I tried, I really tried with this one. I’m a big MegaTen fan, but I just couldn’t here. Soul Hackers 2 has some good ideas and has some of the aspects that I love from this series, but ultimately, I was unable to finish the game and it felt like a chore to get as far as I did.
So the game starts with an almost forty minute cutscene sequence and that kinda sets the tone for the pacing here. It is slow, monotonous, and one of the laziest JRPGs I have played in a while which really hurts to say given the studio that it’s coming from.
Just take the dungeon designs for example. They are quite literally just connected hallways and small rooms, there is VERY little actual variety there and the devs couldn’t even be bothered to include chests or other physical treasure to find. The exploration is limited to dead ends that sometimes have one of your demons standing by to hand you an item.
It doesn’t even take that long to get that bad, because by the second dungeon you are literally walking on floating hallways and rooms in cyberspace. It is the most basic of JRPG dungeon designs and is something I would expect from a student project, not a full-fledged AAA production from a respected studio.
The story too. I wouldn’t say it’s been terrible so far, but it has hardly done anything to hold my interest or be remotely unique from other such games in the genre. It’s your typical JRPG sci-fi with just a bit of edge to it, kinda reminiscent of Scarlet Nexus, but with a story that’s a bit more narrow in its focus. This is good in some ways, but given the already slow pacing, it’s a bit of a pain as you wait for things to build up and the sheer number of cutscenes included here does not do it any favors.
The only thing I outright enjoyed here would be the combat, which if you’ve played a MegaTen game before, you’ll already be familiar with. It’s your usual turn-based combat, elemental attack types, strengths, weaknesses, bunch of items to use and upgrades to equip, and my favorite element – the ability to recruit demons and fuse them together into stronger ones, the series staple.
All of that is some good stuff. Granted, it doesn’t really do much to elevate it further than that, but at this point I will take what I can get from this game. If anything, the combo stacking mechanic was kinda cool and a great way to emphasize different attack strategies over just “pick one target, defeat it, and move on to the next”.
Outside of that, there’s nothing else really to note here. It’s a roughly 30 hour JRPG with okay graphics, okay music, and fun combat, but absolutely awful dungeon design, a monotonous gameplay loop, and a story that leans more towards boring than interesting. I had planned to finish this one up for a full review, but honestly, I just can’t see myself burning any more time than I already have here, so for now, that’s all I got to say.
Quote: Soul Hackers 2 is one of the laziest JRPGs I have played in a while. It may have some fun combat, but comes with some absolutely awful dungeon design and a monotonous gameplay loop.
Soul Hackers 2 retails for $60 USD on Steam, but you can get an official Steam key for 17% off using my Gamesplanet partner link. This also applies to the deluxe and premium editions of the game. It is also available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
I was provided a review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.