Growing up, there were many franchises that I adored but only a few remained predominant in my life as I grew older. One of these franchises, Digimon, was a TV and gaming staple in my household, so when it was announced that Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth was being released in the west I couldn’t help but let nostalgia enhance my excitement for the game’s release – and thankfully, this is a game that is exciting to play even if the nostalgia is non-existent.
The 5th game in the Digimon Story series, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth takes place in an alternate Tokyo where a virtual reality world called EDEN is all the rage and has made itself a staple in society. The story starts when the main character, Takumi or Ami Aiba depending on your choice, is approached by a hacked EDEN mascot in a private chatroom. When they meet up with fellow chatroom occupants Nokia Shiramine and Arata Shanada in the hacker-filled dungeon of EDEN called Kowloon, all 3 are given the ability Digimon Capture which allows them to scan ‘programs’ called Digimon and turn them into digital copies they can use how they like. However when Aiba is attacked by a program which corrupts their player profile before they can fully log out, they return to the real world as a digitised persona, becoming acquainted with Detective Kyoko Kuremi shortly thereafter who then takes them under her wing and has them join her detective agency as an Assistant Cyber Sleuth.
As the western release of Cyber Sleuth is the first time the game is appearing on a home console, the PS4 port holds up well when compared to its portable counterpart and the range of environments that you can explore are vast, creative and aesthetically pleasing, whether you’re exploring the different levels of Kowloon, roaming around the crossings in Shibuya or visiting areas where the Digital and real world collide. When paired with the electronic-based and fast paced music that plays throughout the game as well as the stellar Japanese voice acting that lends authenticity to the game’s setting, it’s easy to become immersed in the atmosphere of Cyber Sleuth and forget that there are things that you need to do aside from exploring Tokyo and EDEN.
Like most RPGs, one of the most important aspects of the game is how you fight. As it runs on a 3-team set up with 8 Digimon in reserve, turn-based combat and 4 different types of Digimon that counteract with each other (Virus, Data, Vaccine and Neutral) there are numerous ways to mix up your team and make things either very easy or very difficult depending on your set up. Aside from freshly Digivolved Digimon joining your team in later chapters, the only battles in Cyber Sleuth you may find challenging are the boss-like battles that happen roughly once per chapter, but with the game’s combat you can be as strategic as you like when taking them down, especially when the occasional guest Digimon assists you.
If you’ve completed the story and you’re not sure what to do with your life, then here’s some good news – there are 12 additional missions available as free DLC on the Playstation store if you want to keep playing, collectables in the form of 500 Digimon Medals and a New Game+ option if you want to play through the story again, all of which is good if you find yourself wanting stay as a Cyber Sleuth for just that much longer.
After clocking 24 hours of gameplay, I’m currently 7 chapters into the story, while new case files are being delivered from the DigiFarm every hour and a very light dent has been made in both my Medal collection and the Field Guide, which catalogues the Digimon you come across on the field and have created in the DigiLab – from here there is no end in sight, however the slow burn and time-draining experience of RPGs like Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is one that I’ve come to love over the years.
For Digimon and RPG fans alike, this is the perfect game to start up and waste the day away in. With its quick paced story, strategic gameplay, colourful characters and beautiful graphics, prepare to get wrapped up in everything Digimon and wish for your very own Digimon Capture hacker skills.
International Women's Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900's - a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialised world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. Find out more here.