Tokyo Jungle is a $15 dollar downloadable survival game, available on PlayStation Network. The premise of the game is that all the humans are gone, leaving Tokyo overrun with animals creating a jungle that they are in control of.
Survival mode is where you will want to start off, and likely spend the bulk of your time. You can play as either a predator or a grazer. As a predator you start as a Pomeranian dog, and as you progress you unlock bigger and stronger predators including lions and even dinosaurs. As the grazers, you start as a sika deer, and you can progress to bigger animals that are harder for predators to take down like an elephant or a hippopotamus.
Leveling up is key and fairly reminiscent of games like Dead Rising, where the point is to power up your character and start over, slowly getting stronger each time. Eventually, you can unlock new animals and start the map over again as your new found creature. You level up by getting points from clean kills, calories you eat, creating new generations and completing missions. The only way to play story mode is to unlock it by finding archives in survival mode.
Story mode missions mostly involve specific scenarios featuring various animals. It is weird seeing the usual core aspect of a game tossed aside as an almost afterthought. The meat of the game is definitely in survival mode, as this is where you will spend most of your time since it is where you unlock new animals.
The game’s focus is stealth and action You hide from predators in tall grass that can eat you and you eat smaller animals (or plants) to rank up. You rank up by eating calories. It’s really a pretty simple process. The purpose of ranking up is for mating and accumulating points, which you use to pay for unlocking animals.
You start the game with only one life, which you can lose by being eaten, going hungry, being sick from toxicity or dying of old age. You get toxicity by passing through polluted territories, eating toxic animals or plants or drinking toxic water. Once your toxicity level reaches 100 your life bar starts decreasing at a pretty fast rate. You get rid of toxicity by consuming clean food and water or by using items you find along the way. You can die of old age if you do not mate and start a new generation. After you take control of a territory by “marking” flags, you can use nests in those areas for mating.
Mating is a pretty cool feature. If you have a lower ranking, then you can only mate with a desperate female which will only give you two offspring. If your rank is veteran or boss, you can mate with a higher pedigree female, which will give you three or four babies. Each of these young represent an extra life, which is extremely handy considering the save system. Storing your progress is a lot like Dark Souls in that it really makes you strategize about where to save. If you save a game, it will allow you to come back and play later, but if you die, it erases the save all together making you start over from the beginning. So in a way it is even more punishing than the aforementioned action title.
You cannot play Tokyo Jungle online, it offers couch co-op where players also share the same screen. It works the same as single player, with a couple of neat features. The items screen is shared, and any item that you pick up can be used by either player. This item when used will be applied to both players. There is also armor in the game that you can pick up. If you acquire more than one piece, each of you can equip one. There is also a revive feature in the event that your partner dies.
I really can’t recommend this game enough. It is definitely fresh and interesting, making it yet another notch in Sony’s stellar downloadable lineup. It runs smoothly with minimal glitches, and the controls are simple enough that even a casual gamer can pick them up quickly. It’s great to play by yourself or with a friend, and the game is quite addicting with the amount of content to unlock, keeping you coming back for more and more.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.