Series like RWBY and Mai-HIME have always resonated with us anime viewers for empowering women to beat truly forces of destruction. Usually, men dominate the action genre but in these type of series, women strut their stuff and kick some serious behind! That’s why—as gamers too—we love games like Bayonetta and/or Nier: Automata as they let us control women characters who are truly forces of destruction! When we in turn saw a game called Dusk Diver come across our desk we knew this anime-themed action title might be just the perfect marriage of what we’ve loved from those series mentioned above and the games we also mentioned moments ago. Is Dusk Diver a great action game or does it miss the mark? We find out in our full review of Dusk Diver for the PS4!
What to Expect
Dusk Diver is a third person action title where you control Yang Yumo, a young girl whose life has undergone a big change. After being teleported into a strange “otherworldly” place, Yang has been given powers that allow her to defeat the monsters of that realm. Hired by an agency to investigate this place, Yang must battle various creatures to prevent this realm from claiming innocent lives and avoid it from seeping into the real world! Beat down various baddies using a plethora of fighting moves and unleash special attacks by summoning allies to utilize their skills! Yang wasn’t a warrior before this incident but now she has powers that make her a deadly force capable of saving the world!
Yang Yumo and her friend wanted to grab some food and hang out, just like any other ordinary day for high school girls. Unfortunately, a weird—and very random—event occurs transporting these girls to another dimension called Youshanding. While protecting her friend, Yang gets gravely injured but is saved by a mysterious yakuza-like gentleman and is given magical abilities allowing her to fight the monsters off. Now Yang must join magical God-like guardians in stopping Youshanding from overwhelming the real world and prevent others from possibly facing dangers like she endured. Yang’s typical life has become a distant memory but this new life might be truly exciting!
Dusk Diver at first seems like your cookie-cutter action title. You get to embody a teenager who gets super powered abilities and unleash MMA-like attacks on various monsters/enemies. In many ways, Dusk Diver feels like your typical anime set up and that can be a bit off-putting initially. Thankfully, Dusk Diver has some depth to it that shows itself quickly and surprised us here at Honey’s Anime. Get ready readers, time to unleash an armada of abilities in Dusk Diver!
When you begin your journey as Yang, Dusk Diver can be a bit overly simple. Like most action titles, Yang’s abilities range from simple quick strikes and heavy blows that can be combined into minor combos. Yang can also dodge and if timed well, you can get a slowdown effect to unleash numerous attacks on said enemies. There’s also an ability that Yang has, allowing her to unleash guardian attacks—character you’ll meet as you play Dusk Diver—and have them aid you with their various abilities/weapons for a brief moment or two. In many ways, Dusk Diver seems too simple for the first few hours but underneath that simplicity lies a deeper—more robust—action title that truly amazed us.
As Yang gains new abilities and weapons, her arsenal of attacks in turn increases tenfold! You’ll go from unleashing simple 5 hit combos to attacks that can deal dozens of hits in a span of a few seconds! You’ll be unleashing so many skills and abilities as you progress that you’ll find mixing and matching abilities to be a testament to what your imagination can create. There will always be a simple fighting system while playing Dusk Diver but as you grow as a warrior, your repertoire of skills will become truly magnificent!
Yang’s progression is very necessary while playing Dusk Diver. Your initial enemy variants won’t challenge you much—you’ll laugh as you beat down small foes left and right—but when you begin to meet bigger bosses and powerful opponents, Yang’s skills will be tested! Mastering the dodging mechanic and unleashing the right combos will be what leads to victory in the late game of Dusk Diver. That’s something we loved about Dusk Diver, progression feels proportionate to Yang’s abilities and it keeps the game from growing stale even several hours in!
Dusk Diver might be a solid action game but where it shines truly brightest is in the visual department! Players can almost immediately tell that there was a team of creators who loved anime embodying the medium in every faucet of Dusk Diver. From special attacks that scream anime specials to static character cutscenes/voice sections, Dusk Diver looks and feels like it was made to be an anime series! The voice acting matches this concept by having both a Japanese dub as well as a Chinese dub! Dusk Diver nails that anime feeling its going for and we hope maybe an anime studio is playing Dusk Diver and thinking…wow this might be a series after all!
Not everything in Dusk Diver is perfect though readers. While the art and combat of Dusk Diver works extremely well, the story and missions themselves falter slightly. The whole set up of Dusk Diver screams cliché and that doesn’t change even hours in. There are some surprises here and there but often Yang’s tale can be compared to nearly every Shounen Jump series character. The missions also don’t help as they tend to range from go here and beat down enemies to run here and beat down a boss. There are some different challenges here and there but don’t expect Dusk Diver to offer hundreds of different missions…
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
At its core, Dusk Diver hits the right notes to be a solid action title but it isn’t perfect. Repetitive combat, similar enemies and repeating missions otherwise weaken what could have been the best action game we’ve played in years. That being said, Dusk Diver works thanks to its wicked art style and use of simple—but perfected—gameplay. Yang is a cool character—as is the rest of the characters from Dusk Diver—which makes her relatable at times and allow you to get immersed in her world. That’s a good thing as you’ll feel quite powerful in Dusk Diver and that feeling doesn’t ever get repetitive.
Incredible art style that makes Dusk Diver feel like an action anime
Simple fighting/action system that gets more robust as you progress
Having the ability to switch between Chinese and Japanese dub is a nice touch
Flashy abilities make you truly feel pretty epic and that never gets old
The story can feel a bit too cliché at times
Missions can be a bit repetitive
Honey's Final Verdict:
Dusk Diver isn’t the greatest action game we’ve played here at Honey’s Anime but it sure comes across as incredible nonetheless. Not only is art style so anime themed it feels ripped from an anime series but the action works quite well and offers a nice feeling of accomplishment when you take down hordes of baddies or a tough boss fight. We equally loved how Dusk Diver takes ideas from other action games like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta and does it in its own style rather than being a mindless copy. If you’ve been itching for a good action game then you should totally buy Dusk Diver! Are you going to dive into Yang’s world in Dusk Diver? Comment below to let us know! For even more game reviews and anime related articles be sure to keep stuck to our hive here at Honey’s Anime!
Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!