The Danganronpa series has reveled in the absurdity of throwing high school students in the most bizarre situations, rife with mystery, murder, and interpersonal relations. Oh, and there’s a bloodthirsty bear overlord. Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony follows in the same tradition, and lives up to the franchise name that has given way to such a variety of pop culture media, including manga and anime.
You play as a high school student, trapped in a school, and overseen by a bear named Monokuma. There are others trapped with you, and together you need to figure out how to survive, while the bear issues out orders stating that the only way to survive is by killing others without getting caught. The strength of the game are the fascinating cast, the mysterious setting, and the compelling narrative.
The game unfolds in a similar fashion as a visual novel, but boasts a stunning presentation that reflects its anime inspirations. Getting know the other characters, their intents and motivations is immensely engaging. You need to investigate murders, and that is presented in a point & click style. The evidence you find is then to be used during trials. You can also use the evidence to fabricate lies, that can then be used to reveal new information. There’s a lot happening at the same time, and keeping up with everything can be daunting. But if you’re patient and not put off by text-heavy narrative, then you should not have a problem here.
The murders themselves are set up in elaborate ways, and have neat twists to them. They also introduce new characters, and almost all of them are memorable and weird. In between murders, you spend time knowing those around, and while this slows down the plot a bit, I really enjoyed learning about the world and it’s inhabitants. The background is richly detailed, and I was invested. Also, paying attention to things outside of the murders often reveals details later on that you would otherwise miss.
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony is another strong entry in the franchise, and definitely worth playing. Excellent storytelling, and a fantastic cast hold the game together even through some of the slower in-between moments. If you’re a fan of the series, then there’s no reason to miss out on this game. And if you’re new, then there’s nothing quite like Danganronpa, and this is great entry point.