Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness is one, an absolutely sick video game title, two, a game based on a popular anime and manga series, and three, not a very good game. Although the concept and idea behind the show and game are absolutely fascinating and really out there I think the show comes out on top as the definitive piece of media from this franchise.
The game itself is an RPG / survival game where you descend the Abyss, slowly making your way down through means of rock climbing, alternate paths and craftable equipment. In theory this is an absolutely stellar way to handle gameplay for something like Made in Abyss. Something slow but rewarding that raises the stakes the further down the Abyss you go. Where all of it kinda falls flat for me is the presentation.
Graphically the game doesn’t have anything to really write home about. It looks fine, albeit a unrefined, especially when it gets down to gameplay which can feel alright at best and frustratingly non-intuitive at worst.
Mechanics regarding the Abyss are interesting as when you begin your ascension your character will begin to be affected by the Curse of the Abyss which ranges from a little tummy ache to you bleeding out of your little child eyes. It’s dark stuff and depending on where you begin your ascent from it can be fairly scary. I do wish the threshold for ascension was a little more lenient. There are times where I ascend just a couple of feet and I’m puking my guts out when all I wanted to do was climb up a little ramp so I could scout the area better.
Managing your stamina, health and resources would be an interesting challenge if only the radial menu, equipping items and crafting didn’t feel so damn clunky.
The weirdest thing about this game is the two game modes: Hello Abyss and Deep in Abyss. Hello Abyss serves as the tutorial for the game and a pretty long one at that as it basically goes through the entire first season of the anime with you. The second one is only unlocked after this five hour, slow-paced tutorial. Deep in Abyss is its own original story and the real meat of the game, but I can imagine most people dropping off from the tutorial alone which is a shame since Deep in Abyss has much better pacing than the first mode as well as more freedom in gameplay.
I would say that if you’re a fan of Made in Abyss and its wondrous music and aesthetics this game is still worth checking out. But as an introduction to the series I think you’re better off watching the anime, just be warned, prepare to cry. I give Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness
6 / 10
Written by Salman.
Edited by Alexx.