[Review] Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories (Nintendo Switch/PS4/PC)
Disaster Report 4 puts the player into a role many of us fear to play – somebody who is thrown into peril as the world literally collapses in their everyday life. Set in Hisui City in Modern-Day Japan, you are on your way to a job interview when all of the sudden an earthquake occurs, tearing open the streets and causing destruction.
Gameplay: Before the game starts, the player gets to create the protagonist of their will – this includes the character’s gender, voice and hair as well as other features. Though the customization possibilities might seem a little scarce at the beginning, it is noteworthy that a wide variety of items is unlocked with the ongoing progress made during the playthrough. Additionally, there is a number of cosmetics available as reasonably prized (or free) DLC. Compared to most cosmetics, some of the outfits and costumes you acquire can prove quite useful in different situations – you might just end up having to pose as a clerk in a grocery store despite being caught up in this catastrophe. Similar to real life, you are not guided through a tutorial in the beginning. Rather, you will need to make your way through the danger all by yourself with nothing but your own wits. This also means that any decision you make can heavily influence the story’s outcome. Because the game is somewhat text-heavy, you will come across many different characters with personalities reaching from fairly normal to…exceptional, if you will. You should think the answers you give them through carefully. They might just end up saving your life.
It is crucial to watch every single step you take when trying to find your way out of the city as random earthquakes might cause entire buildings to crumble and fall down on you, resulting in an instant Game Over. Despite this, you should not forget to make use of the objects you find as anything can count as a key item, especially money. There are also a few collectibles in the game – like the cosmetics mentioned above, you can find compasses to help you navigate throughout the city or backpacks which will provide more inventory space. Both of these come in many different designs, some of which seem quite unexpected; one example I witnessed that immediately comes to mind is the sushi compass. Very often, you will also find ads for the game in the actual game. Although the gameplay itself and demonstration of the impact something like a natural catastrophe can have on both people and the world altogether count towards the good aspects of the game, the graphics and technical performance do not. The game’s extreme framerate drops are most noticeable whenever the environment visibly suffers from random earthquakes, sometimes straight up burying you underneath a building before it has even fully collapsed. Overall rating: 7.5 While the game has a consistent style and offers an insight on all the crazy moments and emotional distress you could possibly end up in when in constant danger, there are also a few things that could have been done differently or better. Besides the technical issues the game has, people completely new to the Disaster Report series will most likely have a hard time even finding out what their current mission is or what to do to progress the story. Just giving small hints would be enough. Putting that aside though, the game has its own charm with its choice of personalities and provides replay value with its huge amount of decisions and side quests. Players who enjoy the freedom of creating and customizing their own characters, assuming certain roles and exploring huge areas while constantly being exposed to dangerous or just surprising situations around every corner will enjoy this game a lot. Pros: + A lot of content and small details to be explored + Players are almost in full control of how their character is supposed to act Cons: - A big amount of graphical flaws - Players who expect to engage in combat will be disappointed - There was potential for a co-op or other multiplayer modes This review covers the PS4 version of Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories. Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories is available now on PS4, Nintendo Switch and Steam. I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to NISA for providing me with the opportunity to play this game and write this review.