Danganronpa has been a bit quiet as of late. Sure, there's been the anime series Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak Academy last year, and the west has got the Danganronpa 1/2 Reload collection of the first two games this year, but there hasn't been a main entry in the series since 2012. That's all changed with Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, though, which introduces us back to the Killing Game, featuring familiar faces like Monokuma as well as a brand new batch of victims... we mean, classmates.
To give a bit of context, each game in the past has been about the Killing Game, whereby an evil teddy bear called Monokuma traps students in a school with the deal that they can escape if they kill a fellow student and get away with it after a class trial takes place. Danganronpa V3 is no different, as the students wake up in a school and are greeted by the same premise. Also as with previous games, this entry is split between Daily Life (where you go through the story and have Free Time to build relationships with characters), Investigation after a murder, and Class Trial.
The series has been known for its creative casts, and here we meet perhaps the most eccentric to date. Whether that's the masked Ultimate Anthropologist Korekiyo Shinguji (trust us, he's very odd) or the Ultimate Robot K1-B0, aka Keebo, there's plenty of variety both in terms of personality and visual style. Even your own character, Kaede Akamatsu, is the first female protagonist we've seen, which was a breath of fresh air too.
Danganronpa V3 is also the darkest game in the series, as some of the events take incredibly twisted turns in comparison to the previous entries. Don't get us wrong, the game still has its iconic humour and charm, but this is mixed with more sinister content, including some character portraits later in the game. For a series the bases itself on the battle between Hope and Despair, the latter comes through more often than the former, especially considering the game's fantastic ending.
What we noticed most during our first foray into this new world was the updated look of the game. Sure, the format is still the same in terms of 3D worlds with 2D characters, but a lot more has gone into the style this time around. The UI is bathed in a neon glow, for instance, and onomatopoeic phrases pop up in a comic book style as well, all of which reminded us a lot of Persona 5, which had a very similar style to it. As you'd expect after five years, everything looks sharper too (we played on the PS4), including the definition in the characters and the 3D environments.