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Crymachina Review: Robotic Catharsis in a Post-Apocalyptic Wonderland

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via NIS America

A PS5 code was provided to GamingPizza for this review. Crymachina will be available on October 24, 2023 PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

What do you get when you blend a post-apocalyptic world, robotic girls yearning for humanity, and fast-paced, grandiose combat? The answer is Crymachina, an action RPG that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster while challenging your skills in thrilling battles. With its neon premise and captivating narrative, this game manages to stand out as a must-play action RPG for fans of the genre.

From the moment you jump into battle, you’re greeted with an exhilarating mix of fast-paced action and grandiose maneuvers. The game doesn’t hold back on being over-the-top, allowing you to switch between characters and unleash a flurry of attacks, both short-range and long-range, with remarkable fluidity.

One of the standout features is the ability to perform combos that flow seamlessly, giving you the sensation of being in complete control of your robotic avatars. Dodging and counterattacking are essential skills, and while the timing window for dodging may take some getting used to — frankly, after 25+ hours of play, I’m still not great at it — once you’ve mastered it (or in my case, get lucky enough with your timing), you’ll feel like a true combat maestro.

The combat system offers a nice balance between offense and defense, providing a satisfying depth that keeps you engaged throughout your journey. As you progress, you’ll unlock even more skills and abilities, adding layers of strategy to your battles.

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This becomes even more enjoyable when your team of cybernetic fighters becomes all-powerful, unstoppable machines. Watching them automatically dodge enemy attacks while dealing devastating blows is nothing short of spectacular. That said, it’s a feature that adds an extra layer of strategy, as you’ll need to choose the right moment to activate it for maximum impact.

The boss battles, too, are a testament to the game’s combat brilliance. They evoke a major NieR:Automata-like vibe, again, demanding precise timing and skillful maneuvering. These battles are both challenging and thrilling, striking a balance that keeps you on your toes without becoming frustratingly difficult.

A surprisingly emotional narrative

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via NIS America

Ok. I realize starting off with combat mechanics isn’t typically how you’d expect a review to go, but that’s how much it hooked me — that element of the gameplay is just that satisfying.

However, while the combat in Crymachina is undeniably outstanding, what truly sets this game apart is its narrative. It’s a narrative that will take you on an unexpected journey, exploring themes of humanity, identity, and the quest for self-discovery.

Set in the post-apocalyptic world of Eden, where the remnants of humanity seek restoration through eight self-evolving machines called Dei ex Machina (aka Devine Machines), the game follows three E.V.E.s (recreated human psyches in synthetic bodies) on their quest to regain their full humanity. Leben Distel, Mikoto Sengiku, and Ami Shido are the main characters, each with their unique backgrounds and personalities.

What’s remarkable about Crymachina is how it manages to infuse such emotional depth into its narrative. These robotic girls, despite their artificial nature, grapple with the very essence of what it means to be human. Their journey is a poignant exploration of identity and the yearning to connect with something beyond their mechanical existence.

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Conveying major Detroit: Become Human vibes, the game presents a deeply character-driven story, and it’s this aspect that steals the spotlight. There quite a bit of complexity to the overarching story, but as you delve deeper into the lives of Leben, Mikoto, and Ami, you’ll find yourself emotionally invested in their struggles, hopes, and fears. In fact, from the opening sequence, you know you’re in for an emotional ride as you uncover audio recordings of past events. The characters engage in a delightful exchange of dry humor, injecting moments of lightness into their profound journey, while their individual stories are woven into the larger narrative seamlessly.

A neon paradise

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Crymachina’s visual design and presentation are nothing short of stunning. The game’s futuristic cyberpunk-like style infuses a sense of gritty beauty into the post-apocalyptic world of Eden. The dyson sphere that encircles a G-type main-sequence star is a sight to behold, and it serves as the backdrop for the robotic girls’ quest for humanity.

The character design is meticulous, with each of the E.V.E.s exuding personality through their appearance and animations. The boss designs are equally impressive, offering a blend of mechanical menace and artistic flair. More often than not, there is a lot going on at once, which can be overwhelming. That said, it just somehow works, adding to the game’s desperate atmosphere.

For those familiar with FuRyu’s previous title, Crystar, it’s natural to draw comparisons between the two. However, Crymachina manages to carve out its own identity, standing tall as a unique and enjoyable experience. While both games share some similarities in aesthetics and themes, it’s the gameplay and narrative depth that set them apart, as well as the characters themselves. The combat in Crymachina also feels faster and more exhilarating, with a greater emphasis on fluid combos and strategic depth.

Unleash your robotic catharsis

In the world of action RPGs, Crymachina emerges as a shining star. With its emotionally charged narrative and lightning-fast combat, it delivers an experience that’s both thought-provoking and exhilarating. The game’s portrayal of robotic girls seeking their humanity is surprisingly poignant, drawing players into a world where identity and self-discovery take center stage. There’s currently a new threaded meme making the rounds on X, formerly known as Twitter, with users sharing an image of a video game with the caption, “Don’t cry, it’s just a game.” Crymachina has definitely thrown its hat in the ring as a worthy contender.

The combat mechanics offer a blend of speed, strategy, and spectacle that keeps you hooked from start to finish. The boss battles, in particular, are standout moments that showcase the game’s prowess in delivering thrilling action.

It’s a game that not only challenges your gaming skills but also tugs at your heartstrings with its compelling characters and emotionally resonant narrative. If you’re looking for an action RPG that offers both catharsis and depth, look no further than Crymachina. It’s a journey worth embarking on, one that will leave you pondering the real-world balance of humanity and AI.

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GamingPizza Rating: 8 out of 10

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