Being human, we will always wonder what the next big thing will be. When will holographic technology arrive, will time travel ever be possible? In the event of a post apocalyptic setting, who will survive, who will recreate the world? While answering these, most would assume the humans. In Tokyo Jungle, however, mankind is non-existent. This leavesy an unlikely hero to this game: a Pomeranian.
Tokyo Jungle is a very unique type of game. With no humans to play as, players take on roles of their more primal counterparts. There are no real levels or bosses to fight. The main principle of Tokyo Jungle is relatively simple; survive.
The way players accomplish this simplistic goal is with basic rules of eating, marking territory, and mating. Which would all seem pretty easy at first but there is a little more than meets the eye. Especially when players are only a stones throw away from being something else's dinner. In some cases, this can be used to players advantage especially if being pursued a predator to introduce it to a another animal to fight or eat.
Eating is one of the most successful way to survive in Tokyo Jungle. Both hunters and gatherers have different kinds of ways to survive, which is easier depends on player's skill set. While some will enjoy fighting head on, others might take a more reserved approach. The bigger the plant/prey is the more players health and stamina will replenish. At certain points water will be the only thing to keep players going.
Tokyo is split up into several different districts, each with unknown terrain, animals and climates that are always constantly changing. What might be safe for a few years (years pass by in a few minutes time) could change in a future visit. When player's aren't worrying about being eaten the ever changing climates will put them through their paces, with some like nightfall or rain limiting vision of surroundings and enemies.
Running solo is fun for the first few years, but after 10 or 15 years players will start to get old and will find themselves needing more food to keep alive. This is where mating comes into play. After marking territory, depending on their level (rookie, veteran, and boss ranks) will attract a mate (desperate, average, or prime) to create a new generation. The traits that players picked up will pass over to the next generation, rewarding players that increase their skills before leveling up each generation.
So with all these animals, what happened to the humans? With the two modes available, when players unlock animals in survival mode, it will open up more of the more backstory to the the missing mammals. Unlocking new animals is as simple as finding them ingame and taking them out or completing a series of time sensitive missions.
Tokyo Jungle's gameplay does a great job at being easy to pick but also being hard to master. Some players will be able to live a few years, whereas others will have survived generations.
Playing as an animal is pretty straightforward. The stamina bar dictates how much the player can sprint which could sometimes depend if the player lives or die. Tokyo and it's districts are well sized and fit for players to survive. Some places will get boring after multiple visits, but there is enough variety in the areas to keep it from being dull.
The premise of this game is definitely a fresh of breath of air and a well deserved break from the market this generation. With the feel of a game from the PS2 era, Tokyo Jungle does a great job of changing things up. Capturing a more lush and natural post apocalyptic than other genres, with colors more than grey and off grey with vibrant colors and the spread of vegetation throughout the districts giving off a more lively setting. Throughout the game players will hear one song to survive to (which gives it more of an arcade feel) as well various animal noises, which in some cases will scare the bejesus of of players. There isn't a whole of of right of the bat story for the player to work with which may or may not be a turnoff. Gameplay definitely helps the time go by as players unlock different species and breeds and animals. The quality of this game is very fine, gameplay works, enemies aren't too hard, but sometimes players will get stuck in a corner and become dinner. Anyone looking for a fun game to pick up with an unlikely here should definitely get Tokyo Jungle.
(SCE provided a copy of this game for review purposes.)
Version tested: PlayStation 3
- by Sebastian Marcos for news10.net's Game Guys