What do you get when take an old school RPG and mix it with a new and fresh way of story telling? You get Citizens of Earth. In Citizens of Earth, you’ll play as newly elected “Vice President” of Earth who wakes up at home after his first day in office, only to find a sinister plot happening in his home town.
Citizens of Earth plays out just like you would expect from any traditional RPG, but rather than a hodgepodge group of people who don’t know each other, you’ll begin Vice President’s adventure fighting with (rather as) your mother, brother and other townsfolk from your home town. I think this worked well with the story line, because what better reason should a Vice President fight evil, when he’s not fighting next to his fellow politicians, than to protect his home? You can have up to three citizens in your party, all having different abilities like the Baker who produces freshly baked, health-restoring bread to heal his allies. Vice President leads his trusty citizens through combat, including a Barista who can scald enemies with hot coffee or sell useful power-up items to other party members. This type of initiation and story telling makes the title fresh and interesting and I wish more games would include a fresh, funny story like Citizens of Earth has, but does the meat of the game hold up to its great introduction? It left me wanting to see what all the citizens do, and collecting all of the Citizens of Earth helped stretch an already long title into a quest for more than completion.
While Citizens of Earth isn’t a visual diamond, live game play does the title considerably more justice than a screenshot can give it. In the traditional style of a JRPG, you’ll be fighting in an arena for every fight, with menus for selection. Citizens of Earth looks as good as it gets in this regard, but it’s not flashy either, just respectable. With a cartoon-focused style, Citizens of Earth is its own league of art and design, but it’s not the shiniest title on the block – it just looks good.
You’re the Vice President, as we mentioned earlier, and waking up in your mother’s house after your first day of ruling over the entire world is a fitting scenario for this tale of twists and turns. Set in a small home town sent into turmoil, Citizens of Earth runs across a major plot-line and a sub-plot, disguised as the major plot. As you spend your days fending off the forces of evil on Earth, your first adventure blends straight into a war at the corporate level – an appropriate fight for any new Vice President of Earth. At home, you’ll begin by taking on your former rival candidate for Vice Presidency, who causes a small riot in your town. Forcing a barricade of police around the city, this begins a small scale experience of that traditional RPG feeling that CoE will be known for. Tackling your way through endless waves of protesters; fans of your latest election of course, begin unlocking the Vice President’s first followers with the defense of the town, and later the world. Reaching forward, after the protesters are cleared, you’ll unravel a sinister plot from an alien civilization to take over the world – but can you conquer the scum of the universe, or will Moonbucks’ evil alien corporation conquer you? Citizens of Earth pulls a fun twist while not taking itself too seriously, making the story a nice change of pace in a world full of overly confrontational titles.
During our play through of both the PC and PS4 versions of Citizens of Earth, this Eden Industries created title wasn’t as polished as we would like to have seen, and we were able to re-create some of the bugs we’ve found on the PS4, leaving something to be desired there. Though these bugs weren’t game-breaking, here’s what we found. First, on the PlayStation 4, the title crashed after just 1.5 hours of play in the local school. Accessible at an early part of the game, those who are brave enough to take on simulations of any monsters they have previously faced in much larger packs will enjoy the Virtual Reality mechanic. While this is a fantastic mechanic, many monsters in the game are able to spawn other monsters mid-fight. We found that in these VR simulations that we would experience moderate levels of game crashing glitches. While it is possible to grind out your characters’ levels in the “real world”, this VR simulation could clearly be the preferred method to anyone interested in power leveling – so this was especially sour for us. On the up-and-up, the title had our back with frequent auto saving, so it didn’t hurt too much beyond a restart, but it was still disturbing at some level. On the PC, some visual glitches occurred as well, where the screen may occasionally turn a solid green for a split second. To their credit again, Citizens of Earth was updated during our play test, and reduced this PC glitch considerably and I would expect that Eden Industries, along with Atlus will work on repairing the title as quickly as possible – if not before in a day one patch today.
As one of the achievements/trophies available for Citizens of Earth, it is the collection of these citizens that gives the title its replay-ability. With 50 citizens to collect and make ready for your team, you’ll spend hours on hours working through these citizens’ minor quest lines if you want them on your side fighting off the forces of evil. With a scaling level of difficulty available through the school’s mascot, those who want to play through the title on increased difficulty levels can work their way through the tutorial riots and crank it up for a boost in experience and rewards. These small features take a somewhat standard RPG and give it a nice turn for the replayable, which is a sight for sore eyes.
Overall Citizens of Earth is a great RPG, and will be offered at a nice launch discount. Fans of old-school RPGs will love the game and the new play style in the genre. If you’re not looking for a traditional RPG, this may not be the game for you, but if you’re looking to dive a lot of hours into a decent title, pick this up starting today, June 20th on PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Steam for 20% off at launch.