-A good story
-A lot of characters customization!
-Great RPG elements
-Complex UI for PC
-Downgrade on the art style for the Classic Mode
Operation Babel : New Tokyo Legacy came out on Steam recently and was also released on PSVita. The game developed by MAGES. Inc, 5pb. and Experience Inc was published by NIS America on May 16 in North America. Operation Babel is the sequel to Operation Abyss and kept the style of a Dungeon Crawler JRPG. For the first two weeks of the launch on Steam, the New Recruit Labyrinth Support Set DLC (implemented in-game) is a available for free, the Artbook and the soundtrack are purchasable DLCs.
Story and pace
Operation Babel is introduced with Alice and her team exploring the Embryo, a mysterious object that appeared in the sky. This introduction leads to an epic battle on the strange structure and total chaos on the land. Then, we quickly move forward to meeting with Noriko and creating our own Squad,Babyl, to face the upcoming threats. The first hours of the game will be spent investigating in new labyrinths and getting information about various dangers, while learning the different tools of the game. It might feel a bit repetitive at first, but do not worry! The game’s story gets really interesting, escalating really fast from the moment that the tutorial phase is over. The unique story features all sorts of threats from variants attacking on all fronts. Many gruesome discoveries and emotional twist are waiting right around the corner.
Character customization Modes and PC port
The game, originally programmed for PSVita, features two modes: A basic mode and a Classic mode. These do not affect the difficulty of the game, they are simply determining the kind of customization that the game will have. In the basic mode, we get to choose already designed avatars to create a team. The items that we will equip our heroes with will not affect the way they look and there is no way of changing their appearances. In the Classic Mode however, the player has the chance to create brand new characters and customize it through the game.
Many players will appreciate the idea, but the art style is very different from one mode to the other. The already designed avatars have rather complex looks, with unique variations and are very well illustrated. The classic mode features a way more simplistic graphic style with less contrast, shadow and an overall downgrade in the visuals. However, it is only a small detail as this does not affect the gameplay or the difficulty of the game. These two modes are simply made to fit to a player’s preferences.
The PC port of the game does have two small issues, but one that can easily be fixed. The default key configuration for the game does not feel natural, it is rather confusing to say the least. Fortunately, those settings can be adjusted to one’s ideal gaming experience. There is also a full controller support for those who own one. We tried to play both with a keyboard and mouse and with a controller. The overall experience felt better using a controller, but this is only a matter of personal preferences. The second issue that we faced with the PC port was the UI (user interface). While it may be good for PSVita, the UI did not translate very well to PC. It is rather complex and takes some time to get used to it. Many information are on the screen and the location of the description for Items and spells feels quite small compared to everything else.
Operation Babel is a JRPG Dungeon Crawler. In this game, the player gets to build it’s own squad to go explore many Abyss (dungeons). There are many types of Blood (concept similar to classes in other games) to choose from for each characters, they even unlock the ability to have two types of Blood in the game. Creating your own squad and gearing them up is a very nice aspect. Not only do we get to choose who we want to play with, but we can also craft all sorts of items to make them stronger. There is also a possibility to create even more characters to be able to switch heroes if your squad needs it. The RPG elements are there and they are very fun to explore. As for the dungeons, they are labyrinths filled with monsters and puzzles. One Abyss can be explored as many times as we wish, which can give us the chance to level up our characters and earn new gear. At first the dungeons will be rather simple, but they become more complex as the story is being developed. New areas opening in the different Abyss prevents the game from getting too repetitive and also gives a chance for the player to get a more challenging experience each time.
The combat system in Operation Babel is rather simple. It is a turn-based fighting system where each characters gets to perform an action each turn. It is a style of combat seen in many games, but it works in favor of Operation Babel. However, the early battles feel too simple, until the first boss encounter where we are starting to see a challenge. We can really see that the stats and gear of each characters really influence the outcome of a battle. If an encounter is too strong for you, go craft some epic weapons!
Art : Characters, monsters and backgrounds
The game also features some interesting concepts! A great variety of monsters can be encountered in the game, many developed backgrounds and some slightly animated cutscenes. While many games will have a pre-determined color palette, Operation Babel switches between very warm colors, to very cold ones. It really worked well to describe the ambiance of each scene. For the character and monster designs, there really is a large amount of concepts. From the most classic type of heroes with shields or fire balls, to a full squad of girls in swimsuits. Everyone would be able to find a character that they would like! Here are only a few of them:
This game is a really enjoyable one that we would recommend to those who are fans of dungeons crawlers, rpg and story rich games. It has a great story to keep you hooked until the end! The RPG elements are really interesting, with a lot of customization, crafting and more. We can really play the kind of team that we want to play, it is entirely up to the player! The game’s universe does not seem to stop growing as we progress. Many dungeons can be discovered and the ones we already explored keep expending! All of these features can easily make us look over the minor technical issues of the PC port and the slow start of the game. If you are interested to purchase this game it is available on Steam and for PSVita!
All Screenshots are copyrights of NIS America, Mages Inc., 5pb. and Experience Inc.