Tokyo Jungle: PS3 Review
Released by Sony Computer Entertainment
Never before has the phrase It's a Dog Eat Dog World been so spot on.
In this latest game, Tokyo has been devoid of humankind and the animals have gone feral, feeding on whatever they can to survive. No-one's got a clue what's happened to the men and women of the region, but as the story mode of the game plays out, clues are dropped in and out to start to build up an idea.
This is where you come in - initially, you start off as either a meat-eating Pomeranian dog or a herbivore Silka deer (bear with me) and scroll left and right through the terrain, finding what food you can, marking territory and eating and fighting your fellow predators/ creatures in a fight for survival.
Gradually, as you build up your rank, mark enough territory and complete enough missions, you get the chance to mate and breed another generation. That means your life span is extended by passing on your skills to your progeny and you get to roam around, build up packs and explore a very wide world.
Tokyo Jungle is an odd sort of a game to be honest. Survival is the aim of the game and you really have to learn whether to eat, run, fight or hide when necessary. It's a tactical survivalist game which, while not looking graphically stunning or originally presented, actually is fiendishly playable. (It's also not for the animal lover as well, so if you're a bit squeamish about the circle of life, it may be one to pass on).
With unlockable playable animals like chickens, deer, cats and a whole range of critters, it may seem a bit a bizarre to be playing as these creatures but as you start to understand the tactics of it all, the different selections make sense; herbivores are easier to build packs up for meaning that some of your group can be picked off while you survive. Likewise, with carnivores, packs can help you survive by getting them to act as decoys while you run for cover.
It's a peculiar concept and idea but it's actually so engrossing a game that you can lose hours playing; that said, it's not without a couple of flaws. A lack of being able to continue the game when it ends and having to start again is a little frustrating particularly when you have to repeat a lot of the same challenges you've already completed in a previous game during survival mode. Though there is an argument that perhaps by doing that, you rethink some of your original decisions and survive a bit longer.
Tokyo Jungle represents an intriguing level of stealth and fiendish simplicity but it is a game that may not appeal to all. If you're after an original idea, simply presented and with a depth that can suck hours of your life, then it's time to join the animals and see if you've got what it takes to survive.