HomeReviewsMade in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness Review

Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness Review

Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness

Developer: Chime
Publisher: Spike Chunsoft
Platforms: Switch, PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), PC
Release Date: Available Now
Price: $59.99 USD – Available Here


There are certain anime and manga series that can feel like they are perfect fits for a video game of some kind and Made in Abyss just so happens to be one of them. With its cute looking exterior belying the gruesome gore and darkness hidden beneath and a gripping storyline, the franchise has continued to see success for nearly a decade with multiple films and two anime seasons. So, now that a video game has indeed been made for the series, is Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness worth diving into for fans or newcomers?


It was once believed that every location on the planet had been explored and there was nothing left to discover. That is until a massive hole in the earth was discovered on an island that happened to contain numerous artifacts and technological advancements far beyond what anyone thought was possible. With untold riches hidden within this “Abyss” the town of Orth formed around the hole where Cave Raiders delve into the abyss in search of treasure at the risk of dying… or worse. The Curse of the Abyss inflicts all those who venture inside where the deeper one goes, the more one suffers trying to return home and one such child by the name of Riko is living in an orphanage because her mother did just that. 

With her mother previously being celebrated as one of the best raiders in the city, Riko wishes to follow in her mother’s footsteps and when she learns that her mother may indeed be alive somewhere within the Abyss, she begins her adventure even if it means it may end with her death. Of course, she is not alone as the mysterious robotic boy Reg that she discovered in the Abyss joins her on her journey and serves as her protector against the many dangerous threats ready to tear Riko apart. With Riko searching for her lost mother and trying to learn more about Reg’s past, it will bring her up against the many mysteries of the Abyss.

Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness opens by showing off two gameplay modes that players seem like they will have access to but unfortunately the “Deep in Abyss” mode is locked until players complete “Hello Abyss.” The reasoning for this is fairly sound as it not only introduces the world of Made in Abyss to players and explores a little bit of the series’ plot while also serving as a “light” tutorial, but it also is an incredible drag. As someone who has seen most of what the series has had to offer through the years, Hello Abyss provides only a simplistic introduction to the core storyline with the most basic of character interactions that often lack the weight of what was felt in the original and even then does not continue far enough to even be enjoyable. Players will barely find themselve learning about certain secrets of the world and meeting fan favorite characters before the story abruptly ends in a completely nonsensical place, especially since it doesn’t even go past where the first season of the anime concluded five years ago.

This leaves little enjoyment for longtime fans and even newcomers will be left with only a vague idea of the core storyline as a result. Thankfully once players power through the roughly five hour Hello Abyss mode they will find that the original storyline in Deep in Abyss is far better as it finds players taking their own raider and seeking to become a White Whistle all while interacting with many fan favorite characters and experiencing a solid original storyline that fits in perfectly with the themes and tone of the world that fans will be familiar with. It is just a shame that to get to this point players must suffer through the aforementioned recap mode that is Hello Abyss.


As mentioned before, Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness forces players to play through the Hello Abyss mode before they are able to access the second and far better mode Deep in Abyss. The Hello Abyss mode serves as something of an introduction to how various mechanics work in the game before dumping players into the core experience but it unfortunately isn’t the best tutorial around. Not only are players given barely any explanation for things that they are supposed to do, the game does a poor job of even elaborating on some of the more important aspects of the game’s mechanics that will in-turn bite the player once they step into Deep in Abyss, especially since the game’s difficulty takes a massive upswing once players are no longer playing as Riko with Reg as an ally in combat.

The core of Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness sees players exploring the Abyss in dungeon crawling fashion with players needing to examine their surroundings, keeping an eye out for paths that include the ability to climb down cliff faces and even rapel to progress deeper into the abyss. As players explore they will have a number of survival aspects to worry about as they not only need to balance their hunger and carry weight, but they will also need to manage their weapon durability to stay alive in combat. Players will find themselves needing to hunt down monsters and gather items to cook into food that will keep them going but, as mentioned, they will be limited by carrying weight though players will eventually be able to unlock various upgrades that make things a bit easier. In fact, player progression being tied to quests that they complete is actually one of the more interesting aspects of the game and allows for players to grow stronger even when avoiding conflict and instead focusing on gathering Artifacts and resources like a Cave Raider would.

The weapon durability is unfortunately something that remains an issue throughout the game as even strong seeming weaponry will quickly break as players take part in the incredibly rough feeling combat. Fighting against monsters in the Abyss is rarely an exciting process due in part to the limited stamina and clunky feeling to fights. To make matters worse, rather than enemies having standard placement, they will often spawn randomly around the player during exploration. There were multiple occasions that saw a previously cleared path almost immediately repopulate. This leads to annoying swarms that can lead to some cheap deaths in a fight but especially when it comes to climbing.

As fans of the series know, Made in Abyss‘ Curse of the Abyss is a horrific thing and players will need to deal with it when they are exploring the Abyss. This means any time the player begins to climb upwards too quickly, or even jumps too much, they will begin to suffer from the curse and must wait for it to abate before progressing further up. This is a bit of an annoyance, especially when it can appear simply by going too quickly up a ramp, but stays true to the series and offers another survival aspect. In fact, those looking for a solid survival game will likely find that the Deep in Abyss mode has some of the most rewarding feeling survival aspects that truly challenge the player, especially with successful runs feeling like real accomplishments, but it is just a shame that it takes so long to get to these aspects of the game.

Visuals & Audio

Considering the platforms that Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness is releasing on, it is a bit surprising that the title looks rather bad even for a game also arriving on Switch. The overall aesthetic of the character designs remain true to the original series and there is plenty of blood and gore to still be had but there is a certain lack of detail to nearly everything that makes the title appear incredibly cheap. Even exploring areas in the abyss are limited into smaller explorable areas that hide the immense nature of the journey and while enemy designs are handled rather well, the animations for both enemies and character models are poor.

Thankfully the choice between Japanese and English voice work is handled quite well with both the original performers and the English cast handling their roles well here. The soundtrack also features a great collection of tracks that fit perfectly for exploration and combat as well as some of the bleaker reveals that unfold throughout the story. 


With perhaps the longest and weakest tutorial in recent memory, Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness limits what players can do for far too long before they can access the rewarding but incredibly tough survival mode that is Made in Abyss. The various gameplay mechanics may have their flaws but the game does a solid enough job mimicking the world of Made in Abyss and the challenge Cave Raiders face even if it feels like failure is often due to cheap deaths more than anything else. As such, Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness is really only for fans of the franchise and even then they will need to trudge through hours of basic content before they can dive into the meat of the game.

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Strange choices hide what is a challenging but flawed survival RPG with Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness being the type of game only a fan would enjoy.
Travis Bruno
Travis Bruno
After playing games since a young age and getting into anime a bit later on its been time to write about a little bit of everything.
Strange choices hide what is a challenging but flawed survival RPG with <i>Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness</i> being the type of game only a fan would enjoy.Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling into Darkness Review