Soul Hackers 2 has a myriad of side activities to accomplish, but if you’re a completionist, you may want to refrain from doing all you can during your first playthrough. As for why, let’s dive into what encompasses Soul Hackers 2’s New Game+.
Firstly, the three following elements are automatically added when initiating your first New Game+ playthrough:
- Soul Levels (Character Affinity) grow at an increased rate across each New Game+ cycle
- Additional Personal Events
- Additional New Requests
That first point is noteworthy since there are optional dungeons in Soul Hackers 2 in a hub called the Soul Matrix. Each of these areas contains the memories of the three party members, and progression is dependent on Ringo’s Soul Level with them. On one’s first playthrough, it’s practically impossible to gain enough affinity to fully clear all five Soul Matrix levels for each party member.
The amount of affinity gained per choice is simply not feasible. At most, it’s potentially possible to clear one character’s Soul Matrix fully, but that would be at the cost of abandoning significant progress for the other two characters. Furthermore, since making strides in these areas grants the party members new skills, solely prioritizing one member’s Soul Level is not at all recommended.
However, completing every Soul Matrix dungeon on New Game+ is straightforward, thanks to the enhanced Soul Level growth. While the affinities restart from scratch, the amount gained on these new playthroughs is expanded tenfold. In fact, I was able to clear every Soul Matrix dungeon on my first New Game+ playthrough without much worry about my choices. These dungeons also contain quests specific to their areas called Aion Directives, and clearing all of them necessitates access to every full Soul Matrix area, so yeah, New Game+ is needed in that aspect. As if that wasn’t enough, fuse-able demons are unlocked at the ends of these dungeons.
Regarding the “Additional Personal Events,” there are only a few added in New Game+. At a bar in the Shinsando region called Heidrun, Ringo can hang out with the playable cast to raise Soul Levels. The available events depend on story progression, items found during exploration, and side quest completion. In New Game+, a few new conversation events get added with a certain character who had none during the first playthrough.
Further, these new conversations don’t grant more Soul Level points and are instead solely there to enjoy the banter. It is also worth noting that all dialogue choices during one’s first playthrough will be acknowledged by a check mark on New Game+, so players can see the brief alternative outcomes other decisions provide.
As for the “New Requests,” only a few are added during New Game+. The primary hub for gaining quests, Club Cretaceous, will hand over some new boss challenges only accessible from the first New Game+ playthrough onward. And, since quest logs don’t carry over between playthroughs, completionists should probably refrain from putting too much effort into doing all they can during their first playthrough and instead relegate their work afterward.
Moving on, there are elements that will automatically be carried over:
- Shop inventories
- Outfits (Characters start with defaults)
- Accessories (Characters start with defaults)
- Data on defeated enemies
- Data on consumed meals
All of those aforementioned points should be relatively self-explanatory.
Lastly, there are many elements that are selectively carried over, comprising the following:
- Character Levels
- COMP (Weapon) Upgrades
- Automapping (The mapped out areas you’ve previously explored)
- Money & Mistiquartz
- Demon Compendium & Unlocked Fusions
Regarding that last bullet point, the game does not carry over your active demon inventory no matter what, so you’ll have to repurchase them from the Compendium if you choose to carry that over.
When Soul Hackers 2 launches worldwide next week, we will have a complete Quest guide and Aion Directive guide for those yearning to see all of what the game has to offer. In the meantime, check out our review.
Soul Hackers 2 will release on August 26, 2022, for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
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