded the entire game. But something in the promotional materials made me a little hesitant, but I was still willing to give it a chance. So I went into the game thinking I would grit my teeth through its auto-combat. To my surprise, this wasn’t the case, and I found the gameplay of Seven Knights 2 to be fun and engaging.
First of all, I was able to customize the team I played with, by picking up four heroes among a massive roster. The roster keeps growing every two weeks, and as of March 2022, it has reached 60 heroes total to pick from. The characters are split into 5 types, not only the classic trinity as in most games: Tank, Support, DPS but adds Univeral and Ranged. This allows you to build very versatile teams, for different challenges; whether you’re heavily focused on one type of character, or have a team with four different types.
This is complemented by Team Formations, a strategy that gives different buffs to each character depending on their position and type. Trying to figure out the right combination of characters and formation, is a constant process; and for those interested in theory crafting and team-building like myself, it’s one of the most fun aspects of the game.
On top of that, you gear your characters in different sets. With a selection of gear sets that give varied bonuses to stats, you can change the way your team functions in each battle. You can enhance your gear to get a higher item level and main stat, and you can transcend the gear to raise its sub stats.
Finally, you have the option to enchant the gear with up to 3 additional random stats. Then you have another choice in accessories sets, with a different set bonus that could have a dramatic overall effect; such as total immortality for a set amount of time, increasing all status effects accuracy, or reviving once again upon death. All these help you tailor your characters the way you want.
Auto vs. Manual Combat
The combat runs on auto by default, with the option for players to turn each auto feature on and off on the fly. That might seem boring, and counterproductive until you dive further in. The very first thing you will learn is that playing boss battles on auto is almost impossible, even in a campaign. The only time this is an exception is if you have much higher gear than the specific challenge.
For bosses, you need very precise positioning for most of the party. As bosses have large AOE skills that could one-shot your team, you to read clues from the boss, take control of the team, and take them out of harm’s way quickly. Not only that, but in battle starts, or after re-positioning, you have to take the tank, and draw the boss’ attention away from the more fragile team members. Some bosses will randomly target certain characters, placing a bomb on them; which deals moderate damage to a targeted character, and twenty times more damage to characters in AOE. If you don’t take them away from other characters quickly, then the whole team is killed, making for an interesting mechanic.
On top of positioning, there are other mechanics that all have to be played manually; such as boss suppression, killing minions, switching targets, and timing skills. After performing manual acts, you have a few seconds to switch back to the auto-combat, and catch your breath.
Auto combat ensures using skills on cooldown, and normal attacks on the target all the time, so it’s a good way to maximize your DPS. So in reality, Seven Knights 2 has a hybrid combat style, with the right amount of manual input, creating a good balance between both styles.
High Action Endgame Content
The campaign follows a linear progression through the narrative, and it does well to introduce you to all Raid bosses as well as introduces similar mechanics via story progression. However, the raids take these bosses to a whole new level, where you fight these bosses daily, with an increased level scale. You go through ‘tiers’, with each tier giving the boss more HP, attack, and Def; and every few tiers giving the boss new mechanics.
Single-player Raids are intense, action-packed content, that requires full manual control. But there are also multiplayer raids, with four players, and eight players. The rewards are used to craft and refine endgame gear, strengthening your characters.
Dungeons are yet another set of content you can challenge at endgame, to get various upgrade materials. You kill different bosses daily, and farm them for gold, experience, Soulstones, Elixirs, and Runes. Dungeons come in tiers similar to Raids, and both contents have different hero choices to counter certain mechanics.
For Raids, you need heroes with specific resistances to various debuffs based inflictions. The good thing is, these heroes are common, not rare, nor legendary; which means they are very accessible to every player. Furthermore, you need Suppressor heroes, who have the abilities to stop the bosses from using their ultimate power. Each hero has two hero options to suppress, one common and accessible, and another stronger and rare or legendary.
There are other endgame modes, such as the Celestial Tower, Field Exploration, Board, and Guild Raids. Each of these PvE content has a unique playstyle, that yield various rewards. Most of them are quite intense to clear for the first time. With more content in the Korean version, that waits to be introduced to the global version, similar to Lost Ark.
Seven Knights 2 Review: Monetisation
One of the biggest questions for any free-to-play game is the monetisation model, and how reliant is it in terms of progression. I’ve played both Seven Knights 1 and 2, and as a mobile game (with PC port), I was able to keep playing Seven Knights 2 as a side game I have played daily for more than three months. So I’ve spent quite some time playing the endgame content, and am quite familiar with all aspects of it.
Seven Knights 2 uses an in-game currency called “Ruby”, which you earn by playing the campaign, doing field exploration, clearing content and challenges for the first time, and doing in-game daily activities. These can be used to summon new heroes in featured banners, open up masteries, or buy additional entries to daily activities. Ruby can be purchased for real money, alongside other in-game resources. However, the game rewards you with summon tickets for heroes, equipment, and pets, so you don’t spend your Ruby currency.
For me personally, I’ve acquired 52 of the 60 heroes in-game through my 100 days of playing free. The game is very generous in terms of rewards, as long as you have a strategy. Not only that, but the game rewards your heroes for free at certain account power. During events, they give hero selectors tickets, which have powerful legendary heroes to choose from.
