Quick Look: Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception (PS4)

During May of 2017, via publisher-come-distributor Deep Silver/Koch Media, released the visual-novel themed turn-based-strategy-game Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception onto the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita within Europe and America and today we will be taking a quick look at what it offers.

Firstly; Yes this article is ‘very late’ and Yes the sequel is already available, which is known as Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth, but with around fifty hours worth of content – most of which relate to the visual-novel gameplay – it can be a challenging experience to write about it; especally if you do not truly understand the story that is being told to you. As a result this article will not focus on the story, as that is the main selling point of this game, but it will give you a brief overview on what to expect from the game itself.

Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception puts the player in the role of the protagonist, known as Kuon, a traveller of sorts who after finding himself in trouble is rescued by a mysterious cat-earred-maid. From here the pair travel together while making new friends along the way and uncovering a deception within the kingdom they belong. As mentioned this ‘mysterious’ is played out through visual novel segments, of which can last at around 2 hours in length and naturally progress the story in traditional visual novel form; with beautiful artwork, minial character interaction and full Japanese voice-over.

It’s when these ‘visual novel’ elements end where Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception begins to show its unique feature; a full ‘chibi-styled’ turn-based-strategy-game that will test even the best players. As with most turn-based-games players have to move their character near opponents in order to attack. Strategy is the ‘key word’ here as what may seem like a simply fight can end up with countless retries and frustrating experiences. In hindsight it is a double edged sword; a great gameplay feature that flows naturally with the progression of the story BUT, and this is a big one, as players are not able to level-up outside of battle these fights become increasingly difficult. Fortunately upon failure any experience earned in the previous attempt is carried over.

A beautifully crafted visual novel with a throught-provoking strategy game is what Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception offers, and considering its extensive playtime of around fifty hours it offers a lot of game-time, even if majority of it is narrative through artwork and text. Regardless of how Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception looks, or plays, its not a game for everyone and with the ever increasing difficulty and confusing storytelling some users may end-up dropping the game before experiencing everything it has to offer. Which is a shame as it is a entertaining game that offers more than you might originally think.

Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception is available in both physical and digital form for the PlayStation 4 and is also available digitally for the PlayStation Vita as a download from the PlayStation Store.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK, but in the past he has produced content for ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.

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