Sneak Peek: Atlus and Sega's 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim

by Jacki Jing,

Synopsis: 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is SEGA and Vanillaware's newest sci-fi mystery adventure taking players on a journey across time, space and humanity spanning thirteen intertwining stories. Met with high praise and recognition from Japanese game industry leaders, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is beautifully rendered in Vanillaware's signature visual style and will provide audiences a chance to uncover a deep story through visions of the past and future.

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim does not hold back with an action-packed opening scene, throwing you right into an epic mecha/kaiju faceoff. The fast-paced EDM music blasting in the background gets your blood pumping and the whole time you're asking yourself, “Why? What happened? How did we get here?”

The first few minutes got me! Renya Gouto appears to be the head-honcho, I can't say for sure, but you know he's going to be condescendingly pushing up his glasses in later scenes. He guides you as you attack monsters in mechs piloted by Iori Fuyusaka and Juro Kurabe. Iori seems just as confused as you are and Juro is that confident, yet naive, hero that you hate, but low-key love at the same time. The gameplay is your typical, turn-based RPG, not complicated, but nothing shouted out to me WOW. So, you are in the heat of battle and then, you suddenly wake up in a classroom… Was it all a dream? Must have been, because I think Fuyusaka straight up says something like, “I remember doing this in my dreams” -- so now the plot has me intrigued. What the hell is going on here?

Quite the juxtaposition. Gentle sun rays peek through the windows, you can hear students' laughter, the music is entrancing, melodic and relaxing. This is a hard shift from the city under attack scenario to start off the game. You play as the protagonists, catching up with friends, talking about action movies, romance interests, the usual! You start off as Kurabe, and later you can play as Fuyusaka, from the preview guide this “sci-fi mysteric epic span[s] thirteen intertwining stories, so you'll probably get to enjoy/suffer through different perspectives. Since this game doesn't come out until September, I can only talk about the Prologue, but the gameplay is easy to understand, it guides you well, directives light up in green, it signifies which button to push. You meet people and get items and the protagonists makes connections, moving the story along in a digestible way.

The game was a real treat, hands down, the best part is the visuals. It looks like a painting, I actually feel like I am walking around in a gorgeous, mind-blowing manga. It truly is breathtaking. My only frustration was that it has this 2D feel which can be kind of annoying while moving around and trying to interact with people/items, players will probably get it after a bit, but in the beginning I found myself, being like wait, huh?

The plot definitely seems like something we have seen before, but it also seems different enough, and I want to see more of the layers pulled back. I am not chomping at the bit to play the game, but it was easy to get through, unwinding and gorgeous. Would love to go through it with a friend and just enjoy the ride, but I am also not dying to play it, but visually, auditorily it's delightful.

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