Digimon are the champions!
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth on PlayStation 4
Digimon has never had as much fun in the limelight when it comes to video games as its competitor, Pokemon. For one, whether you believe it or not, Digimon tends to cater to a slightly older crowd with its talking monsters (none of that just repeating their own name nonsense) and mature humor. On top of that, the narratives tend to focus more on the world at large than just a plot revolving around the Digimon.
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth places players in control of one of two avatars (your choice between male and female) and throws them into a world where the digital world and reality collide. The internet is not what it used to be, people can dive in completely and move about as if it were the open world. Digimon are tools for hacking this digital world, and how you connect with one is the beginning of the game’s biggest mystery.
Using Eden (the internet) can sometimes have really bad side-effects, the chief of which is Eden Syndrome. Players must work to uncover the true cause and cure of Eden Syndrome while working for the Kuremi Detective Agency. This job serves as the center of a huge part of Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth’s gameplay and how you interact with the world.
You are a hacker and Digimon are your tools. They’ll help you get to places as well as take out any threats that may come against you. But, you can only use them when in the digital world. Since you work for a real world agency your time will be split between walking the streets of Japan and jumping into the internet to solve problems.
Gameplay on the real world side of things isn’t very exciting. You walk around and find the person you’re supposed to talk to – that’s essentially all there is to it. You can do a bit of searching for rare items off the beaten path, but the maps are incredibly simple so there isn’t much exploration to be had.
Maps are rather simple in the digital world as well, but there are a lot of activities within that help make up the bulk of the game and all the reasons to stay invested. Here is where you’ll encounter battles, scan Digimon, and eventually build up your roster. With over 200 Digimon available in the game, fans will definitely spend a lot of time in this realm.
Obtaining monsters in Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth requires encounters in which you scan their data. The more you fight a particular creature, the more data you get so you can create them for yourself. It’s a system that works well as it allows you to earn a lot of the lower level Digimon in order to farm for the higher ones.
This is where the DigiFarm, one of the game’s biggest draws, comes in. You can have many Digimon working and earning experience even as you go about your business. They’ll learn skills and become eligible for Digivolving which allows you to bolster your own roster with some serious firepower.
There is a lot of depth to the management of your farm and of the many different monsters you’re able to collect. The battle system shares the same depth with its different paradigms for players to master. Digivolving and Dedigivolving in order to get the perfect skill set, pulling off cross combos, and leveraging your weakness so that you always have a plan make the turn-based encounters truly engaging.
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth’s story is impressive as well. While the center focus is definitely the Eden Syndrome and the mystery behind that, there are side stories that are worth your attention. Helping discover a ghost, or finding out what virus has the mall going crazy are fun diversions that keep the constant URL-hopping fun.
The major issue that Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth suffers from, though, is its simplicity. The game can be played on PS4 and PS Vita and you’re even allowed to transfer your save data between the two. Playing on PS4, however, makes it abundantly clear that this game was designed for the Vita and is pretty held back because of it.
The amount of Digimon and control you have over their development is notable, but the world design and simplistic mission structure doesn’t take much advantage of the PS4’s hardware at all.
In the end, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is a solid game. It suffers from a boring real world and being held back by the PS Vita, but the number of available Digimon, interesting story, and control over monster progression is definitely worthwhile. It may not wow PS4 owners in terms of looks and mission structure, but there is plenty to be enjoyed here.