soul hacker 2, the latest role-playing game from developer Atlus Shin Megami Tensei franchise, offers a mix of classic elements from other Atlus games and brand new innovations and game modes. Although technically a sequel to the 1997 title Fel Summoner: Soul Hacker, Soul Hacker 2 offers a new setting, new characters and a completely new form of the eponymous soul hacking. Instead of hacking into the Internet, protagonist Ringo “hacks” into her party members to connect their minds and souls. Their bonded souls allow Ringo to increase their soul level with each party member – an element critics have compared to both the intimates and social connections present in the persona Series.
Ringo can build and raise soul levels with three of her party members, gaining access to a metaphysical dungeon called the Soul Matrix. Higher soul levels allow Ringo and her party members to perform better in battles against enemy demons and fel summoners. While Soul Levels are superficially similar to Social Links and Confidants in that they serve as Ringo’s primary method of improving relationships with her party members, mechanically the two gameplay elements are vastly different.
Soul levels are exclusive to party members
Social links were first introduced in person 3 and have since appeared in the sequel titles person 4 and person 5, the latter renamed the system Confidants. Everyone persona The game features over 20 Social Links or Confidants, each corresponding to one of the Major Arcana of the Tarot deck, with the Protagonist himself representing the Fool Arcana. Familiars are not limited to the playable party members; the protagonists of Persona 3, Persona 4, and individual 5 can connect with their classmates, teachers, neighbors, parent figures, and even the supernatural residents of the Velvet Room.
Ringo, on the other hand, only has three characters that she can use to increase Soul levels: playable party members Arrow, Milady, and Saizo. The three are human devil summoners, with Arrow and Milady representing the clashing summoner factions of Yatagarasu and the Phantom Society, while Saizo works as a freelancer. Ringo can interact with a number of other characters, including her fellow Aion, Figue, and key figures from both Devil Summoner factions, but she cannot soul level or level up with anyone who is not a member of her party.
Familiars require strict schedule management
With so many familiars to form and a limited amount of time to do so, players of persona Games must strictly manage their schedule to maximize their confidants. Each familiar or social link consists of ten ranks, and most ranks require hanging out with the familiar during the protagonist’s free time. Hanging out with confidants isn’t the only option persona The protagonists are free to spend their free time – including working part-time jobs, watching movies, exploring dungeons, and more – so players are often forced to make careful choices and prioritize only the best during their first playthrough persona Familiar ones instead of exhausting everyone.
With far fewer relationships to worry about and far less time-based gameplay, Soul Hacker 2‘s social system can be far less stressful for gamers than persona‘s daily planning. It’s much easier to weigh which of the three characters Ringo will prioritize and spend time with. This is especially true as the main story encourages spending time with Arrow, whose soul level is required to advance the main story in a way Miladys and Saizos don’t. Players who were frustrated persona‘s Social connections and intimates can find the soul plane system a relaxing, welcome alternative.
Soul planes are tied to the Soul Matrix
Raising the soul levels of the three party members isn’t just a way for Ringo to get to know her party members better. Each character’s soul plane is tied to a vast “dungeon of human consciousness” called the Soul Matrix. Progressing through the Soul Matrix can help Ringo and the party level up, get better gear, and find items and side quests through the Demon Recon system. Certain levels of the Soul Matrix are locked by gates that require a specific Soul level with a specific character to unlock. In order to progress through the Soul Matrix, Ringo must focus on increasing the Soul Levels of all three available characters.
While person 4 and individual 5 Both feature dungeons linked to the human subconscious, they open up as the main story progresses, and aren’t tied to familiars. The Soul Matrix is more akin to Mementos, a multi-story side dungeon in which it can be seen individual 5 Floors open up as the player progresses through the story, and Mementos serves as an option for level-grinding outside of the game’s default dungeons. While familiars are not directly linked to mementos, some familiars require the completion of certain mementos-based side quests to advance them.
Familiars rarely level up during the main story
in the soul hacker 2, Ringo can increase the soul levels of her party members in a variety of ways. Players can use the Demon Recon feature or complete certain side quests to earn Hangout Events that increase the Soul Points of all party members involved in the event. But even if the player doesn’t complete Hangout events, Soul levels can still be advanced by continuing the main story. Dialogue prompts and questions appear in the story cutscenes, and Ringo can choose between multiple answers. Different answers please different party members and increase the soul level of the corresponding party member.
While some dialogue options may appear during the main story that may allow a persona Protagonist, in order to impress certain party members, familiars generally need to spend free time to level up. Focusing solely on the main story leaves the player exhausted with very few familiars. There are a few exceptions, like Goro Akechi’s Confidant in the original person 5, but in general the soul plane system is much easier to develop. Possibly for this reason, some fans and critics have described soul hacker as a simpler or more beginner-friendly version of the notoriously long and complex individual 5
Soul Hacker 2 is currently available for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
MORE: Soul Hackers 2’s dark tone could hint at Persona’s future
https://gamerant.com/soul-hackers-2-soul-levels-compared-to-persona-social-link-confidant/ How Soul Hackers 2’s soul levels compare to Persona’s social links and familiars