Real and digital worlds collide in Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory
Developed by Media Vision and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory is the much-anticipated follow-up to 2016’s Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth. Available exclusively on the PlayStation 4, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory expands on the original game to offer a more complete monster catching experience.
Is this a true sequel? Does it live up to fans of the Digimon franchise expectations? Let’s find out!
Platform(s): PlayStation 4
A Digital World under siege
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory takes place in the same world as the previous game, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth. If you are new to the series, Eden is a virtual recreation of the real world, which is fully connected to the internet. In this world, Digimon can be used to fight in turf wars, break into websites, and steal other user accounts.
This time around, you take on the role of Keisuke Amazawa, and find yourself wrongfully accused of crimes you did not commit. In order to clear your name, you’ll need to explore Eden and find the hacker who has stolen your identity. If you didn’t play the first game, there is no need to worry.
Although Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory is a sequel, you don’t need to have played the previous game to enjoy and understand what’s going on. Instead, you’ll be introduced to a cast of unique characters and a story line that is loosely connected to the original game. This makes it easy for those who haven’t played the first game to jump right in without having to worry about the events that took place in the previous game.
Familiar gameplay with minimal enhancements
For those new to the series, you might feel a little bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information that is available to your when you first start the game. The good news, by the time you are ready to do some serious battling you’ll be up to speed on everything you need to know.
Like its predecessor, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory is a turn-based role-playing game. You’ll have to manage your party appropriately and of course there is lots of monster catching involved. There are over 300 different Digimon to recruit, including all from the last game plus over 70 new additions.
One of my favourite new gameplay features added to this game are the new strategy based Domination Battles. These battles take place on large grids where you and two other AI controlled companions. You must strategically capture certain points in order to earn points. If you encounter an enemy player, you’ll fight for dominance using a normal battle. Once you earn enough points, you win.
Online fun with your Digimon
In Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory, you have the option to face other players online in ranked matches to see whose team of Digimon is the best. What I really liked about playing against others online is that I found myself using battle strategies and using items in new ways that I never thought of when playing against AI.
You won’t be able to play online from the get go. Only once you have some experience under your belt and have reached the DigiLab are you able to access the game’s online component. In addition to ranked matches, there are two more modes: Event Battle and Free Rule Battle. Event Battle changes every two weeks and if successful, you’ll win in-game items.
Free Rule Battle allow you to create a room with your own set of rules and you can invite up to eight of your friends to play online with. Overall, I had fun with all the online components and feel that it extends the life of the game long after you have completed the story mode.
For those that have played Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, you might find yourself taking a double look at Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory. Both games, except for a few minor cosmetic changes, look pretty much identical. To be honest, I was a little let down that aside from colour swapping nothing much else was done to enhance the visuals from two years ago.
Although I do have to mention that I was excited to see that this game includes more cut-scenes during the story. Furthermore, the animations in these cut-scenes appear to have improved over the previous game.
Those looking for a dramatic difference between Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory and Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth might be a bit disappointed. In all honesty, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory feels more like a refined version of its predecessor rather than a true sequel.
However, gameplay has been improved slightly, a new battle mode has been added, and over 70 new Digimon have been added to the game. That being said, if you are long-time fan of Digimon, you’ll find Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory is a worthy investment. And, if you are new to the series, this is the perfect game to start with.
+ More than 370 Digimon to train and digivolve
+ Deep gameplay
+ Lots of content
+ Online Network Battle Mode is fun
– Visuals look identical to its 2016 predecessor
– Doesn’t feel like a true sequel
– Grinding can become a chore
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5