Generally favorable reviews - based on 69 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 69
  2. Negative: 0 out of 69
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  1. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is full of the sorts of complexities and nuances that make you want to double back and analyze the script, lore, and artwork in every scene. There’s so much going on, but it’s handled in a way where you’re typically never given more than you can handle. Rather, it prepares you for its major moments.
  2. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim mixes smart design with superb storytelling, then slathers the whole package in gorgeous style.
  3. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is truly one of the most unique games I have ever played through. My 35 hours with Vanillaware’s latest title is something I wish I got back because I want to play it again for the first time. Kamitani explores so many interesting sci-fi ideas and philosophies in this title and they come together to form something magical. None of this would be nearly as impactful without the unconventional piecemeal storytelling scattered throughout the 13 protagonists’ perspectives. It is a narrative labyrinth that kept me intrigued the entire way. The execution of this game is masterful in its own right, fully utilizing what video game storytelling could be capable of. While the RTS battles drew the short end of the stick, what 13 Sentinels achieves in storytelling for video games is something to be celebrated and commemorated.
  4. 100
    You know a game has consumed your life when it seeps into your dreams. That’s exactly what happened to me. I’m seeing Triangles floating atop heads and planning strategy in my sleep. Not the worst way to sleep but also not the most relaxing. I’m craving yakisoba pan all the time. No other games exist while you’re playing 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. Don’t even bother trying to play anything else. Your brain simply won’t let you.
  5. 100
    I know I’m being vague in what I write and say here, but I really am restricted from talking about the best that 13 Sentinels offers by embargo conditions. What I can say, however, is that this game stands proudly with the likes of NieR Automata, Persona 4 and Danganronpa as something truly intelligent and meaningful. Without ever losing sight of its need to entertain players, 13 Sentinels intellectually engages with and challenges them, respecting their ability and willingness to engage with the game on that level. It is, in a games industry that increasingly frustrates me for its lack of artistic intent, deeply and proudly artistic. The fact that it just happens to have such an excellent strategy game layered over the top of the narrative is the nicest icing on the cake.
  6. Oct 3, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a new masterpiece from Vanillaware, creators of Odin Sphear and Dragon's Crown. An epic adventure and one of the best games of 2020.
  7. Sep 15, 2020
    A beautiful, unique adventure that delivers not only one of the best stories we’ve ever seen in a game, but also an incredible storytelling.
  8. Sep 15, 2020
    Kamitani and Vanillaware have achieved their ultimate goal with 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. It’s clear that this game is so much more than just “a little RTS, a little action, and a decent story.” It delivers a dense and gripping story full of twists that is grounded in its characters and smaller moments. Empathising with the characters and watching the revelations unfold through all of the different perspectives enamoured me. It’s a bold departure for the studio, one which seems impenetrable at first, but it’s hard not to love a game where you can drink milk coffee from a vending machine one moment, and then pilot a giant mech the next.
  9. Nov 12, 2020
    A game of two halves. One of them is an amazingly detailed and well-told sci-fi story, the other a fun, strategic RPG. And as a whole it works perfectly.
  10. Nov 12, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim shows, once again, that Vanillaware is willing to take new risks with a great dose of talent and originality. Intriguing and complex science fiction plot, 13 main protagonists with their individual story arcs and an artistic visual display are the key elements of this new adventure. George Kamitani and his team travel through time and space with the mission to amaze international gamers with their indie touch. Mission accomplished.
  11. Oct 31, 2020
    Bold, ambitious, and stirringly unique, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is shockingly excellent, and a game that demands that you immerse yourself fully in it, in return for a rich experience quite unlike anything else on the market.
  12. Oct 8, 2020
    For fans of heady science-fiction or winding mysteries, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is nothing short of a staggering achievement.
  13. Oct 7, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim excels at pretty much everything it attempts to do, and brings it all together very well. The story is brilliant and worth experiencing, while the combat is really where it is all at. If it were not for the lack of difficulty and over-reliance on time travel in the story, this may be the perfect game.
  14. Oct 1, 2020
    A complex, though highly intriguing and wonderfully told story with great graphics... that's what you get if you buy 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. Which you absolutely should.
  15. Sep 27, 2020
    13 Sentinels is not the first gorgeous game Vanillaware has made. The reason it’s exceptional is because of how exciting the journey is. Sure, there’s the mystery box pull as you peel away layer after layer, but a giant reason you’ll want to hungrily jump to the next chapter is because the characters are just so charming. It is relatively rare that a video game story is this captivating and it’s absolutely worth making time for.
