A red haze clouds the Retriever's vision. There's not much life left in the old dog, but he continues to fight. From the grasses the Rabbit strikes. The Jackal is caught unaware. The Rabbit is no predator, but he's not defenseless. A well placed kick distracts the Jackal, which is the opening the Retriever needs. It's over. But the old dog's hunger can no longer be sated. He's dying.
He continues on with the Rabbit, marking the last of the Dogenzaka territory, claiming it for the unlikely trio. There's a nest to the east. The group travels there quickly, time is short. Suddenly, the Retriever senses something. A female. A possible mate. He runs through the broken streets with the little energy he has. She appears before him, looking haggard and old, desperate, like he is. There's still time. They struggle back to the nest. The Rabbit graciously steps aside. He's not too old, yet. There will be other nests.
Come morning there are three Retriever pups. Rookies to this new world. The young canine can sense that food has moved on. His sire will live out his final hours in Dogenzaka. The young Retriever will have to find a new area to call his home. He knows there's an old Tosa still roaming in the north. An impossibility for an old, solitary dog, but three young Retrievers, with enough skill and cunning, might be able to claim that land. The young pack heads north, followed by an aging Rabbit and his mate. Life goes on in Tokyo Jungle.
* * *
You can also wear stat boosting outfits. Cute.
The co-op play in Tokyo Jungle is fun, but it's a lesser experience for the second player. In typical PlayStation 3 fashion, the second player piggybacks on the first player's profile. The shared screen focuses on Player One. Combat can be hectic in single player, and it's even more difficult to find your character in the tornado of biting and clawing when two full packs do battle. Both players can breed and level up their particular animals, but only one breeding pair can use a territory. You'll need to move on and claim another area for the second player to pass on their genes. Also, only Player One's unlockable animal will be available through the Survival Mode challenges. Both players can work to complete these challenges, but if both players are the same animal type, (grazers or predators) they'll be splitting calories. This will make it harder to rank up and find a good mate.
Tokyo Jungle is one of this year's most intriguing titles. The co-op could be better. This game would have benefited greatly from split screen play, and dare I say, and adversarial mode. At times some of the core concepts seem like they could have been fleshed out a little more. Still, it's a very entertaining and addictive game. There's a lot of content here for $15 PlayStation Network title ($12 for PS Plus members). The world itself, while teeming with life, could have used a little more size. Some players may not enjoy the repetitive grind, but I found the struggle for survival compelling. Besides, stealth killing a sleeping tiger with a pack of beagles is just plain fun.
The Co-Op Experience: Two players can team up locally in the game's Survival Mode. Each player can choose an animal. Complete challenges, avoid predators, hunt prey, find a mate, and establish dominance.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.