It’s been a struggle to stay spoiler free as we approach the much anticipated release of Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony. As the first original game being released for the PS4, excitement has been through the roof among fans like myself. So when I got a chance to play the demo to help tide me over until the September 26 release date, I was shocked when the game gave away the death of a major character from the previous games and anime! Not to mention the previous protagonists being locked into this new killing game with the new cast. Couldn’t they have saved such a big reveal for the real game!?
Then I came to my senses and realized that the game was just messing with me, continuing its running gag of having Hagakure serve as the murder victim in the demo, only for him to survive all the way through the main game. But among the returning characters from the previous game is a whole new cast of ridiculous students with their own unique talents, with each of them suspected of this most recent murder. As the new lead, Kaede Akamatsu, we’re asked to take on the familiar task of searching for clues in the point and click sections of the game. It’s immediately apparent that the game is putting the extra horsepower of the PS4 to good use, with sharper, more detailed environments as well as character portraits that serve as charming, bright contrasts to the dreary backgrounds of the new academy.
This time, Kaede is going to have to work a little harder if she wants to load up her Truth Bullets, since the environment is far more interactive this time around. Important items can be found under tables, chairs and other obstacles, so what do you do when you need to move furniture around? You slap the crap out of it! The new ability to slap items out of the way is as hilarious as it is addicting, spicing up the sometimes tedious investigation segments.
An investigation doesn’t mean much if you can’t put your findings into action, which is why the returning Class Trials continue to be the highlight of the game. In the past, you would shoot down contradictions or point out statements you agree with to discover who the killer really is. As with investigations however, this time is a little more complex. Mass Panic Debate does its best impression of the 2016 debates by having characters talking at the same time over each other, asking us to find the contradiction in a myriad of statements simultaneously. If snowboarding for the truth wasn’t weird enough, the new Psyche Taxi literally has you driving down a road to pick up the truth. Other new mechanics include an updated Hangman’s Gambit, team debates where two halves of the class take sides and argue back and forth, (which was a golden opportunity to call it a mass debate…), and the much touted ability to lie with the new Lie Bullets. How it will change the flow of both the story and game play is exciting, which is why I can’t wait for the next two weeks to pass!
With the game right around the corner, what characters have left an impression on you so far? What did you think of the demo? And who are you hoping to see return? Let us know in the comments!