  16. Sep 26, 2020
    It’s unique art and gameplay make it an unexpected treat, and it’s got the makings of an instant cult classic.
  17. Sep 25, 2020
    A drop dead gorgeous mix of time travel adventure and mech tactics told from 13 perspectives.
  18. Sep 25, 2020
    While 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim‘s monstrosity versus mech action may have faltered in key ways, it is impossible to turn a blind eye to how absolutely captivating the entire package is. Gaming allows the most bizarre, gut-wrenching, poignant stories to be told in such broad, creative strokes. Vanillaware’s ability to reach into decades of inspiration and craft their own intricately wonderful narrative about growth, loss, and a million other things should not be ignored because it is delivered in such a complex, entertaining way. This is a game that does not have to beg for players’ maximum attention as each new revelation leads to yet another unmissable moment.
  19. Sep 18, 2020
    Ultimately, the biggest problem with 13 Sentinels is that a chunk of the game is merely good while the majority of it is outstanding. The stories of these kids and their giant robots absolutely consumed me during my playtime, and even now, I'm ruminating over certain plot points, events, and relationships, wondering if I should go back through the archives to see what I've missed. I don't think I'll forget my time in the 13 Sentinels world, and I doubt you will, either.
  20. Sep 17, 2020
    13 Sentinels is the deepest of narrative experiments, with none of the form of a normal RPG, and a visceral and addictive strategic mech battler. It channels everything good about Japanese mech anime and games from the last 40 years into something beautiful, timeless and incredibly niche. A real contender for RPG of the year.
  21. Sep 16, 2020
    Some repetitive storytelling moments drag down the pacing here and there. Also, for a studio so lauded for its visuals, the horrifying slowdown during the strategy battle segments is borderline offensive. Even with these issues, though, 13 Sentinels is an absolute must play, especially for those seeking a good narrative in gaming. This is the kind of story that’s going to stick in my mind for weeks to come, and easily stands up with some of the best stories I’ve experienced in any medium.
  22. Sep 16, 2020
    Finally, something fresh in 2020! In 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, Vanillaware offers PS4 players a singular sci-fi experience, driven by a well-crafted and exciting "Russian doll" plot from start to finish. We thought it would be impossible for the developers to keep us in suspense across 13 different scenarios while still remaining intelligible — and yet, despite the hallucinating number of revelations and plot points thrown at us, it proved to be fully digestible until the end. The combat is also a strength, with dynamic turn-based battles that are enjoyable, if not chaotic.
  23. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is absolutely wonderful all around. Each of the 13 protagonists gets relatively equal screen time, and they’re all brought to life by both the great English and Japanese voice tracks. You’re sure to have your favorites, but it’s incredibly satisfying to see how each of their stories intersects through time and space and coalesces into the battle for mankind against the alien invaders. This is one adventure you simply don’t want to miss.
  24. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a must-play for fans of Japanese sci-fi adventures. Mixing the strengths of Vanillaware's art with time-travel adventures is a recipe for huge success. A story ambitious enough to have thirteen different protagonists seems bound for failure, yet the game manages to make each story not only incredibly impactful on its own, but adds up to a bigger, brighter and utterly unforgettable narrative. The addictive tactical gameplay that strings these story scenes together, despite a strange artstyle, is just icing on the already massive and delicious cake.
  25. Sep 15, 2020
    The game is absolutely one of this year’s standout RPGs, and it’s particularly refreshing to see that in something that brings both unique combat and storytelling to the table. Vanillaware has outdone itself here.
  26. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a very unique experience, even in the realm of video games. It’s gameplay systems gel well together and the non-linear storytelling could only work in this medium. While some plot points aren’t as well explored as others and it uncomfortably sexualizes high school students, it’s still a game you absolutely need to play if you’re a fan of science fiction or enjoy video game storytelling.
  27. Sep 15, 2020
    Gorgeous and addictive, both in terms of story and gameplay, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a must have for all Vanillaware fans and for everyone who seeks an intriguing sci-fi plot.
  28. Sep 15, 2020
    The masters of 2D have in fact given us a convoluted and enthralling narrative interweaving, which between time travel, advanced technologies, dreams of a distant and catastrophic future, unspeakable secrets and mammoth robots, starve the player and unleash an irrepressible curiosity in him. able to keep him glued to the screen for at least thirty hours, especially if he devotes himself body and soul to entertaining strategic battles and the customization of the powerful Sentinels.
