Digimon Survive is the next video game in the Digimon video game series to release. Digimon Survive is also the first of its name as the main two recurring Digimon video game series are either from the Digimon Story or Digimon World line of games. According to series producers Habu Kazumasa and Tsuzuki Katsuaki in a dev diary that Bandai Namco posted on their official YouTube channel they are looking to make a new type of Digimon game that includes both what made fans fall in love with series while also taking the series in a new direction.
Digimon Survive is a passion project for both Habu Kazumasa and Tsuzuki Katsuaki as they wanted to make a Digimon game that really showed the relationship between Digimon and their tamers. Similar to how it was shown in the original Digimon Adventure anime series from the 90s. The team behind the Digimon video games always believed that the Digimon video games could have global success like the anime series once did in the 90s but found it difficult for the games to sell well especially in American and European regions where Digimon has mainly been viewed as a product for kids. Producers Habu Kazumasa and Tsuzuki Katsuaki are hoping to change this though with Digimon Survive by showing that Digimon isn’t just a product for kids to enjoy but a product for everyone to enjoy.
Showing the relationship between Digimon and their tamers was the main focus for the team while they were developing Digimon Survive. As nailing the relationships between Digimon and tamers in Digimon Survive would be key in not only taking the game back to the origins of what made the original Digimon Adventure anime series so special but if done successfully it will also help clear the stigma that the Digimon series has received over the years in the west as being a product for kids. If you’re a fan of the Digimon series you know the series isn’t just for kids as there are some really dark themes the series has, especially in the early days of the anime, but not everyone knows this.
To further help Digimon Survive feel more reminiscent to that of the original Digimon Adventure anime, the team brought in a new artist who is working on the series for the first time and is having him make both the art and character designs have a similar style to what was seen in Digimon Adventure. To help further recreate the feeling people got when watching Digimon Adventure, Digimon Survive will introduce conversations between Digimon and tamers which will have you select dialogue choices that impact later parts of the game along with the bonds and relationships of the characters, whether they are human or Digimon. By doing this the team hopes to draw in both new and old fans alike while clearing the Digimon name of being a product mainly for kids.
In fact, the producers desire to capture the bond and relationships that Digimon has with their tamers along with wanting to capture that feeling that the original Digimon Adventure anime captured was actually what made them want to switch from developing another Digimon World or Digimon Story game to develop something new like Digimon Survive. The gameplay of Digimon Survive is split into two parts, the “drama part” which expands the story and the “battle part” which will play like a tactical RPG.
The “drama part” will play like a narrative which will have humans and Digimon interacting with each other and have you selecting dialogue choices to advance the story. The choices you make will affect your relationships with other characters and the bonds of the Digimon and their tamers. If the development team’s dream is to be realized this will be like how it was in Digimon Adventure, whereas the show went on relationships were both strengthened and strained depending on the characters, Digimon, and their values and goals. The “battle part” will be like a tactical RPG similar to Final Fantasy Tactics or Fire Emblem but with a Digimon spin on it. The team was inspired by other tactical RPGs that they have played and thought that that type of gameplay system would be a good fit for the type of game they wanted to make.
Unlike past Digimon games where once Digimon digivolve they stay that way, Digimon Survive‘s digivolving will work like it did in the anime where the Digimon only stay digivolved during the battle and then during the next battle they will have to digivolve again. The team wanted it this way because they thought it would add another layer to the tactical element of the gameplay. During battles, Digimon are required to gather energy so that they may digivolve. Depending on the type of energy they gather will decide the type of Digimon they can digivolve into, and depending on what type of Digimon they digivolve into will dictate if you have an advantage or disadvantage in battle, which makes strategy and decision making key.
Digimon was made to be a masculine version of the Tamagotchi. The Digimon World games took this idea and made it open world, and those games have stayed that way since. The Digimon Story games have always been about the story while being a fairly simple and easy turn-based RPG. Digimon Survive, on the other hand, is really looking to get back to the roots of what made Digimon different. It’s on the darker side and is really looking to explore the relationships between humans and Digimon. Having a story where your choices and actions have consequences along with a battle system that requires you to think and develop a strategy in order to win makes it seem like the team and producers behind Digimon Survive are really trying to show that Digimon isn’t just for kids but for adults as well. Digimon Survive is expected to release worldwide 2019 on the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam. If you want to learn more about Digimon Survive you can do so on its official website here.
Watch the teaser trailer below
It’s really exciting to see so much love and care go into Digimon Survive. As a fan of the Digimon series, none of the video games have ever gotten me as excited as this one. The fact that the team is putting so much effort into capturing that original feel of the Digimon Adventure anime series is so exciting as the relationships and bonds the characters had with each other in that series is what made it so memorable and different than anything Digimon has put out since. So with the development team hoping to replicate that in a video game is really promising from a storytelling angle. It’s also great to see Digimon Survive being made as a tactics game as the game will most likely require more strategy but also have more play variations to it than any other Digimon game prior. If the development team and producers accomplish their vision, this might end up being a truly special video game.