Crymachiina PS5 Crymachina Crymachina PS5 Review PS5 Review

Crymachina Review (PS5) – A Middle-Of-The-Pack Action-RPG With Untapped Potential

Crymachina PS5 Review – The gaming industry is rife with action RPGs at this point. Several reach acclaimed success and some gain cult followings along the way. After spending a lot of time with Crymachina, it’s clear the game is most likely going to fall into the latter category.


Crymachina PS5 Review – A Middle of The Pack Action RPG With Untapped Potential

After a spontaneous death, Leben wakes up, complete with an android body, in a strange place out in space. Equally as sudden, an almost angelic young girl appears in front of Leben and details what’s going on. Leben died thousands of years ago. Much like most people in the waning years of humanity, their minds were digitized in hopes of somehow restoring the race in years to come.

Leben is one such person that has been installed into an android form. Using her current form, she must team up with others like her to take down hostile AIs that pursue their own objectives contrary to hers. With the fate of digital humanity on her metallic shoulders, Leben must collect other digitized minds for her cause. Once she reaches a certain amount, she will achieve humanity and superiority over all of digital space.

Thematically, the narrative touches on several themes, like the Fermi Paradox alongside cyberspace, sentience in artificial intelligence, and humanity’s lingering hope. However, none of these are explored too deeply. Instead, they act more as a sweep statement to convince you that the androids are people. As a sci-fi fan, this left me feeling cold and wanting much, much more.

The Waifu Formula

The target audience for Crymachina is abundantly clear even from the cover art of the game: hyperbolized female forms coincide with waves of lighthearted dialogue that says very little with a lot of words. A great deal of effort is placed on getting to know the characters, but that same attention isn’t granted to the world around them or the circumstances these characters find themselves in.

Either way you slice it, what you see is what you get. The game is not strictly shallow fan service by any stretch. Still, the game leans enough into it to look like it. Once you spend more time with the characters, they flesh out a bit.

This isn’t to say that the writing is bad or even bland. In fact, much of the side dialogue has its own level of intrigue past the blatant fan service. However, much like the premise itself, there are cool ideas and concepts mentioned along the way, but they never get explored deeply enough.

Visually, the detail of the characters is a strength of Crymachina. In cutscenes and dialogue portions of the game, they tend to look quite stiff, as is customary for most RPGs. Still, the character models themselves express a lot of detail and individuality well, even if they stand like breathing boards 90% of the time.

Simple Combat Made Complicated

One of the prime reasons to play an action RPG is combat. Eclectic is a good way to describe it due to how animated and colorful it is. Big neon flashes practically cover the screen as you go toe-to-toe with cherubim enemies.

Attacks are color coded so that you know what can be dodged or parried. Pulling these off feels satisfying, giving you extra time to throw some more hits. Since your attacks have fixed animations, the extra time helps a great deal. If you get caught in a long animation at the wrong time, you’re taking damage.

Even when you strategize your attacks, you often confuse your animations with those of your enemies. Then you either get gun shy or assume the enemy’s attacks are yours, which results in you taking damage.

Many enemies also have an uncanny way of stunning you while dealing large amounts of damage, often killing you in the process. That alone feels cheap. If you die from a boss, you take another attempt at it. If you die before the boss, you start the entire level over.

Making a game stand out is harder than ever in this oversaturated market. However, there has to be a point in the process for editing. The combat feels like it’s in the middle of a disagreement between a simple button mashing game and intricate combat that demands timing.

Grind To A Halt

Like any other RPG before it, Crymachina utilizes experience to gain levels and strengthen your characters. However, like many of them, the experience is earned as a currency that you apply to your characters. You only have one pool of experience to use across all of your characters.

While this allows you to mostly play whomever you want, it does make progressing that much slower. This frustration is enhanced when you are forced to play other characters that you haven’t levelled up. This means you either struggle to get through with the underlevelled character or you return to old levels and grind experience.

Some levels do offer hidden paths to stronger enemies, but those enemies tend to initially outlevel you by at least 30 levels. By the time you need to grind out levels, you likely haven’t even reached the proper level to take on the side content. There might be an intention there, but the concepts and the execution don’t match up well. Instead, the gap is filled with your time, lengthening your play time with inorganic content you already completed.

Crymachina presents its visuals well, portraying a vivid anime style that enhances what the game has on offer. However, much of the game’s elements lack the kind of depth or attention to detail that it eludes to. Combat tries to be a button-masher but also a strategic fighter. The story pushes for exploration of humanity while leaning more heavily into fan service elements.

Levelling gives you freedom of how you want to level your character, but you need to farm a lot of experience in order to level all of your characters. There’s plenty of potential here, and I believe that a dedicated sequel could expand the concepts in ways that this game hasn’t. For now, Crymachina offers a simplistic experience under an illusion of depth.

Score

6.5

The Final Word

Crymachina has several good ideas that it begins to explore. However, the kind of output needed to make those ideas flourish did not happen. Instead, this is a gorgeous-looking game that leans too heavily in the wrong directions, leaving its more intriguing elements as accessories instead of features. There's a decent game here that plays well, but its middle-of-the-pack execution in a sea of action RPGs doesn't do the game any favors.