You Need to Play 2022's Best Cyberpunk RPG on Game Pass ASAP
Dripping with neon vibes.
Atlus has more than one claim to fame than the Persona series. It announced the sequel to Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers, its long-forgotten Shin Megami Tensei spinoff, with the bright and shiny Soul Hackers 2 in 2022. Now, the sequel is available on Xbox Game Pass. Here’s why it’s worth playing while you have access to Microsoft’s subscription service.
Soul Hackers 2 takes place in a futuristic Tokyo on the brink of apocalypse. Ringo and Figue, two sentient AIs created by the data god that runs the place, embark on a mission to stop the end of the world and end up joining forces with a couple of Demon Summoners on the way. Arrow, Milady, and Saizo are forced to work together after Ringo “soul hacks” them to bring them back to life.
Soul Hackers 2 has a dramatic backdrop with its apocalyptic setting and adult characters who each have their own unique motivations for joining the team. However, beyond that, one of its most praised qualities is how it riffs on the famous Shin Megami Tensei formula.
Think like Pokémon, where players have to account for type advantages and weaknesses, and gain perks based on how they play into them. It’s not the exact same as Shin Megami Tensei or Persona, but it’s just similar enough that it gives players an incentive to change up their party members’ Persona monsters and strategize based on types. In fact, it’s easier than Shin Megami Tensei 5 because it doesn’t punish you for accidentally attacking an enemy with a type that it’s strong against.
Soul Hackers 2 also takes risks separate from what’s already working with other Atlus games. It parts with Atlus’ tradition of silent protagonists and focuses on more mature characters rather than the high school-aged ones from the Persona series. These story elements might be hit or miss depending on the player but still appear as something that Atlus obviously put effort into with its bar-based “hangouts” and character backstories based on romantic relationships and similar nuanced problems.
Now, Soul Hackers 2 isn’t one of Atlus’ best games. In fact, it set a terrible precedent for the industry with its Day 1 DLC and our reviewer called it a “lackluster attempt at a more approachable Persona.” However, it’s also arguably one of the latest cyberpunk games that drips with style and doesn’t suck. You can wait for one of Atlus’ other games like the upcoming remastered Etrian Odyssey collection or play older ones like the underrated Devil Survivor. If you have Soul Hackers 2 “for free” on Xbox Game Pass, it’s worth trying to nail down your own opinion on it, though.
Soul Hackers 2 is coming to Xbox Game Pass on February 28, 2023. It’s also available on PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.