Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers is among the many Shin Megami Tensei spin-offs that takes the sequence in a distinct course. While the Persona video games put the SMT method into a recent faculty setting, Soul Hackers 2 takes place in a extra technological period. The authentic Soul Hackers put know-how, the occult, cyberpunk, and The Goonies right into a mixing pot filled with demon essence and birthed a loving cult following.
Soul Hackers 2 — Twisted Fates Trailer | PS5 & PS4 Games
Despite its cult-classic standing, the Soul Hackers sub-subseries (complicated, I do know) didn’t get something greater than a 2012 3DS remake till now with Soul Hackers 2. Much just like the latest Shin Megami Tensei V, Soul Hackers 2 goals to maintain what longtime sequence followers love whereas making the expertise welcoming to come back newcomers with a revamped artwork fashion and accessibility options. In an interview with Digital Trends, Soul Hackers 2 administrators Eiji Ishida and Mitsuru Hirata highlighted how the sport caters to followers of the outdated whereas it brings within the new.
Opening the demonic gates
The Shin Megami Tensei sequence is plagued with the conception that its obstacles to entry are too giant for newcomers to take pleasure in it. Many missed nice video games like Shin Megami Tensei 3 attributable to fixed speak of how tough methods are to kind and the way unfairly robust bosses will be. Atlus’ latest RPGs are extra cognisant of those points and take steps to rectify them and take away obstacles to entry. As a consequence, Persona and Shin Megami Tensei are extra well-liked than ever. The builders of Soul Hackers 2 wish to proceed the momentum of this revolutionary period of SMT.
“This was an important concept from the beginning, but we really wanted to make this game accessible to those who didn’t have prior knowledge or familiarity with the original game system, setting, and characters,” the administrators answered collectively. “Because it has been 25 years since the original Soul Hackers, we figured it might be a large ask to have fans to re-familiarize themselves by playing through the first game again. In addition, we feel a lot of people have learned about Soul Hackers more recently.”
“We wanted them to play this title as a completely new and accessible experience.”
Still, the staff made certain to incorporate loads of components to reward followers of the unique who waited patiently for a follow-up. “Of course, we included plenty of easter eggs that players of the original game might spot, as well as small details that may draw speculations between how the two games may be connected,” they stated.
One of Soul Hackers 2′s most intriguing elements is what the administrators name “mechanics that we felt fit the modern era.” How would gameplay stack up with the unique Soul Hackers whereas retaining issues attention-grabbing? Ishida and Hirarta introduced up the 25 years for the reason that launch of the unique as an apparent motive for gameplay changes in Soul Hackers 2. Of course, advancing the basic “press turn battle system” performs an enormous half on this.
“In the first Soul Hackers, the characters were displayed primarily in 2D. With the characters now being 3D, we feel it gives a wider breadth of options to create even more immersive and convincing cutscenes. In addition, we looked to elevate the press turn battle system — a staple in Atlus titles since Shin Megami Tensei III — to really expand on the benefits of striking enemy weaknesses.”
Influences and Inspirations
One factor that’s instantly noticeable in Soul Hackers 2 is the deviation from the standard look of SMT titles. From the look of the characters to the world’s design, that is one in all Atlus’ most vibrant video games. When I requested concerning the affect of this new design and new artwork fashion, the Directors’ influences shocked me.
“We referenced games like NieR: Automata as we felt it shared some similar elements with this title,” the administrators stated. “It’s a story that follows a main protagonist who is both female and non-human, living in a futuristic society on the verge of decline. In particular, we studied how that game achieves a stylish look for the protagonist, as the camera tracks them from behind in a third-person perspective. Also, as a fun fact, the secret spaces called “Realms” that solely Devil Summoners can enter are loosely based mostly on the Continental Hotel from the John Wick movie sequence.”
Even with these stunning inspirations set in stone, the administrators imagine the visible designs wouldn’t be what it’s with out Artist and Character designer Shiro Miwa. They said that “the visual style of the overall game is built out to compliment Miwa’s distinct approach to character design, which utilizes stylized textures and shadows.” They additionally leaned into the “urban nightlife” aesthetic “to match both the demons who lurk in the shadows of this cityscape, as well as the human characters who live covert lives in the underground scene.”
Looking to the previous
While Soul Hackers 2 takes the Soul Hackers sequence in a brand new course, the builders nonetheless did a variety of seeking to the previous to develop this recent entry. Hirata specifically appears to see the sport as the following important evolution in his very lengthy historical past with the Shin Megami Tensei.
“I feel all of my past experiences during my time at Atlus played a part in the development of this game,” Hirata stated. He then broke down what he realized from among the most notable video games in his gameography.
“During Shin Megami Tensei III, I was fortunate to be involved in building out the battle system. During Strange Journey, I felt I gained a deeper grasp of the worldview of the SMT series having been involved from the project proposal phase in a role supporting the game’s direction. Radiant Historia marked my directorial debut and was where I gained a deeper appreciation for how interconnected the story, world, and game systems of titles are. In Tokyo Mirage Session #FE, I feel I gained further knowledge regarding the development of HD titles and how to elevate battle systems even further. I feel all the skills and experiences I gained from these past titles were critical during the development of this game.”
While there’s a lot Hirata realized from each recreation he’s labored on, he boiled all of his experiences down into one lesson. “I think the main lesson I learned is the importance of approaching things holistically, always thinking about how to give the best immersive experience to users rather than viewing various aspects of a game, like the battle system or story, as isolated components.”
Soul Hackers 2 follows the development of different latest Atlus video games by taking steps to draw new audiences whereas nonetheless retaining issues acquainted to the present lovers of the demonic worlds Atlus created over the previous a number of many years. Ishida and Hirata make it clear that this can be a massive problem, however time and time once more Atlus has proven that it’s as much as the duty, identical to its hardcore followers are able to tackle essentially the most tough enemies in all their video games.
“Although releasing RPG titles in 2022 certainly comes with a certain set of expectations, there’s no doubt in our mind that we feel this game lives up to them,” they concluded.
Soul Hackers 2 launches for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X on August 26.
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