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Tails Of Iron 2: Whiskers Of Winter Preview – Oh Freezin’ Whiskers


Tails of Iron was one of my favourite games of 2021 – I unashamedly gave it a 9.5 in my review. That’s a big score, and with a big score comes big expectations when a sequel hits the market. Tails of Iron 2: Whiskers of Winter is that sequel and is launching later in 2024 on consoles and PC. I went hands-on with the game’s prologue (also the game’s upcoming Steam Next Fest demo) to see if it would get my whiskers tingling with anticipation.

If you haven’t played the original, both Tails of Iron and its successor are 2D side-scrolling action-RPGs featuring challenging Soulslike combat, gorgeous medieval storybook art, and narration by Geralt of Rivia’s gravelly voice actor Doug Cockle. It’s a winning combo that once again proves to be a solid foundation for developer Odd Bug Studio to build on. I really can’t emphasise how much I love the art style and the world; it’s packed full of detail and the design of the characters is fantastic, and as someone who grew up reading the Redwall books, the world and premise of Tails of Iron is originally what enticed me to the game.

For those who played the first game, Whiskers of Winter is not a direct continuation of Redgi’s story. It’s set in the same world and follows the events of the 2021 title, but this time around we’re following the journey of a young rat named Arlo – the heir to the Warden of the Wastes – out for revenge after an attack by an evil group of bats known as the Dark Wings ends in tragedy.

In terms of the gameplay, Whiskers of Winter is more of a refinement than innovation – a decision that makes sense given that so much of Tails of Iron worked extremely well. Players will once again need to choose a build that suits their playstyle while being mindful of their overall weight, as weapons and armour will have varying weights that affect movement speed but also different boons such as fire or ice buffs. One new traversal feature is Arlo’s grappling hook, which allows him to reach previously inaccessible areas and return to higher ground.

If you’re not here for the incredibly striking artwork or the anthropomorphic whimsy, you’re probably here for the Soulslike combat, which despite my initial confidence, is not like riding a bike, and I was quickly reminded that patience is required to succeed in these games. Thankfully save points are generously placed throughout the world, so replaying sequences doesn’t feel like as much of a slog as it could be.

While it’s likely not as difficult as other Soulslike titles, Whiskers of Winter certainly packs a punch and getting used to the colour-coded attack system that indicates whether you’ll need to dodge or parry took me a few rounds to get back into the swing of things. But as per, the boss fight elevated the challenge even more, making the taste of success even sweeter when the beast was finally slain.

One new addition to combat that I got to see is that Arlo must sharpen his weapon frequently, otherwise it will deal little or no damage to enemies. There’s a sharpness gauge in the top left that players can keep an eye on, but monitoring this and keeping your weapon sharp is integral to coming out of battle alive.

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The prologue lasts around 30 minutes and will give players a taste of what’s to come later this year when Whiskers of Winter launches. Despite not being a huge fan of Soulslikes, I had a blast with Tails of Iron, willing myself to get the platinum trophy, something I don’t do very often. Thankfully, Whiskers of Winter is shaping up to deliver another excellent Souls-inspired adventure and one that has rocketed to the top of my most anticipated games list for 2024.

Previewed on PC // Preview code supplied by publisher

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Written By Zach Jackson

Despite a childhood playing survival horrors, point and clicks and beat ’em ups, these days Zach tries to convince people that Homefront: The Revolution is a good game while pining for a sequel to The Order: 1886 and a live-action Treasure Planet film. Carlton, Burnley FC & SJ Sharks fan. Get around him on Twitter @tightinthejorts


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