The PS4 has a diverse library, and is supported not only by AAA devs, but indie devs as well—not to mention a handful of PS2 ports. A few PS3 titles have even made the jump to Sony’s latest system, but not all. One such title that would be awesome to play on the PS4 is Tokyo Jungle. Sure, it made its way onto PS Now, but certainly not into the PlayStation Store for purchase.
Like most titles under Japan Studio’s banner, Tokyo Jungle is a quirky and unique title with an interesting combination of gameplay elements. It may not be the most graphically sound title, but neither are the majority of indie titles that have gained a lot of popularity in recent years. What it lacks in visuals however, it makes up for in charm.
In almost a quarter of a century of gaming, I have come across few titles that so seamlessly blend so many different elements into their core gameplay. The combination of action gameplay, sim elements and even minor role playing elements, not to mention the charm of an arcade style beat-em-up (or kill-em-all as the case may be here), somehow avoids feeling like a combination of elements at all, as it all adds up to an otherwise simple gameplay experience.
Tokyo Jungle is about the gameplay first and foremost, and its simplicity is where it really shines. On the one hand, it does get repetitive after a while, but all arcadey style games do. It is however fun for a time. Survival is the key here, and that also happens to be the name of the main gameplay mode.
The setting is in Tokyo as this is a game that was developed in Japan, but even those who are less into Japanese titles, might find something to like here. The game could be set in any city around the world and have the same effect, and there’s really no issue regarding dubbing since animals sound the same regardless of what region they’re supposed to be in.
Perhaps the most intriguing element is the premise that humans are already gone. It’s not often that we pass humanity’s last stand into an era when they’re gone completely, and spoiler, there may even be a part of the story where the player actively ensures that humans stay gone, though the story itself is really just an excuse to have a nature documentary play out on screen with us playing the part of one of a number of different animals.
And play out it does, with two main types: predators and grazers, as well as various size differences and other factors, like porcupines having higher defense than other small grazers thanks to their spikes. The game can get pretty ridiculous, such as pomeranians being able to take down hyenas if they’re quick and stealthy, but some limitations are present, such as it being unwise to try the same trick on an alligator.
Size isn’t everything either as bigger animals may have more defense and attack power, but a tougher time being stealthy, and a need to eat more to survive. If an animal is sufficiently large, it can’t access certain ledges or make its way to the upper levels of buildings. Factors like scarcity of food, and toxicity, the latter of which is the bane of my existence, add considerably to the challenge, and may be greater causes of death than just predators, though turning a corner and running smack into a bear doesn’t help either. Or a dinosaur. This game has dinosaurs.
Perhaps the biggest selling point is that Tokyo Jungle is unapologetically violent, and death is commonplace. It’s a survival sim in the truest sense, and I can’t say I’ve played too many games where my enemies become nourishment to keep my animals alive. It’s certainly a unique title that appeals to both the side of me that seeks out alternate genres and unique styles of gameplay, and the side that just enjoys some good old fashioned violence. In fact, I’m kind of surprised this isn’t a genre that has taken off well before Tokyo Jungle. It’s somewhat like the Pepperoni Pizza Pops of gaming.
What are your thoughts? Do you think Tokyo Jungle would be a good fit on the PS4? Would you like to see other articles highlighting games that ought to be ported to the system? As always feel free to leave your comments below.