Soul Hackers 2 is the latest installment in the iconic Shin Megami Tensei (SMT) franchise. The upcoming turn-based JRPG from Atlus and Sega is their first multi-platform release in a long time. The game will grace most major platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, XB1 and XSS|S on August 26, 2022.
Whether you're a newcomer charmed by the game's esthetic or are hyped for a brand new sub-series entry, here's all you need to know about Soul Hackers 2.
What is Soul Hackers 2 about?
The game revolves around Ringo, a super-intelligent AI created under Aion to band together a group of Devil Summoners. These people can talk to, summon and order demons of various kinds using a "gun-computer" or GUMP, which returns from the original Soul Hackers. This useful tool doesn't just replace the series' traditional Demon Summoning Program but also acts as a firearm for combat.
Ringo's ultimate goal is to prevent Summoners' deaths by aiding them and stopping the apocalypse. Facing the threat of the prophesized Great One, the team must also take down the nefarious Phantom Society, who also seem to be making a comeback from the first game.
Additionally, it seems like some of Ringo's party members hold a grudge against the evil organization. Fellow characters include the reserved Yatagarasu member Arrow, the Phantom Society-affiliated Milady, and Sazio, the "third wheel" between the two. Figue is another "Agent of Aion" born at the same time as Ringo. However , she plays a supporting role to the cast at the forefront.
What about visuals and gameplay?
Visually, Soul Hackers 2 sports a cel-shaded art style for both the world and its inhabitants (both human and otherwise). There also seems to be a little bit of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE and Liberation Dx2 influence on the world and UI design. The overall art direction also seems to be very sci-fi-like.
The exploration is done in third-person now, in contrast to the original's first-person dungeon-crawling. As in many modern JRPGs, demonic enemies also appear in the overworld, and not as random encounters. Combat also seems to have taken a cue from Persona 5, with party members being GUMP-weidling Summoners fighting alongside Ringo.
Players can exploit enemy weaknesses to "stack" them, resulting in a Sabato — essentially Persona's All-Out-Attacks — except here, the character summons the demons that they have equipped to dish out heavy damage.
As expected, many of the traditional SMT spells are here, like Zanma (Force) and Agidyne (Fire), which are cast from the GUMP. Familiar demons like Jack Frost and Decarabia are accounted for too. A few others seem to have gotten a design facelift, like the Mermaid from Shin Megami Tensei V.
What is the first Soul Hackers about?
The original entry debuted in 1997 on Sega Saturn, followed by a Nintendo 3DS port in 2013. The title refers to a group of hackers called the Spookies, who fight against the Phantom Society; this vilalinus entity aims to capture everyone's souls using Amaki City's network that interconnected everyone and everything. Players can also travel to this network (called Paradigm X), so we can expect Soul Hackers 2 to follow in the same footsteps with a similar digital world.
However, players do not need to have played the original to dive into this one, as clarified by Sega Europe on Twitter:
Coming back to the sequel, it will skip Nintendo's hybrid console for some reason - and fans are not happy. While we have speculated as to why, the conclusions still don't make sense.
Soul Hackers 2 has also dropped the Devil Summoner label this time around. Perhaps, just like Persona 5, Atlus wants this new title to establish its own identity.