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Slime Rancher 2 Review (Xbox Series X|S & PC)

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Slime Rancher 2 launched in early access form on September 22, 2022. While this may scare off some players, we promise you that there is plenty of content to enjoy. The game will feel very familiar to those who played the original Slime Rancher. Even if you didn't play the first game, though, you can hop into Slime Rancher 2 without having to experience a learning curve. There's more of everything that made the first game great. Whether you're looking for a cute game or to make yourself one of the most profitable slime ranchers out there, Slime Rancher 2 is a great experience.

A Colorful Island Awaits in Slime Rancher 2

If you thought the Far, Far Range was impressive, wait until you see Rainbow Island. When you arrive, you will have a large conservatory to begin working with. This has a much different feel than the first game's ranch. If you opted to go through the tutorials, something that the game actually asks you about before each playthrough, then you will get caught up in running a few small tasks. The Tutorials don't overstay their welcome and are a great refresher for those who played the previous games. The controls are the same and for the most part, pretty simple to get a grasp on. Even a younger player can land on Rainbow Island and begin corralling slime right away.

As an early adopter of the original game, I can safely say that Slime Rancher 2 is a smooth launch. The game feels good, there are no slimes glitching out of existence, and movement feels smooth. The art style translated well to the Xbox Series X, and the PC version looks just as beautiful. You will notice right away that instead of a realistic style, Slime Rancher 2 has a cutesy aesthetic that loans itself well to the round creatures tromping around in its world. Even the aggressive slimes look positively adorable, even when they're biting chunks out of your health bar.

The only major issue with the design of the game I had is it can be a bit easy to get turned around when you're out and exploring. While Rainbow Island is a beautiful paradise made up of ethereal colors, some of the paths look the same. This can lead you to going in circles, especially before you unlock each area's maps. This is due to the game's large open world map size and the fact that there are several caves and paths that loop you back around. Once you do learn how to manage these, they make for great shortcuts, but they can certainly be frustrating on your first few trips to a new area.

Still exploring is fulfilling as you always feel like you are right around the corner from a new discovery. Whether it's a new underground tunnel or type of slime, exploring in Slime Rancher 2 is rewarding. There is even lore placed around the island in the form of downed drones that are scattered about.


More Slimes, More Problems

One of the most exciting announcements was that the game was launched with new slimes to meet. Every time you find one of these new creatures, it feels like a fun discovery, and you can't wait to vacuum them up for your ranch. While your Angler Slimes and Batty Slimes are all the rage do to their newness, there are a lot of returning faces. Pink Slimes are back in hoards, as are the Tabby Slimes, Hunter Slimes, and even the Boom Slimes. Like in the previous games, each slime has a different diet, and some even have special needs that need to be met before you can ranch them.

For example, slimes like the Batty Slimes need to have a shield on their coral or need to be placed in the cave expansion. Slime like the Puddle Slime needs you to build a pond and won't produce plorts if there near other slimes or they are being watched. Slimes also tend to be quite crafty, and if you don't take the proper precautions, they will escape causing a mess on your ranch. This creates an interesting challenge for players, as part of the game is securing your new pets.

Not every slime can be toated home, if a Largo has formed, you won't be able to suck them into your background. Likewise, there are also aggressive slimes that will attack you on site. These slimes can be in a danger areas or simply just one of the Boom Slimes exploding for fun. You will also find that by feeding a small slime a plort from another slime, you can breed Largos on your farm. This creates another layer of fun as these slimes will produce two different types of plorts.

Things can get a bit messy in the wild, though, as Largo's appear pretty frequently. In many cases, when I was exploring, there would be regular Tarr break-outs. While I can easily maneuver around the aggressive creatures or fire them into the ocean for fun, it did get a bit annoying. It got a bit hard to collect resources of slimes at times due to the high amounts of Tarr Slimes that were running around. Even if you went back home and came back to the area later, they were still rampaging. While you can get an upgrade that helps deal with them, this was a bit annoying in the first few hours of the game.

In addition, special slimes like Gordo's are back and are here to block your path. The only way to get by them is to feed them with food until they pop. This can even be done a bit quicker, as they all have favorite foods that you can gorge them with. The Lucky Slime is also back, and feeding it chickens will award you with currency.


Ranching Away

Most of your gameplay in Slime Rancher 2 will be split between exploration and your ranch. You will need to split your plots between farming and slime pens. Regardless of which you choose, there are upgrades that can be done. Slime pens can be fitted with an automatic feeder and plort sucker to automate the ranching process. You can also install speakers to calm rowdy slime and put nets on the pen to keep them from getting out. When your farming, you can increase the output of crops and poultry by adding on things like fertilizer or grass that contains bugs for your chickens.

I found that costs quickly can add up, so everything about upgrading your ranch is a constantly moving process. One thing that I quickly was reminded of was how important using a net was. One of my first major mistakes involved a Pink Slime prison break. When this happens, the slimes will eat your food up and will plort everywhere, causing unwanted Largos to form. Largos will eventually lead to a Tarr invasion which has the potential to wipe out your entire ranch. The system is fun, though, and nothing feels too out of reach. Each expansion of your ranch is reasonably priced and can be unlocked after a few gameplay sessions.

Ultimately, there are no flaws with this system. It's just learning to manage and contain your slimes. Not doing so will lead to destruction and a lot of throwing Largos into the sea or the nearest incinerator. It feels good to have a nicely organized ranch, but you should be aware that learning how to deal with each type of slime will take some practice.


Getting Into Science

As you play through the game, you will be able to upgrade your equipment using Slime Science. This is another feature carried over from the first game and lets you unlock new abilities. You can expand your storage, get a jetpack, get a resource drill, or even learn to harvest water. You will also be able to make useful gadgets like teleporters that let you quickly travel to and from your ranch. These gadgets are made through a process of coming slime plorts and harvest nodes that you find while exploring Rainbow Island.  You will also be able to make decorations to place around your ranch, and you can find blueprints by opening treasure pods when exploring the wild.

These treasure pods gave me extra incentive to explore every inch of the environment. You can find them hidden low, high, and even behind Gordo's in some cases. It's worth collecting them all, and treasure hunting add another layer of fun to the game.


More Content on The Way For Slime Rancher 2

More Slime content is on the way, and the game will continue to get support for years to come. Monomi Park has already confirmed that Rainbow Island will be expanding to include new areas and new slimes. Quite a few fan favorites like the Glitch Slime have yet to be added to the game, giving players something to look forward to. The developer will also continue to add new features and fine-tune the game. That's saying a lot since the product already runs nearly flawlessly.

Slime Rancher 2 Review (Xbox Series X|S & PC)

Get Ready to Ranch Away

Slime Rancher 2 is another great game by Monomi Park and builds on the success of its predecessor. Whether you are a young or old gamer, there is fun to be had in exploring Rainbow Island and learning to coral your new slimes. With more features on the way, the game has nowhere to go but up from here.

Jessica is a resident otaku and Genshin-obsessed writer. Jess is an industry veteran who takes pride in working with JRPG and indie developers. Along with gaming, you can find them collecting anime figures and having too much faith in Isekai anime.