Dusk Diver is yet another unique title from publisher PQube who, like XSeed before it, has taken it upon itself to publish a variety of Asian titles in the West. Dusk Diver is a stylish action title that mixes a unique visual style with a Musou style combat system to great effect. Some may find the Musou combat repetitive, but it’s one that I thoroughly enjoy.
Dusk Diver PS4 Review
Dusk Diver tells the story of Yumo, a young girl who, while out on the town with her best friend, is pulled into another dimension. While searching for her missing friend, Yumo is attacked by mysterious monsters known as Chaos Beasts. As she’s about to get attacked, she faints and is saved by Leo, a mysterious warrior who, after rescuing Yumo, loses his physical form and is turned into an adorable fire lion. Yumo then is able to summon Leo for a limited time to help her fend off her foes.
Dusk Diver’s Story has a Great Premise, But It Never Really Lives Up To It
It’s a weird start to the game and only gets weirder as Yumo learns what’s going on in her city of Ximending. Yumo takes a job at a convenience store run by a ceramic bear pot and teams up with a fruit bat and a fish. It’s weird, but it works. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t live up to its premise; I was left wishing they took a different route. Unfortunately going into detail would delve deeply into the game’s story, spoiling most of it.
The writing is also good, but there are plenty of translation errors throughout the game, with some misspelled words. There are even times where you can actually see the line of code programmers use when implementing text in the actual conversations.
One thing I love about the game’s narrative is that it doesn’t waste time. There are plenty of games out there where conversations just take way too long and are filled with dialogue waves where everyone has to get a word in. Dusk Diver gets straight to the point with minimum dialogue. It allows the game to flow a lot smoother and keeps me from losing interest in the narrative.
The world of Dusk Diver is divided into the city of Ximending and Youshanding. Youshanding is an alternate dimension that has the same layout as Ximending but its buildings are growing sideways and plagued by neon lights and flying platforms. Think of Youshanding like a Tron world full of vibrant. The Chaos Beasts run rampant in Youshanding and Yumo has to take them down to keep them from coming through dimensional fissures and invading Ximending.
Combat plays out more like a Musou game. Yumo takes on dozens upon dozens of Chaos Beasts at a time. I enjoyed the combat in Dusk Diver as it felt simple but complex when it needed to be. I loved the need to change guardians mid-fight to help put the encounter in my favor. It also helps that the character animations are smooth and fluid.
Yumo has various abilities to help her take on her foes. Outside of mixing her combos, she can summon her guardians Leo, Bahet, and La Viada to unleash devastating attacks. Yumo uses martial arts she learns from watching kung-fu movies. Her style is rough but it gets the job done. Yumo can combine various attacks with her light attack and heavy attack but she can also use her guardians to attack as well mid-combo using one of the bars on her SP gauge.
Dusk Divers Pacing Keeps The Game From Getting Stale
As with most Musou style games, the combat can get repetitive, and it’s no different in Dusk Diver. What sets it apart are the shorter missions you partake in and the time you spend completing other various tasks in Ximending. Pacing is one thing that I truly appreciated about Dusk Diver, as every portion of the game never overstayed its welcome.
As you complete missions, you earn skill points to upgrade Yumos skills to learn more combos or increase her attack power. You can also spend these skill points on her guardians to make them even more powerful.
You can switch your guardians on the fly with a simple press of a button on the D-Pad, and using all of them is a great strategy. Leo is a powerhouse and does the most damage, Bahet is great for crowd control while La Viada can bypass most of the enemy’s shields. Another reason to use all the guardians is the relationship bonds you build with them.
The more you use a guardian, the more points you earn toward their bond with Yumo. Once this bond is full you can partake in a personal side quest. Completing this side quest will allow you to go train with the guardian and learn new attacks with them.
While out in Ximending, you can explore the city and listen to the various conversations that citizens are having. You unlock places to eat which provide various bonuses when you go into a combat mission such as increasing damage. One thing I absolutely love about Dusk Diver is that it rewards you for doing everything. Side Quests, for example, increase your D.ARMS power, and eating food will give you bonuses during missions while also improving your friendship bonds. Spending money on gacha vending machines will unlock new outfits and concept art, and collectibles are scattered throughout both words to collect.
Dusk Diver is artistically a standout polygon-wise, it’s not the most outstanding game but its art direction is vibrant and striking. The soundtrack is also good and you can even listen to the game’s tracks at the convenience store whenever you want.
Dusk Diver is a great little gem that may surprise a lot of gamers. The Musou style combat may get repetitive in other games, but the way Dusk Diver is paced keeps the fun going until the end. The vibrant world is fun to explore, and it’s not every day that you get rewarded for doing everything the game has to offer.
Dusk Diver is now available for PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
Review code provided by Publisher.