Operation Abyss certainly begins with a bang, placing you in the role of a character who has awoken in a “gloomy darkness” right next to several severed, bloodied bodies. A hooded man appears and lets you know that you’ve basically been kidnapped, and you are quickly attacked by a group of zombie monsters. Here opens up your very first choice in the game: Trust the hooded man or not.
You encounter an enormous crocodile as you attempt to escape, and it is clear that you stand no chance against the powerful beast. All seems lost, until a girl known as Mifune appears and takes it down, saving your skins once again. From here you’re inducted into the Code Physics Agency, or CPA, as you are determined to be able to use “Blood Codes”, granting you the power to face the monsters, known as Variants.
The rest of the story is told during the main missions, and we won’t get too deeply into it so as to not spoil anything. Suffice to say that, though the game will contain several tropes, it won’t fall victim to introducing the most horrible ones..
Gameplay can be a bit of a mixed bag in Operation Abyss. Unfortunately, many of the dungeons start to blend together after a while, which is a shame, considering how much care has seemingly gone into creating the rest of the title.
Inside the dungeons, one of the interesting aspects of the game comes into play, specifically the encounter meter. The longer you stay in the dungeon, the more this meter climbs, causing tougher and tougher enemies to make their appearance. As a result, it becomes a game of strategy, weighing the risks and rewards of fighting, since the tougher enemies obviously give better experience and rewards.
In battle, some gamers may become quite frustrated, however. You will be able to choose the actions your characters take, but the enemies in battle will be separated into groups in varying rows. You can only target a group, so while you may need to take out Enemy A in Group A, you may end up hitting Enemy B in Group A or even Enemy C or D. Though this does make the game feel a bit faster combat-wise in relation to other titles, such as Etrian Odyssey, the fact that it can require luck instead of skill in some instances can easily turn off dungeon crawler fans.
Furthermore, once you have gained the experience necessary to level up, you won’t instantly gain the level. You will need to return to your base and rest up in order to level, so you cannot count on instantly regaining your health with a level as you explore the massive dungeons.
Speaking of base, there is a fair amount of customization you can do. From changing your Blood Codes to adjusting your equipment and even swapping out characters in your current squad entirely, Operation Abyss certainly has no shortage of customization options.
Though the dungeons can drag on a bit and the battles can feel more luck-based, Operation Abyss is still a solid dungeon crawling RPG. Fans of the genre should enjoy it, and those who haven’t been interested in, or haven’t liked other titles in the genre, should be able to find it easy enough to get into, as these aforementioned “flaws” also make it feel like it has a much lower barrier of entry than other titles.
Final Score: 3.75/5