  29. 90
    While looking perhaps a bit too ambitious on the surface with two distinctly different gameplay elements, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a captivating sci-fi adventure set across multiple periods of time. There is no question that the game will have people very confused during the first few hours, but the split story really starts to come together and is well worth playing through to unravel the ongoing mysteries found throughout.
  30. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a must-play for anyone even remotely interested in its successful mashup of genres.
  31. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a wonderful package that delivers on its mission statement of merging a compelling sci-fi story led by 13 protagonists with a unique take on the classic RTS formula. Despite some points of confusion early on due to time travel shenanigans in Remembrance and a sometimes hard-to-read battlefield in Destruction, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is one of 2020's must-play games and will make players want to mount up in a Sentinel of their own.
  32. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is an incredible feat of narrative engineering everyone should experience, made all the more appealing by it's gorgeous art and enjoyable, deep strategy gameplay.
  33. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim makes its mark on the adventure genre by expertly telling a story through 13 protagonists. The time-traveling segments don’t leave the player in the dark as it pieces together everything using a unique adventure-based system. This game has a story to tell, and it rolls it out perfectly; the added strategic battle-system only makes it clear what this group is up against and what’s at stake if they lose.
  34. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is the best game Vanillaware has ever made. This entrancing tale of teenagers thwarting the apocalypse through the means of giant robots and time travel is truly one of a kind, subverting the tropes we’ve come to expect from anime and science-fiction to craft a story that easily sits amongst the genre’s best.
  35. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a phenomenal visual novel — and a surprisingly great strategy game. In trying something different, Vanillaware has crafted one of its best games yet. It's got an engrossing story that's absolutely packed with mind-blowing twists and endearing characters, all wrapped up in a gorgeous visual style. Don't sleep on 13 Sentinels — it's one of 2020's finest.
  36. 90
    An accomplished mixture of sophisticated story sci-fi story beats, off the wall absurdity and satisfying tactical battles, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a rare sort of genre crossover that ends up being far more than the sum of its parts. Vanillaware's latest is simply unmissable.
  37. Sep 17, 2020
    Aegis Rim is another small, but at the same time impressive masterpiece from Vanillaware that delivers an engaging story through an incredible visual style and an enjoyable narrative-strategic hybrid. This will be remembered as one of 2020’s best PlayStation 4 exclusives.
  38. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a fantastic game that will appeal to a very specific slice of the strategy gamer fanbase. If there is even a chance that you are in that slice, then I suggest you check it out.
  39. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels is an absolute must-have for the visual novel lovers, and the hybridization with an RTS souls adds depth to a well written (and told) experience.
  40. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Oct 21, 2020
    Vanillaware’s signature style is evident in every scene of 13 Sentinels. Both long-time fans and newcomers will enjoy this gorgeous Japanese game.[Issue#248,p.42]
  41. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a riveting tale of high school students, the giant robotic Sentinels they pilot, and a battle against invading kaiju across multiple timelines. This Kamitani-directed JRPG would have been a better read without the cumbersome addition of combat to distract from the plot.
  42. Sep 23, 2020
    While the presentation of the story and combat in 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim takes some time to get used to, I was deeply engaged with the characters and plot. The bulk of my complaints boil down to wishing the combat looked better and not loving some of the reveals, neither of which detracted from the rest of my experience with the game. As long as you approach the title as a visual novel with some light strategy rather than a strategy game with some light story, you'll find a lot to like. It's an easy recommend for fans of Virtue's Last Reward or Steins;Gate or those who have enjoyed previous Vanillaware offerings.
  43. Sep 22, 2020
    Though its battles are bland, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim still stands as possibly the best game Vanillaware’s made, and a must-play for anyone missing the dense, meaty science fiction of mecha fiction’s glory days.
  44. Sep 16, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is an excellent game for fans of visual novels or anime-centric titles. Those looking forward to the RPG elements of the game may be a little more disappointed, as while not bad, they don’t come close to the same standard found within the rest of game, both in terms of visual quality and gameplay.
  45. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is one of the most interesting and originals Japanese games of 2020. Vanillaware brings something different thanks to the original way of making the player interact with the narration.
  46. Sep 15, 2020
    Had Vanillaware crafted a title where the story and the action wove into one another flawlessly, we'd be looking at the greatest game the developer has ever made, without question. Unfortunately, that's not what this game is, and while what is here is great, it's crushing to see just how close 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim came to perfection.
