Photo realistic graphics, eye popping 3D, cinema styled 7.1 stereo sound, experiences that can pull on the heart strings and leaps in technology that all affect frame rates and P’s; oh and console wars, let’s not forget console wars. All of this is an indication that the next generation of machines has well and truly arrived.
Sometimes, however, playing blockbuster after blockbuster (or in my case Assassin’s Creed after Assassin’s Creed) grows a little tiresome and I need a palette cleanser, something that doesn’t take itself seriously, something that isn’t going to push my new machine to the limits of its capability, something, ummm, something, well, simple.
Doki Doki Universe certainly fulfils that criteria. You control a robot called QT3 who belongs to a model of robot that is being made obsolete due to it’s lack of humanity. The creators of QT3 send an alien named Jeff to test QT3’s ability to comprehend humanity by evaluating his reactions to different social situations. QT3 has to solve problems in order to gain this insight and ultimately save himself from the scrapheap.
Despite what a lot of people have said Doki Doki does have photo realistic graphics. As long as said photo is a photo of a drawing my daughter has created. Yes it is a very acquired taste and I’m quite sure a lot of gamers will look at the screenshots and instantly ignore the title as they are not squeezing every last drop of processing power out of their expensive new toys, but the simplistic style seems to be able to capture the one trait that QT3 has in common with a 7 year old that draws in this way – innocence. You may not instantly fall in love with the style but it may just grow on you.
The main aspect of the game seems to borrow from Scribblenauts as you always seemed to be tasked with conjuring items to either help or hinder the multitude of characters you come across. Some of them range from the simple such something shiny or cute, or scary. Others will just outright ask you for a dragon.
As fun as it is travelling to planets and completing these missions, the real meat of the “game” is the myriad of asteroids strewn across each map. Visit these and you will be asked a few questions that actually aim to discover your own personality. Some of the questions are simply brilliant and are never simply black or white, leaving a lot to your own personal interpretation. For example, being shown two completely random pictures and then being asked which one of them more accurately pictures a movie you want to see. Alternatively you may be given a drawing of three different aliens and based on looks alone you will need to choose which one you wish to hang out with.
There a few misses in this aspect but in the main I was quite astonished how accurately the game knew me. Just from answering a few questions. The possibilities for this in future next gen titles is something that gets me more excited than whether it has 50 or 60 frames per second.
Simply put Doki Doki Universe isn’t for everyone and for the majority I would recommend either waiting for a sale but as it is free this month in Plus; if you want a quick and cute journey of mostly accurate self-discovery to break up the monotony of continually playing Triple A titles then you can do a lot worse than Doki Doki Universe
MLG Rating: 7/10 Format: PlayStation 4 / PlayStation 3 / PlayStation Vita Release Date: 10/12/2013
Disclosure: Si Stevens downloaded Doki Doki Universe through his PlayStation Plus subscription. The title was reviewed over the course of two days on a PlayStation 4. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.