Digimon Survive looks to be a love-letter to the series, in the best way possible

Digimon has been busy carving out its own little niche in the gaming world recently. With titles such as Cyber Sleuth and Hackers Memory managing to garner a pretty dedicated fan-base.
Those titles play similar to a Persona game, but this new one, Digimon Survive, announced as a 20th anniversary celebration title, is different in every way. 

Rather than attempting to explain just how… Beautiful, this game really is, allow me to simply show you the trailer.

You see? You see? It’s common to hear me calling a video-game a work of art, but when I say that in regards to this game, I mean it on another level.

The art-style is crisp and clean, with characters hosting the most gorgeous portraits. Given that these are set in these wondrously pretty backdrops, the whole experience feels.. Nice. Welcoming. Comforting.
The music as well, draws you into this intriguing world, and makes me want to rest my head on a creaky old school desk, quite like our protagonist here.

digimon-survive-Art

This is clearly a passion project by the developers. Nothing with a tone as quiet and content with itself as this will emerge from a busy studio of overworked employees, which is sadly the case in a lot of modern AAA studios, but not here.
It’s handled by a company called Witchcraft, who honestly don’t have much of a notable history within the industry, which further confirms my belief that this is something the developers are very excited, and perhaps even feel honoured, to be making.

If you ask me, I say they themselves are Digimon fans, and want to make something meaningful and worthwhile. I mean, if the anime looked as good as this does, I’d be all over it.

digimon-survive-characters

Anyways, let’s get into the gameplay. Which appears to play similarly to an Ace Attorney game, when out of court. You know, the gathering clues and talking to people part.
Others are drawing a comparison between it and the Danganronpa and Devil survivor series, which I haven’t played personally, but would certainly make for more likely inspirations.

digimon-survive

Where things take a pretty drastic turn though, are in the main “game” part of the game, the battles.
Now these, these play out more like a Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics game, which is just so exciting to me.
I’m a massive fan of this style of gameplay, and to see it combined with a franchise I hold as dear as Digimon brings the smile of a four-year old given a giant lollipop to my face.

digimon-survive-569349

The choice to use hand-drawn 2D sprites in a game like this is one you don’t see often enough these days. Had they gone with 3D models, I guarantee they would not have had the budget to hire someone capable of making them look anywhere near the level people would want.
Seeing a company have the sense to see that themselves is always refreshing. You’ll often see a small studio attempt 3D graphics to make things feel more premium, but end up with a whole mess of a thing. I’m looking at you, Bloodstained

Things appear to play out rather slowly, which I suppose only adds to the whole pace of the game.

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It’s currently set for a vague “2019” release, and is indeed getting an English localisation, excitingly.
Hopefully the devs are given all the time they need to complete their vision, but until then, we can only admire these pretty pictures I suppose.

What do you think? Are you as excited as I am? I’ll 100% be picking this up on Switch the day it drops.

Published by

Ryan McCarthy

I write about games a lot.

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