Soul Hackers 2 (PlayStation 5) Review

By Lilly K. 14.12.2022

Review for Soul Hackers 2 on PlayStation 5

Atlus is probably best known for the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series. Soul Hackers 2, also part of the Shin Megami Tensei Franchise, was released in August 2022. This title has been both developed and published by Atlus and is available on a variety of platforms, such as the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows PC. The following is a look at the PS5 version.

Soul Hackers 2 is a turn-based RPG set in the future, in a modern city. Before starting, players are treated to a cut-scene of one of the characters looking very cool. Naturally, all party members are very cool, as is so often the case in Atlus' titles. Some of the information revealed at the start may come across as confusing. Luckily the main characters keep discussing their circumstances over and over until everyone, even the player, has a grasp of roughly what is going on.

To put it simply, the vast amount of data available in the future enabled the creation of an AI calling itself Aion that is learning about and overseeing the human world. This world is no stranger to demons and being a Devil Summoner is a common job. Devil Summoners can make use of captured demons' abilities for battle. The type of demons are no strangers to those that previously played other Atlus titles, as many a known creature makes a return, especially the favourite Jack Frost.

Screenshot for Soul Hackers 2 on PlayStation 5

The story kicks off when Aion predicts the destruction of the world due to the death of two key characters. Subsequently, Aion "births" two human lookalikes, Ringo and Figue, to save and help out those individuals. Unfortunately, they're too late. However, Ringo decides that her best course of action would be to attempt Soul Hack on one of the victims (Arrow), which can bring someone back to life. Nobody is sure about the risks that come with soul hacking, however since the world is doomed anyway with Arrow dead, she decides to go ahead. It works, and what follows is the trio trying to determine what will bring about the end of the world. This involves, simply speaking, gathering information and being prepared for battle using caught demons.

Overall, the story is not particularly something to identify with, as it is all very futuristic and cool. However, the setting is sure intriguing, and so are the characters, including the other party members besides Arrow, Ringo and Figure. All party members aside from Ringo and Figue are Devil Summoners, however Ringo is picking up the job fast as the main playable character. Other party members can be controlled during battle.

When exploring dungeons, enemies can appear at random. The player is controlling Ringo when walking around, and in dungeons her character is a stand in for the rest of the group, ensuring that the screen isn't too crowded. Ringo can knock enemies down with her sword, at which point it is up to the player to decide whether they'd like to engage in battle by approaching or continue to explore the dungeon. This concept is similar to titles such as Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore and a really handy concept when battling is getting tedious while exploring.

Screenshot for Soul Hackers 2 on PlayStation 5

Cut-scenes are mainly in engine, unlike Persona 5 which had a good handful of anime-style cut-scenes. Sadly, the ones in Soul Hackers 2 could really do with a bit more attention to detail, as they are just a little bit off, for example when shaking hands.

Another aspect worth mentioning are stairs. This is not exclusively a case in Soul Hackers 2, but also still observed in other recent titles. After inventing virtual reality, ray tracing and all sorts, it seems like the one thing that hasn't been thought about is programming characters climbing stairs properly. Characters just kind of float upwards not actually setting foot on single steps, and it just takes out of the experience, especially when everything else looks really good. Hopefully this issue will be the next thing to be fixed.

Despite all of this, Soul Hackers 2 is really fun and intriguing. At the very start, players can choose whether they prefer to set it to Performance or Graphics Display Mode. This reviewer decided to use Performance Mode, allowing the game to run at 60 FPS, whereas Graphics Display Mode will provide players with a crisp 4K resolution. Since the art style is not exactly meant to be realistic, there is not much to lose by choosing performance over graphics, but it is up to the individual. Not to worry, though, as this setting can be changed whenever ones feels like it. Playing on the PlayStation 5, this usually runs without any problems.

Screenshot for Soul Hackers 2 on PlayStation 5

The design of the dungeons can feel a little repetitive but is overall not a massive issue. While exploring dungeons, players can meet with their own demons that will supply them with money, items, or even a new demon to recruit, an overall interesting concept. Apart from the main story, there's a variety of side-quests available, and there is, of course, a type of social element to this title, as well. So is it that the closer Ringo is to one of her teammates, the higher their Soul Level will become.

Ringo can also explore the city and purchase items and weapons that may help the team in their quest. Overall, Soul Hackers 2 can be rather fascinating and enjoyable, especially for perfectionists and trophy hunters. The story is rather intriguing, and the characters all have interesting pasts and backstories that are worth exploring. The soundtrack is not nearly as great as in other Atlus titles, but it is fitting and well-made.

Screenshot for Soul Hackers 2 on PlayStation 5

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

An intriguing story, interesting battle system, and signature art style is usually a good combo, and Soul Hackers 2 is no exception. It is easy to get lost in the story or side-quests and enjoy battling a variety of demons. For anybody enjoying Atlus' other turn-based titles, this is definitely a must-have.

Developer

Atlus

Publisher

Atlus

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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