It feels like it’s a running joke at this point wherein I somehow end up playing some game that is highly reminiscent of Arknights, because that is clearly my only game ever. Today, I’m trying out Path to Nowhere, currently accepting pre-registrations with a limited beta test running up to 30 September 2022, 16:00 UTC +7.
WELCOME TO THE MBCC
The game employs a somewhat more realistic, gritty art direction that already makes it stand out from the typical anime-style fare available. The characters definitely give off the more sultry, sexily dangerous vibes as befitting their status as your effective prisoners who each have their own incredibly powerful abilities. Dubbed “Sinners”, your power is the capability to bind them and have them obey you. Spicy power dynamics there.
There’s no option to change it to an alternate dub if you wanted to right now, with everyone fully voiced in English in the story beats. They’re actually quite good too, even if the text doesn’t always match the voice. The soundtrack didn’t particularly stick out for me in the early stages, but it has this jazz, noir feel to it.
Characters have Live2D motion, so it makes them that much more lifelike. The overall presentation is quite nice if a little on the dark side. In your inventory, the characters are posed like their mugshots before more you see more details on opening up their profile. Right now, I can’t seem to find any artist info or voice actors, so I’d hope this will be updated upon launch.
You can choose how your player character looks like between the male and female options. I presume there’s more lesbianism in store for the female PC (granted there are male characters as well).
By the way, you kinda have amnesia. Have fun.
CHIEF’S COMMAND SEAL
The core gameplay has you pre-deploy units from basically your entire roster, so you’re only limited by the actual deployment slots. As you might expect, each character has their own skills, traits and class that are tailored to certain mechanics. The ones with the red gradient would be the more desired units I feel, as they are the ones capable of breaking enemy “cores”.
“Cores” grant enemies more stats, and breaking them will make them vulnerable and take more damage. Depending on the enemy, you might need to time when to break the core, as they may not appear right away.
Since your units are pre-deployed, you don’t need to adjust their orientation; so melee characters will often have a one-grid range in the cardinal directions, and ranged characters can more or less cover half, if not the entire map depending on their position. What’s different is that you are given a limited amount of times to move your units to any valid tile during combat to protect your player character who does appear on the field.
Character growth has you raise their levels, promote them, upgrade their skills, and basically improve their potentials through duplicates or tokens. I feel that regular levelling feels extremely expensive even for the initial level 20 cap, not even mentioning the materials for later promotions. There’s nothing too unusual here, besides collection bonuses for getting members of certain “factions”.
At a 2% rate for SSR characters, it’s something I’ve come to expect in games like these. There’s a “spark” system at 80 pulls for the standard banner, though I can’t tell if this will get carried over to other rate up banners.
In trying to be a grittier world of dubious power dynamics and broken systems, the way the characters swear so much makes it sound more childish than anything. Besides that, the art style is definitely fetching. There’s nothing in particular that stands out for me, personally, which is highly subjective.
The fully voiced story can be more engaging instead of reading lengthy texts even if it doesn’t fully capture my interest in the opening. I suppose I’m still a weeb and fully entrenched in Arknights to consider something similar, but by all means, if anything here interests you, keep an eye out for it.