I yearn to give this game an 8. It fulfills many of its promises and I enjoyed my time with it. However—speaking for my Playstation 4 review copy (v1.02)—when you take the above alongside grammatical errors, UI errors, crashes, continually pausing to load, combat clunk, and perhaps its narrow interpretation of replay value, what could have been minor and forgivable grievances deal some objective damage.
The Station is short, simple, and sweet. It’s atmosphere-heavy and narrative-light; exploration-rich and challenge-impoverished. However, the attention to setting detail and aesthetic are top-notch, which (for those who come in expecting little more than an immersive walkabout) does much to alleviate the brevity and superficiality of the intended path.
This is a juncture where each player must decide for themselves: Even if overall a decent video game, is this a decent Dynasty Warriors game? Such is the risk of renewal; change that seems necessary to some is not even desired by others. The fans of yesterday won’t always be the fans of tomorrow.
Yet while its objective flaws stand out, they don’t weigh Mask of Deception down quite enough to diminish its entertainment value. It lands awkwardly between a serious SRPG-VN and a quirky Aiun-inspired harem anime a mere stone’s throw from its eroge origins, yes. But will that do anything to turn off its target demographic? Probably not.