MidBoss PlayStation PS5 Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Read Only Memories: Neurodiver PS5 Read Only Memories: Neurodiver PS5 Review Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Review Review Sony

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Review (PS5) – A Worthwhile Sequel To A Beloved Indie Gem

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Review (PS5) – When I played 2064: Read Only Memories about six years ago, I never considered the possibility of a sequel.

Sure, 2064 created a world filled with potential for more stories, but you never truly consider that an indie title will receive a sequel or even a spiritual successor. Then came the 2019 announcement of Read Only Memories: Neurodiver.

It’s been a good long while to reach the release date for Neurodiver. Anxious fans have had to wade through several release date window announcements over the past couple of years, but the wait is finally over. Will Read Only Memories: Neurodiver, with a whole new cast of characters, be able to capture the magic of 2064?

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver Review (PS5) – A Worthwhile Sequel To A Beloved Indie Gem


The Neurodiver is an interesting creature, entirely artificial but completely biological. Resembling something of a squid, the Neurodiver shares a special psychic link with a very special esper, Esper 8801, or ES88 for short. Their collaborative work allows them to connect with another person’s mind and not only read it but also uncover lost or damaged memories.

ES88 lives her life essentially on-campus with her employer, the mega-corporation Minerva. After four years of work, he’s now given the opportunity to start sleuthing into people’s memories.

As to be expected, the bulk of games like this is the narrative experience. For most of the time, the overall concept holds together as you see ES88 explore her way through the minds of people she gets assigned to. As you progress, you get plenty of time to learn about ES88 and experience her nuances, how she’s both outgoing and bubbly in general social scenarios but shy and insecure in personal ones.

The companionship between ES88 and Neurodiver proves interesting as well, putting a bit of a twist on the robotic companion found in other games, like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor or Titanfall 2. The Neurodiver lives in a reservoir or canister while not working, and it grows tired when out for too long. Unlike the other two examples that are purely robotic, Neurodiver also has to contend with the limitations of being organic.

This adds to the lingering sense of urgency that accompanies every scenario you deal with. Dubbed the Golden Butterfly, this rogue esper goes from mind to mind, causing havoc by altering or suppressing memories, generally memories that incriminate him in some way.

Even still, like any villain, he underestimates the main character by introducing himself early on in ES88’s first brain dive. In doing so, however, it ups the intrigue of his character far more than just hearing people talk about him. He’s very prim and proper, despite everything, which plays well with the path he takes from beginning to end.

Pros And Cons of Point-and-Click

Exactly like 2064, Neurodiver is a point-and-click affair, delivering its story through a pixelated visual novel aesthetic while giving you backdrops to interact with. Apart from the dialogue sections, you slide through different backdrops, searching for clues to interact with that help solve the mystery.

As expected, Neurodiver turns your joystick into a cursor for most of the game. For larger backdrops, you can slide your view back and forth with the D-Pad or holding Cross while moving the joystick.

The latter control option proved to be a constant frustration for me. In several cases, I had trouble finding the correct objects to interact with, which caused this control problem to happen more often. In contrast, the only time this truly hindered my progress was in chapter 2. The one object I needed to interact with fell off another one.

To boot, the object needed is very small, and both objects highlight when I mouse over them. Considering the amount of buttons that the game does not use, a different option or customizable setting could have made a difference.

Another control choice that feels peculiar is when you back out of a menu. In some cases, a simple press of Circle closes a menu and lets you continue. In other cases, you need to mouse over to a back button to close the menu. Particularly, I could use Circle when speaking with someone, but I couldn’t use it when closing the quest or inventory menus.

With that said, this does not break the game by any means. However, considering the amount of times you come across this very situation, you always feel it.

Dive Right Into Neurodiver

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver finally made it to its public release, bringing with it some great additions to the Read Only Memories universe, including both characters and cyberpunk concepts. In general, the point-and-click controls do their job nicely, with a couple finicky traits that are hard to translate from keyboard and mouse to a controller.

With that said, the charm and heart of the first game shines anew under the watchful eyes of ES88 and faithful companion, Neurodiver.

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver is now available on PS5 and PS4.

Review code generously provided by publisher.

Score

8.5

The Final Word

Fans of 2064: Read Only Memories already have this game purchased. For everyone else, Read Only Memories: Neurodiver is a fantastic slice of pixelated cyberpunk world building, characters, and storyline. Some control choices don't translate as well to controller as they could, but that doesn't stand in the way of the good time that Neurodiver offers.