Dark JRPG Death End Re;Quest review: Enjoy anime-style genre-melding combat that includes turn based, fighting, shooting and slots. This game review covers everything a prospective player needs to know, such as: How does the game play? Is the story engaging? How about replayability?
In Death End Re;Quest, players will explore a real and a digital world to unlock the secrets to multiple endings that blend fantasy and reality. And here’s what we thought while playing (this review currently covers up to Chapter 4, and will be updated after release to showcase the complete game)
Death End Re;Quest Review
Developed by: Idea Factory/Compile Heart
Published by: Idea Factory International Inc.
Release date: February 19, 2019 (NA) & February 22, 2019 (EU)
Platforms: PS4 (review platform)
Price at the time of the review: $59.99
Death End Re;Quest Story & Setting
When not in the digital world, players explore the world of Arata Mizunashi. The game sets constant peril for Arata during the investigation, but allows players to learn more about his daily life and his bonds with friends and associates. The story and setting provides a compelling experience of a normal life turning bizarre due to unforeseen events.
Death End Re;Quest Gameplay
Players control Shina as she explores the world of World’s Odyssey, a VRMMORPG she worked on with Arata. Shina and her group of NPCs will encounter enemies in turn-based combat. Players will fight monsters by shooting them with an energy ball in order to start the encounter in a favorable position (increase speed and ailments immunity). The game thus provides a familiar formula for a role-playing game including: merchants, equipment, spells, typing (sun, moon, star) and powerful bosses.
Death and Re;Quest has several innovative ideas and mechanics that set it apart from similar titles. These include the bug system, glitch mode, triact command, and the knockback system. A heavy and central theme is the introduction of bugs in the digital world of World’s Odyssey.
When players are in a fight there will be spots on the ground that are infected with bugs. Walking over them with Shina and other party members will increase their corruption while negatively impacting their health and recovering their SP. When corruption reaches 100%, Shina and other playable members will enter their glitch mode.
Glitch Mode provides an increase in stats and allows a powerful attack to be dealt in the triact command. The triact command allows players to use 3 actions in one character’s turn giving players a slew of options on approaching each fight.
Using the triact system allows players to knock an enemy into another enemy, wall, or at another friendly character to deal extra damage to them. At times, this will look like a chaotic ping pong game yet is so satisfying to pull it off successfully.
Like many RPG games, Death End Re; Quest has a typical status screens displaying stats, equipment, accessories, and costumes for each character. The screens help provide insight on how to optimize a character base on their strengths. (Magic character vs Strength character).
- Magic Attack
- Magic Defense
Death End Re;Quest Audio and Visual
The atmosphere of Death End Re:Quest is hauntingly beautiful. Locations are often bright, colorful and serene. The excellent world design gives players a great contrast of the intended digital world and the corruption plaguing it. The contrast between the gorgeous environments and the dark and gruesome corruption succeeds in making players care about fixing the errors.
Voice Acting for these type of games is typically scarce, so it was a welcome surprise to see excellent voice talent that added emphasis and eloquently delivered dialogue. This is accompanied by a matching music score that sets the right tone for each situation encountered.
Although the visuals doesn’t push the PS4 limits, I found the artistic style of the game to be quite charming and a nice contrast to the darkness of the game. Graphics are probably the weakest aspect of the game, and there is a noticeable difference between cutscenes and the game engine. There are also some strange object rendering issues, but nothing that was terribly off-putting or game breaking.
Death End Re;Quest Final Thoughts
If you are a fan of anime and JRPGs, this is an excellent title that does well at its core RPG elements and provides plenty of exploration and story choice. Seeking the consequences that lie down each of the many paths available is an enjoyable experience.
The game’s replayability lies in the ease of tried and true RPG mechanics and exploration, and is only slightly hindered by some boring side quests that might feel like a filler. But, whoever watches anime is plenty used to those and Death End Re;Quest is a well-rounded, fun title for JRPG anime fans.