Atlus probably took the crown as the favorite developer of JRPG in the modern era. Although slowly gaining popularity at first, Person 5 cemented that series as an essential gameplay for fans of the genre thanks to the intuitive and rewarding combat system, a great mix of dungeon crawling and social elements, and a healthy dose of style you can’t get anywhere else. However, Persona is just one branch of JRPG that Atlus has been doing for years, including the series from which it was removed, Shin Megami Tensei, as well. Soul Hackers.
One of the other SMT by-products, Soul Hackers only had one entry back in 1997, leaving a 25-year gap before a sequel was announced in 2022. It’s a lot to be excited if you’ve enjoyed the recent releases of this studio, so here’s a full breakthrough of everything we know about. Soul Hackers 2.
We love when a game is announced with a release date, which is exactly what happened with Soul Hackers 2. The game will appear on August 26, 2022 in all territories. This is a rather rare move for Atlus as they usually have a gap between their games released in the west compared to Japan.
Soul Hackers 2 will be available on almost every modern platform out there. You can capture the game on your PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S and computer. There was no mention of a Switch version, however.
The first trailer, quite aptly, is the Soul Hackers 2 ad trailer. It opens on Ringo in a bizarre place that looks out of place, being awakened by a voice she calls Figue. She floats through a void of cubes before the music starts and the trailer really starts.
We hear that Ringo is learning about Devil Summoners, and we get a look at a wide range of cast members whose goal is to prevent the apocalypse. The trailer throws us a bunch of terms, like the “Big One” and Ghost Society that we still don’t have to fully understand. From there, we are treated to a multitude of different game segments such as combat, shopping, exploration and dialogue. It ends with Ringo identifying himself as “a super-intelligent creature born of the sea of information. And I’m here to stop the apocalypse.” Whatever that means.
The rest of the shots are more to set the tone for a bright, neon-infused cyber adventure with sleek characters and familiar demons to fans of Atlus games.
The second official trailer for Soul Hackers 2 is much shorter and opens just like the first one. This time, we get a few new character shots, a few new lines that we can’t quite understand out of context, and a repetition of the mission: Save the world.
Although the trailers don’t give too much, we can learn more about what’s going on thanks to the the official website of the game. Here, we learn that the world is in a state where technology has advanced to the point that people are obsessed with convenience and business. Beneath the surface, there is also a war going on between two factions of Devil Summoners, the Yatagarasu and the aforementioned Phantom Society.
Aion is a hivemind created by the data of mankind and has evolved into a consciousness that predicts the fall of mankind, and thus creates two agents in human form, Ringo and Figue, to prevent the apocalypse.
Your team of playable characters, at least known to date, includes Ringo, Figue, Arrow, Milady, Saizo and Mimi. Figue, like Ringo, was created under the same circumstances at the same time and is a support figure who powers Mimi, who is a drone shaped like an owl. The other three followers, Arrow, Milady, and Saizo, all come from the Yatagarasu, Phantom Society, and independent Devil Summoner groups respectively.
Other important characters are Iron Mask, the leader of Project C in the Ghost Society, Zenon, an artificial demon created by Iron Mask, and other members of the Ghost Society.
Although we still can’t be quite sure, it doesn’t seem like that knowledge of the former Soul Hackers a game is required to play Soul Hackers 2. So far, the entire cast consists of new characters, and everything about the story is unique.
If you played Person 5 or Shin Megami Tensei 5, then Soul Hackers 2 will feel like a known middle ground between these two combat systems. You will have a group of four characters at once and get into turn-based battles. Each character uses a demon for their abilities, all of which have strengths and weaknesses as well as enemies. Hitting an enemy’s weakness will not cause them to lose a turn, however, but instead builds up to a Sabbath ability that works as well as a full Persona attack. Once you discover an enemy’s weakness, you can immediately exploit it – if that character has the right ability – at the touch of a button.
Otherwise, expect your mostly traditional turn-based combat affair, with management of HP, SP, items and equipment.
Demons are equipped on characters using COMP, which you can do during combat at the cost of a turn. These are the unique weapons of each character that can be modified and upgraded. On the social side of things, you can explore Japan-inspired science fiction, as well as special realms where Demons hang out and mingle. When you go out with followers, like drinking a drink in a bar, you’ll level up their Soul Levels, functioning much like Social Links from the Personal series.
Demons can be acquired during battles through negotiations, albeit in a much more streamlined system, or fused to make new and more powerful companions.
Soul Hackers 2 is a traditional JRPG through and through. That means it will have a long, single-player campaign and possibly a new game-plus mode, but no multiplayer components at all. However, this does not surprise anyone familiar with Atlus games.
Soul Hackers 2 there was already a pre-order on the day it was announced. You can go and reserve your copy for any chosen platform on the the official website of the game, but you will have to choose between three different versions: The Standard, Deluxe, and Premium editions. Here’s what you can find in each one.
Standard Edition – $ 60:
This version is simply the basic copy of Soul Hackers 2plus the pre-order bonus of a Person 5 Phantom Thieves clothing package.
Deluxe Edition – $ 70:
For an additional $ 10, you get everything included in the Standard Edition, plus:
- Reinforcement object package
- Bonus Story Arc: The Lost Numbers
Premium Edition – $ 90:
If you want to go all-in Soul Hackers 2take the Premium Edition, which along with everything listed above, gives you:
- Bonus demon package
- Suit and BGM package
- Clothes of the maid of Mary
- Ai-ho demon