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I found one of the year’s best RPGs in the last place I expected

I found one of the year’s best RPGs in the last place I expected

The best kind of Download

Isn’t it always the way that the things you’ve been searching for are in the last place you expected to find them? I once found my house keys in a sock drawer years after I’d already replaced them, for instance. I also found one of the year’s best RPGs hanging out at a music festival.

I recently spent the weekend at Download Festival here in the UK, where even near-endless rain and the blokes in the tent next to us playing the same three Limp Bizkit songs on repeat until 4am did little to dampen spirits.

The highlights were many. Fall Out Boy pulled out a career-spanning set. Limp Bizkit attracted the biggest crowd of the weekend for muddy mayhem. Sum 41 delivered a blistering farewell. But among all the carnage SEGA quietly delivered an extra surprise for attendees: a free demo of Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance.

Now, here at GAMINGbible we love a bit of SMTV. We gave the original a 9/10, and we’re currently loving all the new bells and whistles Vengeance brings to the table.

Seeing a game like Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance at a festival like Download, nestled in amongst some of the biggest rock and metal acts in the world, it just felt right. I daresay the venn diagram of metal fans and enjoyers of Atlus-developed RPGs is a circle, and nothing I saw over the weekend disproved that theory.

Frozemode's Lisong playing SMTV /

Every time I decided to swing by the SEGA booth there were delighted fans, new and old, getting to grips with the RPG. Considering SMTV is by design quite a dense and punishing experience, it was interesting to see just how many newcomers came away intrigued and ready to play more.

Even a few of the bands playing the festival decided to swing by and give the game a go. Punk-rap trio Frozemode paid a visit after their set and praised SMTV’s striking anime-flavoured visuals and deep gameplay.

“It feels like there’s levels to it,” Frozemode’s Cho-Hollow told me during a rare break from the rain. “I need to play it a little more and learn the ropes.”

Given this is a band whose current lineup of games includes Baldur’s Gate 3 and Elden Ring, I think we can safely assume these guys know exactly what they’re talking about when it comes to video games.

Certainly, this was the general feeling I picked up from a lot of the visitors who might not have played SMTV before, but the consensus is clear: it’s a game worth persevering for and, I suspect, Download and SEGA may well have just converted a whole new legion of fans to the world of the brutal RPG series.

Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance is available now

Featured Image Credit: SEGA

Topics: Sega