  47. Sep 15, 2020
    It's possible that my careful steps around the bulk of the narrative have failed to entice you into playing. The premise appears rather clumsy and bare, at least from a distance. Children piloting mecha to save the world from giant monsters? Preposterous! Reconsider, I implore you. For the anime nerds in the audience, this is a narrative of light novel complexity, a misleading moniker that belies the beast in its depths. For the rest, know only that the density of plot and complexity of the characters make this story more layered than most time travel tales. The combat sections will hook you just as hard, though for very different reasons. If you can absorb the narrative, and see past the strange battle sections, you'll be left with a rich, beautiful, compelling game you can scarcely put down.
  48. Sep 15, 2020
    An excellent textual adventure, with a deep and articulated story. The strategic element could be improved, but it remains a fun outline at the heart of the title which is clearly the narrative.
  49. CD-Action
    Dec 18, 2020
    “Huge mechs, a ruined city, and a hot female teacher in a latex suit”, is how one of the game’s characters described his visions. That’s, in a nutshell, the essence of this unique, crazy RPG where you face kaiju in turned-based combat one minute, and follow weird conversations of high-school students the next. And there is nothing wrong with that. [12/2020, p.70]
  50. Oct 9, 2020
    Of course the weight of 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim does not fall on combat, it is much more focused on having an interesting narrative and very careful gameplay around it. This may be because at first it was a title designed for PS Vita. Its proposal is perfect for a portable console, but for at a desktop console it falls a bit short. However, we cannot deny that its story has played with our minds and has engulfed us to the point of wanting to end it as it may. Especially towards the end of the game, when fronts are already beginning to close and the messes are more directed, leaving us with the most emotional scenes.
  51. Oct 5, 2020
    13 Sentinels is a visual novel unlike any released this year and offers a unique experience that is unlike any other game. It's refreshing to play during a time of first-person cinematic open-world shooters, to find a story unraveled in a non-linear way to draw the tension and mystery of it out. There's no one way of summing up this experience, and that's the beauty of it. 13 Sentinels is something players will have to experience for themselves.
  52. Oct 2, 2020
    A small surprise from Japan for fans and those approaching 2D, with an unedited and long-lived story.
  53. Sep 28, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is an action-packed mech epic for the ages. The narrative is some of the strongest ever seen coming from Vanillaware. While there are a couple plot holes and gameplay can become repetitive in certain missions, the title is a strong and original work of art that’s packed with content. There are thirteen different protagonists with their own branching stories based on player decisions. All protagonists feel like fully-formulated characters — each also serving as a classic anime archetype. The characters are believable in this frenzied drama that takes players for a narrative ride. Emotional storytelling helps to set the tone for this sci-fi mystery and arcade-like gameplay makes for satisfyingly quick encounters. It’s a title with more to discover as we go and it’s a full package for any mech fan. Any fan of the genre would agree: 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is an instant mech classic.
  54. Sep 28, 2020
    You'll find plenty of fun Science Fiction moments packed with tactical combat that is performed by amazing characters that will have you form an attachment to them.
  55. Sep 25, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is easily the most ambitious and stylish project from a studio long known for ambition and style. The mix of dialogue-heavy adventure gaming and real-time strategic battles is never boring, but it can often get weighed down by complicated storylines and endless plot twists. Had it packed a simpler yet stronger punch, 13 Sentinels could have been a contender for greatness.
  56. Sep 23, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a really strange case, but in a good way. It's outstandingly beautiful, engrossing the player with a great narrative, telling a story about love, friendship and giant mechs. But the overall structure of the game often exists in an unpleasant dissonance, and it's hard to ignore that the tactical battles can't provide any real gameplay challenge. If you can live with all of that, you should defensively try Vanillaware's newest project. If only for the chance to unravel the intriguing mystery of a talking cat.
  57. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Sep 18, 2020
    Kaiju battles are fun, especially if you like huge damage numbers or big area-of-effect explosions catching hundreds of enemies, but be aware that 13 Sentinels is a drastic departure from the action-heavy antics of Odin Sphere and Dragon’s Crown, though Vanillaware’s signature hand-drawn art style remains intact. Safe in that knowledge, strap in for the wildest narrative ride since Nier Automata as you get lost in its messy conspiracy. [Issue#180, p.74]
  58. Sep 18, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is an odd hybrid, but it knows exactly what it wants to be and pursues that goal with confidence and style.
  59. Sep 15, 2020
    Vanillaware remains faithful to its own style, and now surprises us with a different adventure, 2/3 visual novel, 1/3 strategic combat game, but with a flawless visual style, a solid sci-fi plot and strategic combats with a nice touch. Maybe 13 Sentinels is not for everybody, but if you have a taste for different dishes, you will love it.