You can easily go for a long time without summoning new heroes at all. The limiting factor will be the resources you need to spend to upgrade these heroes. So, managing your account comes down to which characters to invest in, rather than which characters you summon.
So in conclusion, Seven Knights 2 is very free to play friendly, even with new heroes releasing every two weeks. You can save up enough resources from just playing the game daily to get everything you need.
Seven Knights 2 Review: PvP
PvP in Seven Knights 2 is the ultimate test of account power, and money spent on the game. So in short, it’s whales’ territory, with no chance for free to play players to climb to highest ranks. As scary as this might sound, it’s still fine, and shouldn’t persuade you into spending if you do wish not. As most rewards from PvP are tied to participating, rather than winning.
There are two modes in PvP, Arena, and Guild Wars, with Arena split into two activities. In both modes, you fight on auto, with no option to manual control or alter the behaviour of your heroes in any way. So it comes down to strategy, formation, and team power.
Participating in Arena, whether you win or lose, grants you arena points, a currency used to buy some resources in the shop. The arena points have a daily cap everyone can reach within a few matches, though it requires logging on more than once a day. Aside from that, you get a reward based on the tier you reach at the end of a season, which have a very small difference between tiers. Since a season spans over a long time (or several patches) you don’t really miss out on anything major from staying on low tier. Spending your resources to focus on PvP before PvE is a real waste, as you will not get much in return.
Guild war is where you can score some wins, as you join guilds, and matches against other guilds, rather than power tiers. So you have a higher chance of encountering people from the same power levels as you, or even lower. You get to see your enemy teams before starting and pick a fight which you have a higher chance of winning.
Seven Knights 2 Review: Audio, Visuals and Performance
The graphics of Seven Knights 2 are simply stunning, I couldn’t believe the promotional materials at first. As a gacha game, the focus always lies on characters models, their outfits, and animation. Seven Knights delivers this on these fronts, especially if you play on a bigger screen via PC, to see the details you missed a much smaller mobile screen.
The world is linear, but you get to see enough of its beauty. It’s designed in a clever way to feel like a world, with background details in the distance. Auto combat gives you a better chance to take note of your surrounding environment. The game offers extensive graphics options, to customize your experience on both mobile or PC, depending on your specifications.
Stand out feature of Seven Knights in my opinion is the animation. With a very detailed capture of every character and enemy animations, you can get to feel the impact of movement and combat. Every aspect of the character has physics, even the outfits, which react to every tiny movement of the character. If the same level of attention were given to all other aspects of the game, Seven Knights 2 would have made a huge impression on a much larger audience in the west.
Performance – Mobile & PC
Performance-wise, it runs smoothly, without any issue on both mobile and PC with cross-save. Since it has an official port to PC, I didn’t need to go through the dreaded experience of trying to run it on an emulator, unlike the first title which didn’t have an in-built PC version. The results are great graphics without the worry about performance. Loading times are not bad either, even using an old HDD.
To be frank, in regards to music Seven Knights 2 is very generic and unmemorable. With the exception of a few tracks in desert areas, the soundtracks of Seven Knights 2 does a poor job, compared to the great graphics and animation it entertains. This is an area where I think it lets the game down.
Going through the campaign, you will hear different tracks from area to area. They help set the atmosphere of the place, don’t get me wrong. However, they are very static, lacking any dynamic reaction to what you are doing. Whether you fight, explore, or have a dialogue, the music ultimately stays the same, feeling lazy and lacklustre. It’s such a disappointment, compared to all other good things Seven Knights 2 does right. It doesn’t even live up to the level of the music score in the original Seven Knights 1.
The voice acting on the other hand is decent enough, even for the secondary characters you meet briefly on your journey. While the writing doesn’t exactly stand out in its genre, the delivery of voice actors is solid. Whether you play in the original Korean language, or English dub, both did a great job. With some of the classic English dub actors from great franchises such as One Piece and Naruto.
If you have been looking for a mobile ARPG to play while away from your PC, Sevens Knights 2 is a good choice. It offers enough engagement but doesn’t require long hours dedicated to playing. At endgame, you can log on, do a handful of daily activities and log out. Any farming you need can be set to AFK auto-combat. While the actual challenges need manual control. So it strikes a balance between many aspects, not many mobile games offer.
Even if you are a full-time PC gamer, you can still fit Seven Knights 2 into your schedule and even enjoy it on PC. While waiting for a raid party to form in your favourite MMORPG, you can pull out your mobile and do some quick dungeons in Seven Knights 2. Or upgrade your team for PvP. It doesn’t demand a lot of your time like other MMOs and doesn’t handhold you entirely either. So you can play at your own pace. It doesn’t require any money spent either, so it’s another good free-to-play game to pick up if you rather not spend real money on microtransactions, although it does have this option.
If you want to check out more free-to-play titles be sure to read next Lost Ark Closed Beta Gameplay Impressions: Gameplay, Classes, PvP And More and you can drop by our Lost Ark wiki for all the latest. For those more interested in a PC and mobile hybrid, check out our Genshin Impact Genshin Impact Closed Beta Preview – Breath Of The Elements.