Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy takes place in the near future of Japan. The city has been infested with demons and a secret force, Xth, works in alliance with the police, XPD, in order to investigate and eliminate threats. Players will create a team of high school students imbued with supernatural powers to assist. It’s a great sci-fi anime with an interesting premise and memorable characters, but it’s a bit cliché and doesn’t fully utilize it’s potential as well.
Similar to last year’s Demon Gaze, Operation Abyss is a first-person dungeon crawler. Creating a team will infuse their bodies with spirits, or to be blunt, Persona more or less. Players will take on quests, talk to civilians to gather information, and then proceed to monster slaying in random dungeon battles. That’s the easy stuff, but every system in the game turns the simplistic into complicated and is unforgiving in a lot of weird ways. For example, one must heal in order to level up. Now some of these mechanics can be argued to harkening back to classic styles, but when it’s mixed into great newer ideas, like auto-walking, it just feels weird. Whether it’s the monsters, or the mechanics, make no mistake, this game is a brutal mistress, rewarding only to the most patient.
Also like Demon Gaze, the game is visually bright, yet lacking dynamically. The beautifully drawn characters, monsters, and environments pop with color. However, said drawings are stoic and lifeless and environments lack detail and interest. The voice work and soundtrack are pretty great though. Again, it’s an odd mix of a package, but one chalk full of content for those hungry PS Vita RPG hounds.
Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy is a rewarding, masochistic mess. For everything it does right, it does several things wrong. It’s a mixed bag of old school ideas and wondrous new ones that aren’t fully implanted. Comparing it to Demon Gaze may not be fair, but looking at the two, well, Operation Abyss becomes more disappointing. It’s not so much bad as it is frustrating and will appeal only to the most hardcore of Xth agents.
Score: 2/5 Stars
Special Notes: The publisher provided a review copy. This article was originally published on June 8, 2015 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.