Shelter 2 Review

Shelter 2 was initially planned to be heavily criticized and only slightly praised, out of decency, by attributing all the merits to its predecessor. They made it, well, only worse, but not entirely hopeless. Unfortunately, the final stretch of our playthrough was marked by a tragic loss of one of the cubs, the grief for which forced us to reconsider our attitude towards everything seen before and after. And he was the most beautiful one – how can we now look the others in the eye?

So much for the superiority of emotions over gameplay.

For the uninitiated, it is better to explain everything right away: this is a game about the animal world and about how individual creatures survive in it day after day, season after season. Original Shelter In all its glory, she showed us the everyday life of a badger – now we are dealing with a simulator of the mother Lynx, followed by four kittens, always hungry, defenseless, and cute. While they grow, you need to feed them, give them water, and protect them from any dangers. There is nothing more important to you than their lives in this world.

A lynx, a key character in the game

Fortunately, the position in the food chain this time is not an obstacle, but an advantage: smaller and weaker representatives of species constantly scurry around, ready to become a meal for little lynxes. You can catch your prey either in an open chase or in an improvised stealth using the surrounding bushes. Hunting is practically the only source of food in the sequel, so it is not worth neglecting the simple running after hares and deer. Who knows what will happen next.

The thing is, the game world suddenly became open. From the very start, several extensive locations are available for exploration, where fauna is randomly generated – there will always be room to roam, but aimless wandering is invariably associated with the risk of ending up in some wilderness without food, even if there used to be plenty of wildlife in the same place. In such a case, it is unlikely that your pack will survive the return journey.

Scene involving food or hunting

To the greatest regret, the gameplay of Shelter 2 ends here. In the first few minutes, almost the entire essence is laid out, and the acquired foundations are not further developed or complicated. In essence, the player’s activity comes down to feverishly repeating actions from the prologue without the slightest hint of changes. It was forgivable for a badger, but we expected something more interesting from a lynx.

A special vision of lynx highlights all the game in the district

The lynx’s special vision illuminates all the game in the area.

And yet the tedious complaints about monotony fade away as soon as you surrender to the flow of virtual life and truly immerse yourself in the role. It is then that you instantly become attached to the plaintively meowing little bundles, ceasing to perceive them as just another target in the game. For some reason, it is extremely important to ensure that everyone remains fed and no one falls behind on the journey, and rare threats like wolves become a first-class nerve-wracking experience – just to make sure no one is dragged away. Time flies behind the daily routine, and yesterday’s kittens are already leaving to start their own independent lives according to the laws of nature. A meager tear rolls down the cheek, bringing closer the realization that there is definitely nothing like the re-creation of parental feelings in Shelter 2.

Goodbye: An emotional scene

The game’s design only serves to enhance the effect. The familiar visual style from the first part feels even better in the new sandbox: frames of extraordinary beauty constantly flicker on the screen, and thanks to the changing seasons, no landscape becomes boring. In combination with the excellent soundtrack, the local nature creates a unique atmosphere, which is worth returning to after completing the game a couple more times.

The only unconditional drawback to all of this is the bugs. You can probably imagine how frustrating it is to lose a cub because it got stuck in a rock or a brave mother starts planning above the ground in a suspended animation jump, leaving her offspring to die of hunger. Many consequences of these software glitches are, of course, prevented by loading a saved game, but the fact remains. Along with the shattered illusion.

Interaction with wolves in the game

In the end, Shelter 2 almost collapsed under the pressure of its own ambitions. The game received an open world, but never figured out what to do in it. The strong emphasis on aesthetics and emotional aspects saves it from disappointment in the old-fashioned way.

Shelter 2
Adventure, Indie, Simulation
Might and Delight
Might and Delight
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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