Earlier this year Atlus localized Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception, the first in a duo of games (although technically the second in terms of story if you count the Japan-exclusive anime). That first game ended on a bit of a cliffhanger as those who played it already well know, so now the publisher has released Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth to help close up the plot opened up by the first game. So how does it complete that task, and for those who were on the fence after playing the original, does this second entry change anything up enough for them?
(It should be noted that this review will include spoilers of the events in Mask of Deception, so if you haven’t played that game, please don’t read this review any further until you do.)
First things first, it’s very much recommended that you play Mask of Deception before playing this entry. While the game does include a good recap and prologue to help remind players of the plot’s finer details, the key plot events really do hinge on you experiencing that original entry.
Mask of Truth starts things off right from where Mask of Deception ended, with the Emperor killed and his daughter the Crown Princess Anju in trouble. Due to a twist of fate, Haku ends up inheriting the duties of the Imperial Guard of the Right, Oshtor, as well as his identity. Thus, all of Haku’s friends essentially think he died in the battle.
Much like the original, the voice acting is exceptionally top-notch and helps to sell the narrative, as this game is primarily a visual novel with strategy RPG aspects added to the mix. Due to Haku’s need to keep Oshtor’s identity alive over his own due to his importance to the people at large, it provides for very reflective moments such as when he ends up coming across his former party members as Oshtor, as one example. This is helped by the excellent localization by Atlus, which is to the same standards as was found in Mask of Deception.
One down note is that this effect is brought down somewhat by the anime and JRPG-influenced tropes that were at times present in the original. Considering that the stakes are much, much higher with the civil war at hand in Mask of Truth, it seems at odds where it didn’t as much with the more relaxed nature that was present in Mask of Deception. Additionally, while this isn’t a detriment depending on your viewpoint, the game is easily double the length of the original — most players easily could reach 55-60 hours without skipping through a lot of the text.
If you were looking for major or radical changes in the strategy RPG mechanics, you’ll be disappointed. The only new addition are cooperative attacks in battle, with the rest of the mechanics staying the same and the overall presentation on both the PS4 and Vita staying the same as before.
Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth is very much a game for those who played the preceding entry and want to see it to its conclusion and learn more about the game’s world. If you meet that criteria, you should play this game and see things through.Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth was reviewed using a PS4 Digital Copy provided by Atlus. You can find additional information about Gaming Union's ethics policy here.
|The localization is just as excellent as the prior game.|
|Haku's new role in the game provides for an interesting plot mechanic.|
|The anime and JRPG-influenced tropes are an issue to a much higher degree here due to the current state of the world, so it feels very much out of place.|
|If you were looking for new gameplay mechanics, outside of one new mechanic there isn't anything new here.|