Game Info: (Box Display)
- System: PS4, PC
- Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
- Developer: CyberConnect2
- Release Date: Nov 3, 2017
- Rating: T for Teen
- Genre: Action RPG
- Players: 1
- Official Website: https://www.bandainamcoent.com/games/hack-gu-last-recode
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
Now, in case you’re new to .hack franchise and or the .hack//G.U. series let us give you some quick—but important—notes. Back in 2006, .hack//G.U. Rebirth released for the PS2 and from there within 1 year two other volumes would follow making G.U. into a trilogy of games. Even if you had never played the past .hack games—like Infection—you could still understand .hack//G.U. and would be in for a pretty amazing ride as your save data from each volume could be used in the sequel to really feel like you were progressing in the story and not restarting each time. .hack//G.U. Last Recode contains the whole trilogy and thus if you maybe could have played them all in the past or never did in general here is the opportunity to do so.
First, let’s begin our review by talking about the gameplay. In .hack//G.U. Last Recode, you take control of Haseo and do the usual RPG things such as leveling up, battling foes in a small closed off space—though with actual real time combat—and exploring new areas to get new gear and such. However, .hack//G.U. Last Recode isn’t your atypical action RPG thanks to players being able to gain new skills, weapons and even gaining new powers as they progress in all three games. If we were to compare .hack//G.U. Last Recode to the past titles then we’d say a lot of the older mechanics that gave us a headache in the past have been corrected and altered for the better. Now, if you’re wondering what has been changed exactly, we’ll get to that right now.
.hack//G.U. Last Recode has changed up the speed of combat and has even added other new gameplay elements. Battles are more forgiving thanks to a retry button if you should die in combat, Avatar Battles—which is a thing later explained in the game—have been completely worked to feel less clunky and even load times have been reduced. Fans of the original trilogy can also put .hack//G.U. Last Recode into Cheat Mode which gives you full stats and gear for each game so you can just enjoy the story and avoid the grind though we feel part of the fun is the grind even if we’ve played the trilogy multiple times over.
As we mentioned earlier, .hack//G.U. Last Recode also includes a new volume 4 titled .hack//G.U. Reconnect which acts like an epilogue to the G.U. story. This isn’t a long game by any means—we clocked 5 hours after doing everything possible in game—but offers up a new gameplay style thanks to Haseo getting a new form that truly makes him feel even cooler than before. Though we do wonder if CyberConnect2 was trying to mimic a certain other anime series based off an online game in Haseo’s new design. Regardless though, .hack//G.U. Last Recode truly offers a significant amount of content and that is pretty amazing.
Graphically, .hack//G.U. Last Recode suffers a slight bit in comparison to its great action RPG gameplay updates. While we won’t say .hack//G.U. Last Recode looks bad, you can see that it clearly is a decade old title thanks to the details in some of the environments and even character models. Volume 4 also suffers from this but at least is slightly better thanks to cutscenes not using the in game engine but actually using anime scenes. Thankfully, one thing that hasn’t age poorly is the incredible music and wonderful voice acting from the cast of .hack//G.U. and as far as we could tell most of the original voice actors retook their roles in Volume 4 meaning it truly feels like a solid epilogue and not a tacked on one.
.hack//G.U. Last Recode seems to be nearly perfect from what we’re describing, right? Unfortunately, even though we love .hack//G.U. Last Recode, there are some issues that should be mentioned so gamers won’t be too surprised when they notice them. While the combat of .hack//G.U. Last Recode has always been fun thanks to its stylish design and quick pacing, even with the updated fixes .hack//G.U. Last Recode combat still can get repetitive. You might not feel it within the first 5 hours but when you’re in the second game or even the third you’ll start to feel that each title plays out exactly the same even despite various new skills and powers being given out in a healthy portion. Plus, let’s face it folks, exploration still feels formulaic thanks to the maps all being the same in nature, go here, kill this here and then move on to repeat the process. .hack//G.U. Last Recode is still a ton of fun but we strongly recommend taking breaks from it and not trying to power through all 4 games in one sitting.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- 4 games for the price of 1
- Tons of new content
- The addition of the Terminal Disc will appeal to fans of the .hack lore
- Great gameplay tweaks that fix the battle system in numerous ways
- .hack//G.U. Reconnection adds a nice epilogue to the previous three games
- Still has the great music and voice acting from the past
- Anime cutscenes in Volume 4 look wonderful
- RPG mechanics still become repetitive after awhile
- Graphics look nice at times but over it still looks dated
- Volume 4 could have been a tad longer