The series has officially disappeared up its own butthole. SMT4 is an empty, vapid game that only serves to demonstrate how utterly creatively bankrupt these writers are. I couldn’t even be bothered to watch a playthrough, the plot summary was so stupid my eyes glaze over at the thought. I may have disagreed — strongly — with the execution of previous entries’ ideas, but at least they had ideas. This game doesn’t. It is about nothing, it is nothing.
This game is a reboot AU again with the exact same trite moral choices again and the exact same set of cookie-cutter centrist propaganda endings again (now with bonus xenophobia and nationalism!) because the writers are physically incapable of doing anything else. Where the plot isn’t a shameless rehash of SMT2 it’s completely unhinged fantasy nonsense that has given up on anything approaching coherent real-world commentary. “If a city got caught in the crossfire between God and demons in a way that bears no resemblance to real-life holy wars would that be messed up or –” I DON’T CARE TELL A DIFFERENT STORY FOR ONCE YOU HACKS. The only new addition of any significance is a fourth ending where you decide the only way to end suffering is to destroy the universe because the war between God and demons is eternal, which sure is a hilariously meta response to this soulless husk of a cash-cow franchise. The setting’s problems are only intractable because you keep resetting it, writers, if you hate that so much let the franchise die already.
To add insult to injury, the series artist got shafted and replaced by idiots who think they can slap whatever design they feel like onto established mythological figures:
The left is by the previous artist, the right is by the new one. They are both meant to represent the same angel. Yes, really. All of the angels are similarly overdesigned messes with no relation to any real depictions. Also, Lucifer looks like a Roswell alien instead of his established design for some reason. The previous artist may have had his faults, but at least he was trying. (And in case you were hoping something good came out of this mess, no, they still use his softcore porn design for the regular angels.)
And minor aside, but it amused me: The standard and hilariously untrue “Any similarity to real people is coincidental” disclaimer has now been shortened to just “This is a work of fiction.” Methinks some legal consultation happened here.
The game was somehow so successful it spawned a sidequel, Apocalypse, which I was willing to actually play because I saw it had a gameplay feature I found interesting, and also supposedly it ends with you killing God (again), which sounded cathartic if nothing else.