  60. Sep 15, 2020
    The bleak future presented with a writhing tangling plot makes for an excellent setting, showing that the team isn't just a one-trick pony. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is hampered by a slightly tedious battle system but, luckily, the adventure and story scenes are excellent and easily elevate this to greatness. An excellent, unique, niche title that is absolutely recommended to fans of Vanillaware and those who like things to be a certain flavour of Japanese.
  61. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim dives us into a complex story, mixing heroes, periods of time and themes to deliver a love letter to Japanese science fiction. Curiously, the game is strictly divided between phases, switching from narrative story-driven thumbnails to minimalist strategy fights, delivering a strange but satisfying experience for every Japan lover and 2D aesthete.
  62. Sep 15, 2020
    Vanillaware’s previous games include fantasy-inspired fare like Odin Sphere, Muramasa, and Dragon’s Crown. With 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, the studio doesn’t just dip its toes into sci-fi; it jumps into the deep end with a story that takes inspiration from the genre’s most iconic works. While that doesn’t result in the most original plot, it is still a fun and ambitious experience that combines high-school drama and huge robots in a (mostly) beautiful package.
  63. Sep 15, 2020
    Beat by beat, you've seen elements of 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim's plot elsewhere before, but you've probably never played anything quite like it. How 13 Sentinels strings its complex narrative together is nothing short of astonishing. It operates like a great melodramatic sci-fi TV show, only reworked and shuffled into an interactive format, and it takes full advantage of it. And for that, even with weak RTS battles complementing it all, it's an easy recommendation.
  64. Sep 15, 2020
    Vanillaware games have always looked great, but 13 Sentinels is the first time the studio has put a bulk of its focus on storytelling. And it pays off. This revival of classic sci-fi ideas hits all the right notes and goes deep without overstaying its welcome, even at over 20 hours long. And while Vanillaware’s attempt at doing something different with combat by branching out into real-time tactics to portray its city-scale mechs-vs-kaiju warfare is commendable, the storytelling and rich characters undoubtedly doall the heavy lifting in making 13 Sentinels an enjoyable journey.
  65. Mar 21, 2020
    The visual charm operates in adventure mode, less in combat, but these nevertheless remain strategically rich and let off steam thanks to an efficient game architecture.
  66. Edge Magazine
    Dec 31, 2020
    No, it doesn't make any damn sense. But consider us compelled. [Issue#354, p.112]
  67. Sep 22, 2020
    Not at all what you’d expect from the makers of Dragon’s Crown, but as well as the expectedly beautiful artwork this has some of the most engaging high school melodrama this side of Persona.
  68. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is certainly not a game for everyone. If you love story-heavy experiences and relish details that others may find dull then you'll wholeheartedly embrace it. At the same time, those looking for rewarding strategy combat will likely be disappointed.
  69. Sep 15, 2020
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is absolutely a high mark for the studio. It is such a refreshingly unique interactive title that I'd urge everyone to give it a shot. Maybe it won't get its hooks in you, but a game so brazenly different like this doesn't come around that often. You'd be crazy to pass it up if anything here sounds remotely interesting to you.
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  1. Sep 15, 2020
    Enigmatic and unapologetic even in the face of its most absurd ideas, this is sometimes messy, sometimes boring, but always astounding. [Eurogamer Essential]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 374 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 374
  1. Sep 26, 2020
    I've gone into this game knowing nothing, my expectations were even high since I really enjoyed other Atlus games before but this stillI've gone into this game knowing nothing, my expectations were even high since I really enjoyed other Atlus games before but this still managed to blow my mind. If you want a game with a great plot, don't even think twice about picking it up, it always keeps you interested and wondering what's about to happen, I was barely able to leave it alone for two days because of how intrigued I was. I don't want to say anymore to not spoil the game but I wholeheartedly recommend it. Full Review »
  2. Feb 27, 2021
    This is the best video game of 2020 in my opinion. A really well written story and characters. It starts slow but by the end of the game youThis is the best video game of 2020 in my opinion. A really well written story and characters. It starts slow but by the end of the game you will feel time well spent. The balance between the gameplay and story is very innovative to the point that you can take a break from the gameplay and go to the story and vice versa. It is a game that respects your time a lot. I wish more people would play this game, it's a masterpiece Full Review »
  3. Sep 25, 2020
    Surprising story if you do not play this game you are doing yourself a disservice. Very captivating keeping you on the edge of your seat.