Soul Hackers 2 is a mostly in-name-only sequel to the first with an entirely different locale, mythology and art style, incorporating a few elements from later games into the legacy Megami Tensei dungeon crawling experience. But does it prove to be a worthy title for the long-lived franchise, or is Soul Hackers 2 just a hybrid game without a home?
Soul Hackers 2 got a somewhat middling critical reception and wasn't a particularly strong seller for Atlus and Sega - it doesn't have the stylistic flair or heavy character development focus of something like Persona, and its rather monotonous dungeon designs and battles don't stand out much in an era where RPGs have evolved to contain downright brilliant puzzles and combat quirks. I can't imagine the scummy DLC model does it any favors either, as I'm far from the only person to complain about it. But I think if you can set all that aside and look at the game for what it is - a "back-to-basics" Shin Megami Tensei title focused on the series' fundamentals of dungeon crawling and party management, with a few light elements of newer titles blended in - you've got an enjoyable experience. It's got some fun, surprisingly nuanced characters, a pretty heavy and solemn mood, and some inspired (and often quite funny) dialog atop rather pedestrian dungeon crawler/party management gameplay. It may not set any new standards for the franchise or the genre as a whole, but its stronger elements certainly make it worth a try at least; especially since you can pick up physical copies for pretty cheap at the time of this writing.
Platforms: Playstation 4, Playstation 5, PC, XBox One, XBox Series