out of 45
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is full of the sorts of complexities and nuances that make you want to double back and analyze the script, lore, and artwork in every scene. There’s so much going on, but it’s handled in a way where you’re typically never given more than you can handle. Rather, it prepares you for its major moments.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is the best game Vanillaware has ever made. This entrancing tale of teenagers thwarting the apocalypse through the means of giant robots and time travel is truly one of a kind, subverting the tropes we’ve come to expect from anime and science-fiction to craft a story that easily sits amongst the genre’s best.
Finally, something fresh in 2020! In 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, Vanillaware offers PS4 players a singular sci-fi experience, driven by a well-crafted and exciting “Russian doll” plot from start to finish. We thought it would be impossible for the developers to keep us in suspense across 13 different scenarios while still remaining intelligible — and yet, despite the hallucinating number of revelations and plot points thrown at us, it proved to be fully digestible until the end. The combat is also a strength, with dynamic turn-based battles that are enjoyable, if not chaotic.
13 Sentinels is an absolute must-have for the visual novel lovers, and the hybridization with an RTS souls adds depth to a well written (and told) experience.
It’s possible that my careful steps around the bulk of the narrative have failed to entice you into playing. The premise appears rather clumsy and bare, at least from a distance. Children piloting mecha to save the world from giant monsters? Preposterous! Reconsider, I implore you. For the anime nerds in the audience, this is a narrative of light novel complexity, a misleading moniker that belies the beast in its depths. For the rest, know only that the density of plot and complexity of the characters make this story more layered than most time travel tales. The combat sections will hook you just as hard, though for very different reasons. If you can absorb the narrative, and see past the strange battle sections, you’ll be left with a rich, beautiful, compelling game you can scarcely put down.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is absolutely a high mark for the studio. It is such a refreshingly unique interactive title that I’d urge everyone to give it a shot. Maybe it won’t get its hooks in you, but a game so brazenly different like this doesn’t come around that often. You’d be crazy to pass it up if anything here sounds remotely interesting to you.