Atlus has released new story and character information about their upcoming RPG, Soul Hackers 2, a sequel to the twenty-five year old game, Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers. Following its cult-celebrated predecessor’s meshing of sci-fi aesthetic with the Shin Megami Tensei, Soul Hackers 2 aims to upgrade the concept by coding a new tale about humanity and its relationship with technology.
Set in the Mid-21st century, you play as Ringo, as she and her partner, Figue, must join forces with Devil Summoners, those who live in the shadows of society by harnessing the otherworldly powers of demons, spiritual entities that live alongside humans since the beginning of time, that are instrumental to stopping the end of the world. However, they both soon discover that the individuals they were tasked to protect and assist have already been killed. Ringo is able to use Soul Hack, an ability that is able to intervene and restore a human’s soul and heart, to bring back the devil summoners back to life. Now with a second chance to make things right, Ringo, Figue, and the devil summoners must uncover who killed them in the first place and if they can still stop the end of the world from happening.
A cocktail of the occult, technological philosophy, and the apocalypse is the standard for a Shin Megami Tensei game, but what makes Soul Hackers 2 unique is its direction with its characters and world. Soul Hackers 2 stands to be only one of four games that have a playable female protagonist from the Shin Megami Tensei franchise, through Ringo. She also is one of the few characters throughout the franchise to have her own voice actor, Tomoyo Kurosawa, who voices her dialogue in cutscenes instead of just battle adlibs . The rest of the cast like the cool and thoughtful Figue, the gentle but passionate Arrow, the calm and collected Milady, and the hopeless romantic, Saizo, all round up to be an interesting party that is full of adults. A refreshing departure of teen-centric parties and stories through the recent releases of Persona 5, Persona 5 Royal and Shin Megami Tense 5. This focus towards a more adult oriented story also sprawls into its world.
The city Soul Hackers 2 is set in is a glitzy and digital Japanese metropolis, nightlife filled with average citizens who only know of demons through stories of myth. The city serves as a hub of different stores to shop and Realms, veiled cities that only devil summoners are able to access where demons can freely interact with summoners through facilities that allow summoners to demon fusion, enhance their COMP device that assists the ability to demon summon, and gather intel about world and quests.
On the heels of the success of Shin Megami Tensei 5 and the Persona series, Soul Hackers 2 is shaping up to be an exciting evolution of its predecessor’s foundation, both from the original Soul Hackers and recent Shin Megami Tensei releases. With its bold choices to have a female lead, multi-platform day one release, and its dedication to tackling the way we use technology today: I, for one, am ready to be hacked into its system.