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TOKYO GHOUL:re [CALL to EXIST] Review

Edited by: Tiffany Lillie

Tokyo Ghoul: re [Call to Exist] is a survival action game based on the Tokyo Ghoul series. Developed by Three Rings Inc. and published by Bandai Namco, you find yourself fighting in a world of humans, ghouls, and hybrids. You’ll have to defend yourself from attacks from all species mentioned and battle your way through different objectives in order to survive and keep fighting another day.

RE: RECOLLECTIONS

There are a number of different modes to play, but the first one you’re confronted with is recollections mode — the single-player, main storyline of the title, consisting of nine main missions and a few side missions to go along with each one. For most of the main missions, you’ll play as Ken Kaneki, a human investigator with the abilities of a ghoul.

Most of your missions are going to involve clearing a few levels of low and mid-tier enemies, then fighting a boss at the end, though there are a few variations in between. The levels aren’t too difficult to beat and while the bosses are occasionally intense, you probably won't need more than one or two extra tries to beat them. However, there are a few ways in which the title does amp up the difficulty. The missions are autosave only, meaning you can’t save scum to beat the more difficult bosses. Once you get killed three times in battle, you also have to start the mission over again, which definitely helps to provide some added pressure to carefully dodge your way around the battle, rather than run in guns (or tentacles) blazing.

Throughout the missions, you’ll uncover more of the main storyline. If you’re unfamiliar with the Tokyo Ghoul series, the story is going to seem choppy at best and confusing at worst. Though you can go into the collections screen and read in-depth explanations of the story, characters, and terms, there is quite a bit left out of the cutscenes between each mission, which does make the story feel fractured overall.

Speaking of cutscenes, the cutscenes aren’t actually cutscenes. They’re almost visual-novel scenes with a still image displayed and a box of expositional text underneath. Though the text is beautifully voice acted (as is the rest of the game), the change from fast-paced gameplay to a still screen does interrupt the overall pace of the title. Given the high price of the game, the lack of cutscenes in favor of still images seems odd, especially given the fact that there’s an entire anime to take scenes from.

RE: SUBSISTENCE

In addition to recollections mode, you can also hop into subsistence mode, where all of the title’s online features are located. To begin, you’ll first need to make your own custom character. While the inclusion of a color slider for the hair and clothes is nice, there is not a whole lot of variety in the character creator. There are only around five outfits per character type and a handful of hairstyles. You also can’t change your character’s skin color (come on, guys), nor their eye color or face type.

After making your character, you can explore all of the different online options. You can jump into campaign mode by yourself or with friends and complete the main stages on normal or hard difficulty. In battle mode, you can fight other players in team deathmatch or point match battles of ghouls versus investigators. Last but not least, you can play by yourself or online with others and try to survive horde after horde of attacking enemies in survival mode.

The online features ran surprisingly smooth for me. I didn’t get disconnected from the server any of the times I played and there were only a few rare moments of lag. Though it was hard to find matches at times and I would have liked to try out the multiplayer features more, the online matches that I did manage to play ran well and were pretty entertaining.

RE: ACCOMPLISHMENTS

It only took me around six hours to beat all of the main missions in recollections mode. The side missions will probably take you another couple of hours. While that’s not a hefty amount of gameplay, the accomplishments section does provide a nice incentive for players to keep coming back and playing more.

With two hundred accomplishments to achieve, there are plenty of challenges for you to take on, such as killing a certain number of ghouls or beating a specific stage of the campaign on hard mode. Each of these accomplishments also unlock a certain reward, such as clothing, hairstyles, and more for the online modes.

RE: COMBAT

Given that Tokyo Ghoul: re [Call to Exist] is mainly about fighting, the important question is: how is the combat? The answer is pretty great.

Combat is smooth and never feels clunky or jagged. Punches, slashes, kicks, and special moves all feel fluid in how they are delivered. The dodging button actually dodges correctly, and the automatic targeting system actually locks on to your current enemy and allows you to hit them. Because all of these features work so well, combat is a joy to partake in. There’s also something incredibly satisfying about filling up your awakening gauge, waiting until a horde of enemies surround you, and then unleashing a special kill move that slaughters all of them in one fell swoop.

RE: GRAPHICS

The graphics are… okay. There’s nothing special about them. The textures tend to be a bit flat, especially on the buildings, but the characters themselves aren’t too bad. The graphics really wouldn’t be too much of an issue if it weren’t for the fact that the environments are boring.

The environments really only serve as a battleground. While you can climb on stuff and break some stuff, there’s not a whole lot you can do outside of that. There are no secrets to be found, no collectibles to be obtained. There’s not really even much to look at. If you’re eager to fight, the design probably won’t bother you too much, but if you enjoy looking at and exploring your surroundings while you battle, you might be disappointed.

In spite of the weak graphics, the title does feel relatively polished overall. I didn’t experience any glitches or stuttering throughout my single-player playthrough and only very minor lag problems while in multiplayer. On the technical side of things, the game runs pretty well, even on the highest settings.

6

The Verdict: Good

Tokyo Ghoul: re [Call to Exist] is fun to play, but a little lackluster overall. The combat is smooth and fluid and there is quite a bit of replay value in the accomplishments and rewards, but given the stilted cutscenes, the lacking character creator, and the weak graphics, it’s not nearly worth its asking price. If you’re a fan of the Tokyo Ghoul series, you’re probably going to enjoy this title, and if you’re unfamiliar with the series but enjoy combat-focused games and think it looks interesting, you might get a kick out of it as well. In either case, wait for a sale.

See About Us to learn how we score

Jade Swann
Written by
Friday, 20 December 2019 07:33
Published in Action

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Jade Swann is an avid video game player and fiction writer. She loves getting lost in open-world RPG’s, making tough choices in story-driven games, and is a big fan of the horror genre. Some of her favorite games include Fallout 3, Fallout 4, Skyrim, Planet Coaster, and The Sims 4. When not immersed in the world of video games, she can be found reading, writing, or spending time with her very lazy Boston Terrier.

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