13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is Enjoyably Confusing

It’s funny how easily we can wind up playing games we’d otherwise pass by. I’d heard of 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim a few times over the past couple of years, but I never really had any plans to check it out. Anime games usually aren’t my thing for one, and I’ve also already seen the whole “teenagers pilot giant mechs to save the world” plot a few too many times already. Yet, here I am, knee-deep in the thick of it because a buddy decided I just had to play it. The crazy thing: they were right.

Video from YouTube channel: PlayStation

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is not really what I expected it to be. I mean it does have that whole tired plot I mentioned before, but it’s actually managed to do it in a way that’s legitimately pulled me in. One part it is the tactical combat involving the giant mechs. It’s not the most complex system in the world, but it is deep enough to make customizing each character’s abilities feel rewarding. The battles also require some actual thought to complete as well, so there’s that.

The real draw though is, surprisingly enough, the story. It’s not presented in a linear fashion as one would expect. Rather, it’s shown through the eyes of each of the games 13 (yes, 13!) protagonists. Nobody has the full picture of what’s going on (at least not yet) and for that matter neither do I. Revelations are encountered slowly and are rarely so overt that they establish something concrete.

Rather, they come out of seeing similar event from slightly different perspectives and digging up little bits of information. In other words, I’m constantly having to draw my own conclusions from all the little bits of info that are constantly coming in. I’ve never had to work this hard to follow what’s going on in a game, and I actually kind of like it.

I don’t know if this is true of all my fellow long-time gamers out there, but I’ve found that very little surprises me when it comes to video game plots anymore. It’s become all to easy to read the cues and extrapolate what will happen or what the twist will be. It’s like having watched too many thriller movies and becoming all too familiar with how they’re written, edited and produced. You know what’s going to happen without even really thinking about it, which stinks because it makes them boring.

This…is not the case with 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. It’s kept me guessing for 14 hours now and I’m really enjoying the ride. Instead of knowing who’s who and what’s behind everything, all I have are theories and feelings! It’s honestly rather refreshing! It’s the most tangled web of time-travel and intrigue I’ve ever encountered, yet it’s not completely confusing like Kingdom Hearts’ story is. It’s possible to follow what’s going on; it’s just that you’ve really no idea what’s coming next nor what everyone’s motives actually are! It’s quite the ride! Check it out if this sounds good to you!

Have you played anything like 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim? What about game stories in general? Have they become all too predictable for you?

image from the Nintendo eShop page

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