A full decade before Sword Art Online was released, the Project .hack franchise captured the imagination of a generation with its pseudo MMORPG setting and intriguing storylines. Between multiple anime series, collectible card games, manga, and a dozen video games across multiple platforms, there’s still a strong cult following for this series. As a result, Bandai Namco Entertainment has released .hack//G.U. Last Recode, a remaster of the three (former) PlayStation 2-exclusive .hack//G.U. games and a brand new fourth volume, .hack//G.U. Vol. 4//Reconnection, on the PlayStation 4.
.hack//G.U. Last Recode follows the tried-and-true .hack formula, focusing on the action and drama of characters playing a video game (The World) in which their avatar’s death causes them to go into a coma in real life. As Haseo, the legendary Player Killer, you’re tasked with hunting down the player known as Tri-Edge, who put one of your friends into a coma after defeating her in combat. The mystery stretches across four HD remastered titles in Last Recode, giving you the chance to investigate within The World itself and on a hub mimicking your character’s computer desktop. .hack//G.U. Last Recode offers all the fun and drama of an MMORPG experience without the need for a proper Internet connection or any other real-life players. Chances are you may begin to question your own experience after grinding away for hours on end, so strap in for a real time sink.
.hack//G.U. Last Recode Review Final Thoughts:
.hack’s world building is as engrossing as ever in .hack//G.U. Last Recode, which offers the games as they should have initially been released – bundled together and in HD. There’s not a lot of variance from one game to the next, which was one of my main complaints the first time around, but paying $60 for a game that would have been $240 separately at retail is a bargain in my book. My biggest hangup regarding .hack//G.U. Last Recode is not having the time to fully engross myself in The World as I did when I was a teen. If you can, go for it – you won’t be able to unplug.
.hack//G.U. Last Recode on PS4
- HD remake of a classic PlayStation 2 RPG series.
- Engaging game about a game within a game.
- 4 video games for the price of 1!
- Extended grinding sessions, typical of RPGs.
- PlayStation 2-era character models that didn’t age particularly well.
- Story characters that don’t go far beyond classic MMO tropes, including trolls.