With Mask of Deception still pretty fresh in my mind, I was excited to go into Mask of Truth. I hadn’t had the chance to do more of the endgame for the previous game, but a new title gave me a renewed sense of vigour. It’s actually kind of odd, releasing a game with near no history in the west and then releasing a sequel a few months later. It’s bold, especially when there’s a missing link in the story (perhaps because of its erotic origins), but it still works.
Mask of Truth takes place right after Deception. It has the benefit of coming off some really large highs at the end of the previous game (washing away the feeling of that slower pacing), and you’ll pretty much feel right at home if you played the previous title recently. This game also ramps up a lot faster, so you’ll get to the more interesting story points, which is great. Truth be told, if I wasn’t such a VN fan, the pacing of Deception would have turned me off, which sucks, because it has a great payoff.
Everything in this title feels grander. The story has more twists and turns, the highs are much higher, and the battles are much larger in scope. I honestly feel that in every way, this is the better game. Honestly though, if you the previous game, playing this one is a no-brainer. If you’ve not played the first one, go read my review for that. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the game some more.
One of my favourite features added to this game is a the changes to the battle system. Before going into a battle you have the option to have a mock battle, so you can see how it all works, get a feel for it before trying it for real. The option to speed up animations, or turn them off, or even do all the QTEs for you doesn’t hurt either, as some of the battles can be pretty damn long. Not a bad thing though, as it works as a break from the storytelling, to get you involved.
Other changes include co-op attack; putting allies in certain positions around a foe, and performing special attacks will cause allies to work together in a much more powerful attack. It’s not a huge change, but it does add a certain something to the battle, even if it’s just seeing the way the attacks play out.
Lore plays an huge role too. Whilst it’s very challenging to get a grasp of a map of the world and it’s layout, you will have the option to learn a tonne about it’s culture and peoples. A lot of really small details such as which countries love which food and what type of bathing they enjoy. It’s really odd, but I found myself oddly endeared with the detail this world was given.
It’s a short review. I could talk a tonne more about the story, sure, but it’s been seen firsthand. Honestly, as I said before, if you loved the first game you’ll love this one. It’s better in every way (especially pacing). If you didn’t love the first game, not enough has changed to make you want to jump into this version. If you didn’t play the predecessor, then this game is not for you and you should check out my review on the first game.
Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth was provided as a digital code for review purposes by the publisher. The entire game was played before review, with some dabbling in post-game. Total play time was around 74 hours.