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CryMachina Review: A Flawed but Ambitious Sci-Fi Adventure

Set in a dystopian future, CryMachina is an action-packed game that blends hack-and-slash combat with a captivating sci-fi narrative. Developed by FURYU Corporation and published by NIS America, this ambitious title immerses players in a world dominated by evil robots and a desperate fight for humanity’s survival. In this review, we will delve into the depths of CryMachina’s gameplay, story, visuals, and mechanics to provide a nuanced analysis of its strengths and weaknesses.

Gameplay: A Clash of Intensity and Repetition

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CryMachina attempts to strike a delicate balance between the high-octane combat of games like Devil May Cry and the demanding challenge of the soulslike genre. While it does succeed to some extent, the gameplay experience is marred by moments of repetitive combat and empty level design.

The combat mechanics in CryMachina are fluid and responsive, allowing players to unleash deadly combos and flashy special moves. Each character has a unique playstyle, and experimenting with their different abilities adds a layer of strategic depth to the game. The boss battles, in particular, showcase the true potential of CryMachina’s combat system, often requiring careful observation and quick reflexes to overcome.

However, CryMachina falls short in its regular enemy encounters, which tend to feel monotonous and forgettable. Despite the intricately designed levels and visually stunning environments, they often lack meaningful interactions and fail to provide substantial challenges. The inclusion of optional boss fights within each stage is a welcome addition, but they can be frustratingly overpowered, leading to discouragement rather than excitement.

Story: A Sci-Fi Tale with Unfulfilled Potential

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CryMachina introduces players to a captivating, albeit ultimately predictable, sci-fi narrative. The story revolves around a resurrected human named Leben, an enigmatic Angel known as Enoa, and a skilled warrior named Mikoto. Together, they embark on a mission to revive humanity through the Eve project and put an end to the machinations of the Deus Ex Machina.

Initially, the game’s story concept feels fresh and dystopian, offering a unique blend of sci-fi elements. However, as the plot unfolds, CryMachina succumbs to generic sci-fi tropes, compromising the originality it had promised. The extensive dialogue and cutscenes, while providing important story information, can feel convoluted and overindulgent. The lack of additional language dubs beyond Japanese limits accessibility for non-Japanese speakers, making it challenging to fully engage with the narrative.

Despite these shortcomings, CryMachina’s characters showcase emotional depth and growth, even within their robotic nature. The integration of emotional themes into the narrative adds depth to their interactions and helps players forge a connection with them.

Visuals: A Mix of Beauty and Dullness

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CryMachina’s visuals are a mixed bag, showcasing both breathtaking beauty and underwhelming elements. The character designs are superbly crafted, with meticulous attention to detail and stunning animations that bring them to life. The game’s environments are diverse and vividly realized, immersing players in a visually rich world.

However, CryMachina suffers from inconsistent visual quality in certain areas. Regular enemies and some environmental textures lack the same level of detail and polish as the main characters. This discrepancy occasionally breaks immersion and detracts from the overall visual experience. Despite this flaw, the game does exhibit remarkable art direction, creating a unique and captivating aesthetic.

Mechanics and Accessibility: A Room for Improvement

One area where CryMachina falls short is its lack of accessibility features, making it less inclusive for players with visual and auditory impairments. While the game supports basic settings such as control inversion and sound adjustments, it lacks extensive customization options to suit individual player preferences.

Moreover, the navigation and organization of the game’s menu systems could benefit from refinement. The Combat Analysis tab, in particular, feels superfluous and could have been replaced with more essential features like equipment management.

Verdict

CryMachina is a game that both ignites excitement and generates disappointment. While its captivating sci-fi narrative and well-crafted characters keep players engaged, its combat encounters can feel repetitive and its levels lack depth. The game’s visuals boast stunning character designs and meticulously designed environments, but occasional visual inconsistencies detract from the overall experience.

Despite its flaws, CryMachina’s ambition and unique blend of genres warrant attention. With improvements to combat variety, level design, and accessibility features, the game has the potential to fulfill its promise and deliver a truly immersive and satisfying experience. My score: 7.3/10

About the author

Tom Henry

I worked as a PM in video games, now I'm trying some new things.

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