Soul Hackers 2 Hands-on Preview: Best Fiends

    With its most up-to-date Persona video games, Atlus has landed on a stylized presentation that elevates its beloved RPG franchise, making it as cool to take a look at as is it’s enveloping to play. Twenty-five years after its predecessor was first launched and a decade after it made its method to North America on the 3DS, Soul Hackers 2 provides a sci-fi twist to Atlus’s fashionable sensibilities and probably provides RPG followers a unique tackle what they already like in regards to the developer’s titles.Soul Hackers 2 is the follow-up to Demon Summoner: Soul Hackers, itself a sci-fi spin-off within the Shin Megami Tensei franchise. GameSpot obtained to spend a couple of minutes enjoying Soul Hackers 2 at Summer Game Fest 2022, the place we obtained a fast sense of how the sport will play. According to Atlus, whereas the primary Soul Hackers had a fairly hardcore RPG bend which may have turned off some gamers, the sequel is trying to be a bit of extra welcoming, whereas additionally seemingly borrowing numerous what works from current successes like Persona 5 to current a brand new story.

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    Now Playing: Soul Hackers 2 — Announce Trailer | PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC

    While it is a sequel, Soul Hackers 2 is its personal story, set in the identical world as Soul Hackers however with out persevering with that story. It’s additionally trying to present gamers with a considerably extra mature story than, say, the Persona games–with Soul Hackers 2, you are coping with a gaggle of characters who’re older, moderately than these making their approach via highschool. But that is additionally a supernatural sci-fi RPG, so count on some fantastical components; for example, there are demons, and also you summon them.Our hands-on time did not present a lot of a way of the premise of Soul Hackers 2 or its general story. You play as Ringo, a personality created by a sentient synthetic intelligence and dispatched to cease some coming occasion from ending the world. As you may count on, you recruit different characters to affix the ranks of your staff, together with rival factions of satan summoners, who wield the power to make contracts with demons and harness their powers.Demons are on the middle of the sport, providing you with powers in battle like magical spells, offered you will get them to affix up with you. For occasion, we entered a dungeon and dispatched our demons forward to verify the place out. Exploring alongside the best way, it was attainable to fulfill up with our demons, who had discovered objects or intel in regards to the dungeon. Sometimes, one among your allied demons may discover a demon to fulfill you, providing you with the chance to recruit them to the staff, as well–provided you are able to do what they ask. As we ventured via one dungeon, a pig-like demon was prepared to affix up so long as we had been capable of give him a few tasty objects from our stock. The demons in your staff can help you equip assault abilities to your characters, so having an excellent selection helps make you simpler in several conditions.You additionally struggle demons all through the sport, and we encountered a model of the pig demon within the dungeon earlier than one determined to affix us. Enemies seem as characters strolling round dungeons as you discover them, and whilst you can hit them to knock them down or dodge round them as you are transferring via an space, touching one sends you right into a turn-based battle. Soul Hackers 2’s fights are all about uncovering details about your opponents after which exploiting their weaknesses with elemental assaults. A daily melee assault may do minimal injury in opposition to one form of demon, however one other sort that is weak to that sort of assault takes large injury.Every time you exploit an enemy’s weak spot, you earn one “Stack” level, as nicely. At the top of your flip, Stack factors are robotically used to summon your demons, who then lay into your opponents–basically incomes you a robust bonus assault. This “Sabbath” provides extra demons the extra Stacks you handle to construct up throughout your assault part, so the extra intelligently you struggle, the extra devastating your end-of-turn demon strike.Managing your demons goes past simply recruiting them once you discover them on the planet. You may also use numerous crafting supplies to “fuse” two demons collectively, creating one thing new. We briefly noticed the fusion system in motion, choosing two of our lesser demons to make a stronger one. The system provides you the choice to customise your creation based mostly on the demons you used to create it; every demon has a set of skills, and once you make a fusion, you’ll be able to select which of these authentic skills to carry over to your new demon to customise it as essential.As you may count on from an Atlus RPG, whereas fight is a giant a part of Soul Hackers 2, you are going to be spending a complete lot of your time participating with the sport’s characters. Enhancing your relationship along with your teammates is a crucial a part of the expertise, not solely as a result of it expands on the sport’s story, but in addition as a result of it empowers you in battle. During our hands-on, we had been capable of provoke a Hangout session at a bar with one among our teammates, Arrow, beginning a dialog to get to know him higher. Your decisions via dialogue throughout these moments can can help you deepen your relationship with characters–make decisions that result in them trusting you extra and contemplating you a buddy, and you may improve their Soul Level.You’ll additionally improve your Soul Levels with teammates as you progress via Soul Hackers 2’s story, relying on the alternatives you make alongside the best way. It seems like doing so may have some fight advantages as your group turns into a stronger staff. It positively has story advantages, too; Atlus stated throughout our hands-on time that growing your Soul Levels with completely different characters may even unlock entry to new bodily places, in addition to extra story for these characters. Overall, it seems like investing in elevating your Soul Levels goes to repay with extra time along with your characters to construct relationships, and probably, extra story for the sport general.Our have a look at Soul Hackers 2 was a quick one, however regardless of the abundance of options like fusion and demon negotiation, it does appear fairly approachable, even for gamers who aren’t super-familiar with SMT, Persona, and Atlus’s model of role-playing recreation. Battles are easy and simple to grasp, whereas nonetheless rewarding you for sensible play and tactical considering. But essentially the most attention-grabbing a part of Soul Hackers 2 looks like it’s going to be the sport’s dedication to its characters, with loads of room to speculate time in attending to know your staff and the world they inhabit.Soul Hackers 2 is headed to PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S on August 26.

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