SINoALICE revels in its stories
SINoALICE is a game that always has something to say. It isn’t entirely unexpected, given its platform and genre. This is an RPG, after all, and those place a high priority on the tales they are designed to tell. It is also a mobile affair, and developers seem to understand that there always needs to be something happening to hold peoples’ interests. But the degree to which things are happening here is extraordinary.
To begin, SINoALICE has its main storyline. Each of the playable characters has their own chapters, which sometimes crossover, offering insight into these literary figures’ mindsets and why they are fighting to resurrect their authors. Going through some chapters unlocks them or different class variants of them, which makes sense since we might see them change or experience realizations as the story goes on. Things are left purposefully vague and cryptic at times, to build suspense and the growing sense of unease the entire game cultivates. It largely works to its benefit.
Especially since another area allows for further elaboration. Each playable SINoALICE character has multiple classes available to them. (There are certain base classes for each character that unlock for free, ensuring even free-to-play people have access to everyone.) Every one of these roles has its own story, which unlocks as you invest points into leveling them up. Even if someone isn’t familiar with the fairy tales, it’s an outlet to catch up and flesh out the nuances of these takes on the heroes and heroines.
Then, there are the weapons. SINoALICE, like other Square Enix and Yoko Taro game NieR: Automata, has stories for pieces of equipment. These aren’t nearly as elaborate as the tales for characters and campaign chapters. They basically offer little insights into what might have gone into different swords, staves, or instruments. The important thing is, they’re there. They help people understand things’ purposes.
Which is a good way to look at SINoALICE as a whole. This is a game about exploring motives and gaining a better understanding of what makes different people tick. What lengths would someone go to in order to revive someone important to them? Why do people fight? Will the ends justify the means? The game constantly explores all of that and gives you a chance to invest in different elements to learn all sorts of truths.
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