The game is controlled from a first-person view, has the player exploring dungeons and navigating outdoor areas, which are presented as 2D maps seen from a top-down perspective.
In both types of areas, the player encounters and battles against demons; a gauge on the bottom of the screen shows the likelihood of a demon encounter.
Hawk wins the gladiator tournament in Valhalla, obtaining citizenship in the Center, and is asked by Hiroko to help her find a boy who has gone missing. Returning to the Center, they learn that demons have attacked and that someone the bishop calls the Anti-Messiah is proclaiming to the people that he's the true Messiah. During the ensuing fight, Daleth nearly kills Aleph, but Beth sacrifices herself, allowing Aleph to regain the upper hand.
With the demon Nadja, Aleph travels through the underground, finding a brainwashed Hiroko in a concentration camp. Her cell is protected by Zayin, who admits to having doubts about the Center's action and lets Aleph free Hiroko; she refuses to leave, but Nadja frees her from the brainwashing by fusing with her.
Aleph and Hiroko fight and kill the first three archangels, after which Gabriel reveals that YHVH, the creator god, had ordered the archangels to watch over the creation of Tokyo Millennium and wait for the Messiah, but that Michael, Raphael and Uriel, unable to wait any longer, created Aleph as an artificial, false Messiah, leading YHVH to abandon them; he was the boy Hiroko was searching for, aged unnaturally fast to take on the role of Messiah.
Suspecting that Aleph is Satan, Lucifer summons Aleph and Hiroko to his castle in the Expanse; he is relieved to learn that Aleph is not Satan, but says that Satan's revival is only a matter of time. If the player instead allies with Lucifer or stays neutral, Aleph and Hiroko kill Zayin before he can activate the destruction; Aleph is dubbed a false Messiah and commits the "ultimate sin" by killing YHVH, freeing humanity.
The game was directed by Koji Okada, produced by Hideyuki Yokoyama, and written by Ryutaro Ito, with music composed by Tsukasa Masuko. Kazuma Kaneko designed the game's characters, but was also involved in the planning phase. During the game's planning, it was decided that it should not be directly connected to Shin Megami Tensei, ensuring that it would hold interest independent from the first game; because of this, Kaneko envisioned it as a story loosely based on Shin Megami Tensei's future.
Famitsu's found the demon fusion system to be excellent and fun, and did not think it felt outdated. Famitsu appreciated the game's "grand and unique" theme, its "profound" dark worldview and scenario.
Kalata and Snelgrove did not think the game's story started "with the same pizzazz" as Shin Megami Tensei; they thought that "the amnesiac savior" is a "lame cliche", and that the idea that Western religion is evil has been worn out.Chris at Square Enix Music Online disliked the game's music: he called it the worst in the whole series, and said that the music pieces tend to be monotone and based on repetition of nothingness.
|Shin Megami Tensei series|
|Main Entries||Megami Tensei • Megami Tensei II • Kyūyaku Megami Tensei |
Shin Megami Tensei • II • IV (Apocalyspe) • V
|Strategy games||Majin Tensei • Majin Tensei II|
Devil Survivor (Overclocked) • Devil Survivor 2 (Record Breaker)
|Last Bible||Last Bible • Last Bible II • Last Bible III • Another Bible|
|Devil Children||Black Book & Red Book • White Book • Book of Light & Book of Dark • Book of Fire & Book of Ice • Puzzle de Call! • Messiah Riser|
|Others||Shin Megami Tensei if... • Jack Bros. • Strange Journey (Redux) • Soul Hackers • Tokyo Mirage Sessions#FE • Persona Q • Persona Q2 • Persona 5 Scamble|