Atlus has arguably taken the crown as the fan-favorite JRPG developer in the modern era. Though slow to gain popularity at first, Persona 5 cemented that series as essential playing 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 making for years, including the series that one was spun off of, Shin Megami Tensei, and also Soul Hackers.
One of the other SMT spinoffs, Soul Hackers only had one entry back in 1997, leaving a 25-year gap before a sequel was announced in 2022. There’s plenty to be excited about if you’ve enjoyed this studio’s recent releases, so here’s a full breakdown of everything we know about Soul Hackers 2.
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We love when a game is announced with a release date, which is exactly what happened with Soul Hackers 2. The game will be out on August 26, 2022, in all territories. This is a somewhat rare move for Atlus since they usually have a gap between their games released in the west compared to Japan.
Soul Hackers 2 will be available on nearly every modern platform out there. You can grab the game on your PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. There was no mention of a Switch version, however.
The first trailer, appropriately enough, is the Soul Hackers 2 announcement trailer. It opens on Ringo in a bizarre place that looks out of time, being woken up by a voice she calls Figue. She floats through a void of cubes before the music kicks in and the trailer really begins.
We hear Ringo learn about what Devil Summoners are, plus we get a look at a wide range of cast members whose purpose it is to prevent the apocalypse. The trailer throws a bunch of terms at us, like the “Great One” and Phantom Society, that we aren’t supposed to understand fully quite yet. From there, we are treated to a bunch of different gameplay segments like combat, shopping, exploration, and dialogue. It ends with Ringo identifying herself as a “superintelligent being born from the sea of information. And I’m here to stop the apocalypse.” Whatever that means.
The rest of the shots are more for setting the tone of a bright, neon-infused cyber adventure with stylish characters and familiar demons to fans of Atlus games.
The second official trailer for Soul Hackers 2 is much shorter and opens exactly as the first one does. This time, we get some new shots of characters, a few new lines that we can’t make much sense of out of context, and a repeat of the mission: To save the world.
While the trailers don’t give too much away, we can learn more about what’s going on thanks to the game’s official website. Here, we learn that the world is in a state where technology has advanced to the point that people are obsessed with convenience and commercialism. Under the surface, there is also a war going on between two factions of Devil Summoners, the Yatagarasu and the previously mentioned Phantom Society.
Aion is a hivemind created from humanity’s data and evolved into a consciousness that predicts humanity’s downfall, and thus creates two agents in human form, Ringo and Figue, to prevent the apocalypse.
Your team of playable characters, at least known so far, 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 character who operates Mimi, who is a drone shaped like an owl. The other three party members, Arrow, Milady, and Saizo, each come from the Yatagarasu, Phantom Society, and freelance Devil Summoner groups respectively.
Other important characters are Iron Mask, the leader of a C Project in the Phantom Society, Zenon, an artificial demon created by Iron Mask, and other members of the Phantom Society.
While we can’t be completely certain yet, it doesn’t appear that knowledge of the first Soul Hackers game is required to play Soul Hackers 2. So far, the entire cast is made up of new characters, and everything about the story is unique.
If you’ve played Persona 5 or Shin Megami Tensei 5, then Soul Hackers 2 will feel like a familiar middle ground between these two combat systems. You will have a party of four characters at once and enter turn-based battles. Each character uses a demon for their abilities, which all have strengths and weaknesses just like enemies. Hitting an enemy’s weakness won’t cause them to lose a turn, though, but instead builds up to a Sabbath ability that functions just like an all-out attack from Persona. Once you discover an enemy’s weakness, you can instantly exploit it — if that character has the appropriate skill — at the touch of a button.
Otherwise, expect your mostly traditional turn-based battle affair, with managing HP, SP, items, and equipment.
Demons are equipped on characters using a COMP, which you can do during battle at the cost of a turn. These are each character’s unique weapons that can be modified and upgraded. On the social side of things, you can explore the sci-fi-inspired Japan, as well as special Realms where Demons hang around and mingle. When hanging out with party members, such as getting a drink at a bar, you will level up their Soul Levels, functioning very much like Social Links from the Persona series.
Demons can be acquired during battles by negotiations, though in a much more streamlined system, or fused together to make new and more powerful companions.
Soul Hackers 2 is a traditional JRPG through and through. That means it will have a lengthy, single-player-only campaign and perhaps a new game-plus mode, but no multiplayer components at all. That should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Atlus games, though.
Soul Hackers 2 was already up for pre-order on the day it was announced. You can go and reserve your copy for any platform of choice on the game’s official site, but you will need to pick between three different versions: The Standard, Deluxe, and Premium editions. Here’s what you can find in each.
Standard Edition — $60:
This version is simply the base copy of Soul Hackers 2, plus the pre-order bonus of a Persona 5 Phantom Thieves Outfits pack.
Deluxe Edition — $70:
For an extra $10, you get everything included in the Standard Edition, plus:
- A booster item pack
- Bonus story arc: The Lost Numbers
Premium Edition — $90:
If want to go all-in on Soul Hackers 2, pick up the Premium Edition, which along with everything listed above, gives you:
- Bonus demon pack
- Costume and BGM pack
- Mary’s Maid frock outfit
- Ai-ho demon
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