Innovation is often touted as a big deal when it comes to games. I’ve argued before, and will continue to argue, that this is because it’s far easier to make something innovative than something worth playing – the two aren’t necessarily one and the same. If a formula works, there isn’t necessarily a need to mess with it; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, in other words. We’ve got a great example of this today with Operation Babel: New Tokyo Legacy, a sequel that generally walks the same road as its predecessor but is bound to appeal to fans as a result.
As in the previous game, you control a group of students/secret agents employed by the Xth Squad, a clandestine team devoted to the exploration and eradication of spacial distortions called Abysses. Each Abyss is filled with dangerous creatures called Variants that would pose a mortal threat to the average human. Thankfully, your characters possess the power of Code-Rise, allowing them to conjure the spirit and abilities of historical figures and granting them the power to survive.
With your company of historical badasses you’ll need to enter the Abyss and complete missions, much as you did in the previous game. The routine hasn’t changed a whole lot, aside from gameplay system upgrades like the ability to multi-class your characters. While multiclassed characters have more abilities and are generally more durable, the game certainly takes into account that you can do this and the difficulty is ramped up to match. Again, like Operation Abyss, this isn’t the easiest game by any means.
Frankly, Operation Babel feels a lot like an expansion rather than a full-fledged sequel, which should please fans of Operation Abyss; given that’s clearly the target audience here, there’s not a lot to complain about. It even largely looks the same; many enemy and character sprites are reused. This is more content rather than a revision of the series, so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
That’s what this comes down to, really: did you enjoy Operation Abyss? You’ll probably enjoy more of it if that’s the case, so Operation Babel: New Tokyo Legacy is for you. If you didn’t, well, you’ll want to steer clear. Dungeon crawlers like this aren’t everyone’s cup ‘o tea, and if you haven’t played Operation Abyss yet, it might behoove you to give that one a whirl first. Which is easy enough, by the way, since it’s also available on Steam!