After nearly fourteen years of silence, fans will finally be able to play another game in the Devil Summoner series. Atlus has announced the long-awaited sequel to 2008’s Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon. Soul Hackers 2 is an upcoming action, a role-playing game developed by Atlus. It will be published in Japan by Atlus as well. While in North America, its publisher will be Atlus West, and in Europe, it will be SEGA.
Soul Hackers 2 is part of the critically acclaimed Demon Summoner series. The first game of the series was released all the way back in 1995 but only in Japan. The series was introduced to western audiences with 2006’s Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army. The series has amassed a huge fan base which is eager to play the sequel.
Soul Hacker 2: Expected Release Date
The game will be released in August 2022. Fortunately, the exact date has been announced by the company. Soul Hackers 2 will be released on 25th August in Japan and on the 26th in North America, Europe and Oceania. The game will be released on PS4, PS5, XBOX ONE, XBOX Series X/S and Microsoft Windows.
The decision to release the game on last-gen hardware seems wise. As the game is not very hardware-intensive, there is no reason to exclude the previous generation.
Visuals, Art Style And Game Play Mechanics
The game features a turn-based combat system typical of role-playing games. The combat system will be built upon the existing Press-Turn formula with some modifications. The actual combat involves physical attacks, magic spells as well as summoning demons. After progressing sufficiently in the game, players will have the option to negotiate with enemies and avoid direct combat.
The player can also combine two demons to create a new one. This fusion will have the characteristics of both parents. The game contains the usual RPG elements like collecting items, upgrading weapons, learning spells and socializing with NPCs.
Soul Hackers 2 has a revamped art style. Shirow Miwa, a famous Japanese manga artist, designed the characters.
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Simple Narrative, Effective Characters
Soul Hackers 2 depicts a conflict between two groups of devil summoners, namely the Phantom Society and the Yatagarasu.
The timeline is a fictional take on the 21st century. The main characters are Ringo and Figue, two supernatural entities who travel to the world of humans to save them from an apocalyptic event. This might seem to some people like a strangely generic ‘save the world’ set-up. And to some extent, it is.
What the narrative of Soul Hackers 2 lacks in originality, it makes up for in character design and development. The NPCs are compelling, and having interesting backgrounds. The party members are especially well-crafted and do not give off any ‘procedural generated’ or ‘robotic’ vibes. This plus point is the saving grace of the rather underwhelming narrative.
Being a dungeon crawler, Soul Hackers 2 already has intense competition. To stand out in such a saturated market, new dungeon crawlers have to push the very boundaries of innovation. With this game, however, it seems like it fell short of the target by a significant margin.
The levels look and feel quite similar. And after a few hours of playing, they all just mix up together. This makes playing the game a rather repetitive experience. The visuals of the dungeons are not the only problem, though. There is an obvious lack of things to do on the levels. Puzzles are few and far between, and when they do show up, they don’t exactly lift the mood. They feel like half-assed attempts at prolonging the playtime rather than engaging the player’s mind.
Conclusion: Should You Play Soul Hackers 2?
As mentioned above, the level design leaves much to be desired. But as long as you enjoy the combat, which you absolutely will, you can enjoy fighting your way through hordes of demons. Some players might be scared off because of the unfamiliar universe and the sheer amount of preceding titles. But they don’t need to worry too much, as Soul Hackers 2 is more of a reboot than a sequel. It builds upon the story of the previous games without overwhelming new players.
You will definitely benefit if you have played the previous games, but you won’t be confused if you haven’t. Overall, it is the perfect opportunity for long-time fans to jump back into a beloved franchise while also providing a firm stepping stone for newer players. This is all for today’s article. Thank you for reading.