Animal verse Animal, no Humans.
In a city devoid of human life, the animals run free. In fact a plethora of animals, from pomeranians to pachyderms, are playable characters. There are two main game modes to play through, Story and Survival, both of which offer a different experience. For this article however I will be focusing on Survival mode.
This particular game mode consists of picking your animal, and thriving for as long as possible. There is more to it than that though, I need to take into consideration when to eat (if i can find food), when to mate, and how to tackle the challenges that present themselves as my animal ages. The first to variables are the same no matter which animal you choose, food and reproduction are a must for your survival in this game, the challenges that unlock over time are what really vary from animal to animal. When playing as the early animals such as the pomeranian, the objectives are fairly easy; i.e. eat 2000Kg or mark territory 4 times. These types of objectives with the first few animals are easily achievable. For me, once I tried playing with the beagle, things became much more difficult to complete. Some of the objectives by this point require you to defeat 15 animals, this can be incredibly difficult if you’re in a part of the city where food is scarce. Another factor involving food is your animals hunger meter – this meter can play a large part in a play through depending on if you chose a predator or grazer; mostly because plants are much less abundant than other animals. Also, because defeated animals can be carried until you need to eat as opposed to plants, which need to be consumed on the spot. One thing I found helps me survive if food is unavailable is to breed my next generation. The reason I say this helps is because once you start your next generation, the hunger meter resets and the plants/animals available change as well.
Mating is a fairly straight forward task, and I call it a task because it is absolutely necessary. To be able to breed your next generation you naturally have to find yourself a mate. “How do you do that?” you may be asking yourselves at this point, please, let me inform you. The city of Tokyo is divided into nine distinct locations, and each location has four marking points. To be eligible to mate you have to control that location, therefore your animal has to leave his mark on all four marking points before a mate will present themselves. Even at this point there are certain considerations to be made. Two possible mates will appear in the location and each will be 1 of 3 different qualities; they will either be prime, average, or desperate mates. Why are these important? because the type of mate determines how many offspring you spawn and how many of your original attributes carry over to the next generation (or if you get flees). If you don’t breed after too long, your attributes start to diminish with old age. I only had this be a problem one time, because I was a gazelle trying to take over a suburb from a group of wild pigs… dead serious. This was actually a challenge to unlock the next animal in the grazer food chain.
Personally, my favorite animal so far has been the gazelle. Naturally, its a grazer and that limits the food supply a bit as previously discussed. However, this particular animal isn’t affected so bad due to its high hunger meter; even in the sections with the most sparsely populated vegetation I can survive long enough to hit the next zone, or a pool of water(also fills hunger meter). The down side to being a gazelle, is there are large predators, mostly at night, that love to try and eat you. Luckily, just like in the real world, the in game gazelle is fast enough to get away from most predators. Plus once you rank up to veteran or boss level, you can pretty much hold your own… remember the pig story from earlier? all gazelle baby!
By playing through the Survival and Story modes it is possible to unlock around 80 animals, not including downloadable content. Each animal tweeks the experience a little bit more. Personally, this is what makes me keep coming back. I love knowing there is more to unlock and that its going to be a challenging ride.
Check out 30 minutes of Giant Bomb’s Video Playthrough.