This story is part of CNET's coverage of Apple Arcade, including exclusive first looks we got at some of the service's high-profile new games.
Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm, the open-world action fantasy RPG from Cornfox & Bros., launched its Golden Edition update on Friday. It's the biggest update since its exclusive iOS release in 2019, according to a release from the indie game developers. The developers teased two major Oceanhorn 2 updates last December. The second update is still to come.
"We're streamlining and enhancing the play experience dramatically with this update in addition to expanding with new content," Heikki Repo, creative director of Cornfox & Bros., said in the release.
The revamped game has two new expansions: The Shield of Chronos and The Criminal Hunt. The Shield of Chronos unlocks a side quest where you can explore a new dungeon and acquire a special shield that deflects projectiles back at enemies. The Criminal Hunt is a series of mini side quests in which you're essentially a bounty hunter chasing down surly characters like Sir Stingalot and Baron Slimethorn. Capture them and they'll be locked up in White City's prison.
Cornfox & Bros. also expanded the 20-hour game's ending with new scenes to make the themes more understandable for those who hadn't played Oceanhorn: Monsters of Uncharted Seas, released in 2013. Knights of the Lost Realm is a prequel set 1,000 years prior to the events in Monsters of Uncharted Seas. To clear up any confusion, there's more exposition and new parts that have been to the Oceanhorn 2 story.
One of my favorite parts about Oceanhorn 2 is its colorful graphics, which will remind players of the Zelda games or the 2002 version of Kingdom Hearts. The Golden Edition gave the game several quality of life improvements as well: Bug fixes, an optional 60-frame-per-second mode for higher-end devices, a new physics-based water simulation, revamped menus, better gameplay communication, new spoken dialog and music. The 60fps option could be the beginning of Apple Arcade appealing to more console gamers.
The Golden Edition of Oceanhorn 2 polishes the story of a young Knight on a quest with his friends, Trin, the granddaughter of Arcadia's leader Archimedes, and Gen, a robot armed with a Samurai weapon. All three characters are controllable as you journey across Gaia to defend Arcadia against Warlock Mesmeroth's Dark Army.
Many people are still staying inside amid the coronavirus outbreak pandemic, even as lockdowns are easing up. Playing a video game can be a welcome distraction from stresses in the news and a way to pass the time. For me, Oceanhorn 2 harkens to a simpler, more nostalgic time.
Apple's $4.99-a-month gaming service has been updating a few games every week in tandem with releasing new titles for its growing catalog of over 120 games that you can play on the iPhone, Mac, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple TV. After Apple Arcade's release in September, the company had firmly staked its claim in the mobile gaming world, but there may .