Spirit of the North 2 is an enchanting and relaxing fox adventure

In this adorable sequel, a new fox and his raven companion hope to rescue the guardian spirits of the land.

Infuse Studio

The last five years have seen a minor renaissance of games where you play as an animal, and I’m all here for it. Stray, Untitled Goose Game, Lost Ember, and Spirit of the North are just a few examples that have taken advantage of this charming trend. Developed by Infuse Studio and published by Merge Games, Spirit of the North 2 looks to continue what made the first game released in 2020 a fantastic, atmospheric adventure about a fox roaming a world inspired by Nordic environments and folklore. I was able to try a short alpha demo of this sequel at The MIX showcase during GDC 2024 and so far it aims to be an even better, more expansive experience than the original.

Another fine four-legged adventure

Spirit of the North 2 Open World Environment
Just a fox with a bird friend standing on a rock in a river. That's pretty cute.

SOURCE: Infuse Studio

One of the main improvements made in Spirit of the North 2 is the fluid movement of the fox protagonist. The developer on site said that the team decided to start from the ground up, adding new animations that make the animal feel more lifelike. By comparison, how the fox jumps, swims, and simply turns around is fluid and less choppy. Even better, you can customize the fox’s appearance, changing everything from its build and weight, to its tail shape, fur, and muzzle length. If you equip various runes found throughout the world, the fox will be marked with shining blue tattoos that emanate with spiritual power.

The narrative of the sequel, much like in the original game, is told without words. You will need to pay attention to visual cues, etchings, and other objects in the environment to understand the plot and what the fox is meant to do as it travels about the various regions of the open world. While the demo featured the foggy burrows of Misthaven, the developers have also revealed the bright forest of Mosswood and the blackened volcanic terrain of the Ashlands. Each biome has new relics, runes, scrolls, and temples that must be sought to revive the lost guardians who have been corrupted by a dark shaman named Grimnir. It was unclear, though, why these guardians were cursed in the first place.

A fox as cunning and sly

Spirit of the North 2 Cave Crypt Ruins Exploration
Something happened in these ruins long ago. Can the fox solve its mysteries?

SOURCE: Infuse Studio

Purifying each guardian spirit doesn’t require combat, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Much of the adventure revolves around puzzles, figuring out where certain objects are supposed to be placed and how to activate runes so that they open a door. In some cases, the fox will need to call upon his friendly companion, a raven, which can pick him up short distances. In effect, boss encounters will be large puzzles with multiple steps, so you’ll have to put on your thinking cap to solve them. According to the developer, it will take roughly 8 to 10 hours to rescue all of the spirits, as long as you don't get stumped.

That said, there’s no pressure. You’re free to explore the open world at your leisure and enjoy being a fox. I spent ten minutes sprinting around the misty moors, bounding across the undulating hills. I yipped and barked, though no one was around, just because I could. I wondered about an unusual cairn in the distance as I felt the soothing, natural vibes of the atmospheric soundscape. Like Journey and Abzu, this adventure washed my cares away, which is exactly what I needed in the mayhem of GDC 2024.

Spirit of the North 2 is slated to arrive in 2024 on Xbox Series X|S, PS5, and PC. There are no plans to release the game in early access.

This preview is based on an alpha demo of the game at The MIX Showcase during GDC 2024.

Contributing Editor

Once upon a time, Nick's parents confiscated his Super Nintendo because he was "playing it too much." He has secretly sworn revenge ever since. Nick is now a freelance writer for various video game sites. Powered by iced green tea, he typically plays RPGs of all kinds like Shin Megami Tensei, Elder Scrolls, and Fallout. In his spare time, he follows the latest season of Critical Role.

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