Do you think your life really sucks sometimes?
It could be a whole lot worse, you know. You could be stuck in a tarnished wasteland of mechanical ruins, fighting an extensive, bloody war against a handful of other tribes for the right to escape. That's the daily reality Serph and his companions in the Embryon have to face. Oh, and to top it all off, everybody in the place just got hit with a special light that gives them demonic powers and a raging hunger that can only be sated by consuming others.
And that's just the beginning of Digital Devil Saga, the newest spinoff of Atlus's endearing Shin Megami Tensei franchise. As soon as it hits the ground running, you can tell that this isn't going to be your typical RPG.
While Digital Devil Saga is part of the Shin Megami Tensei bloodline, the game veers off in some wildly different directions. Most of the main SMT games, and even the spinoffs (Devil Summoner, Persona) have taken place in a modern-day, real-world environment. Digital Devil Saga, however, takes place in a not-so-idyllic "fantasy" environment - the Junkyard, a wasteland of scrap metal and hopeless bloodshed, ruled over by the mysterious Karma Temple. The main character, Serph, is not a young adventurer who discovers he must be the world's savior; Instead, he is one of several warlords who is battling for the right for him and his tribe to escape from this hell to a place only known as "Nirvana."
The day when a young dark-haired girl falls from the sky in a shower of light is the day when things go from bad to much, much worse. Everyone has been given the power of a demonic transformation and an insatiable hunger for the flesh of their peers. The Karma Temple offers only a few vague instructions to the tribes: Devour your enemies to increase your strength, and bring the black-haired girl to them...
While the story is certainly unique, Digital Devil Saga is a fairly traditional RPG in that it follows many of the genre staples: A linear storyline progression, various locales to visit and NPCs to interact with, turn-based battles, lengthy dungeons to traverse, and a few sidequests thrown in for good measure. If you've played RPGs in the past, you should be right at home here.