Collar x Malice thrusts you into the shoes of Hoshino, a female police officer, who is investigating the X-Day Incidents and when she responds to an emergency call one night, she’s kidnapped by the criminals and has a collar attached to her. This collar has a deadly poison in it and the only way to safely remove it is to find out the truth behind the X-Day Incidents, and only she can get to the bottom of it all.
The X-Day Incidents see people murdered as they’re deemed Sinners by terrorist group Adonis, and this includes police officers and various citizens. The murders are televised and the police are always one step behind, and so they’re poorly viewed in the eyes of the public. When the government locks down Shinjuku and decides to let everybody handle a gun as a means of self-defence, the police find themselves in the horrible position of having to secure everybody’s safety from both a terrorist group and those who don’t understand the danger of guns.
Civil unrest and terrorist groups aren’t the only threats to the police working on the X-Day Incident cases, as there’s potentially employees who are leaking information and might be members of Adonis. You’ll be working with others who are determined to solve these rampant cases as you also search for a way to preserve your own life, and the choices you make will determine how things wrap up. Clever, tense and engaging, Collar x Malice is a fantastic otome game with great characters and an intriguing plot. You’ll get your thriller and love fix here, and I’m very happy that Aksys decided to localise it.
Other than a handful of choices you’ll make on your journey to uncover the truth, you’ll mostly be taking in the story. It’s easy to access the game’s backlog of dialogue, and saving and loading is seamless — you might want to save before making choices, so you don’t have to backtrack much if you accidentally get a bad end. Thankfully, the skip function works as intended and choices you’ve made in the past are highlighted blue. There are several good endings and even more bad ones, and the game gripped me enough to want to experience them all.
Collar x Malice is an absolutely stunning game with gorgeous artwork and inspired character design, and I found it hard to tear my eyes away from its beauty. It’s clearly an otome game with those notable otome eyes and whatnot, but it strictly stays in tone with the mature story. This is amongst the most breathtaking games this year, and I eagerly absorbed it as I tackled its various paths. It’s mostly voice-acted outside of Hoshino, and its Japanese voice-over and soundtrack are pleasant and easy on the ears. There’s no other languages available here, but the Japanese performances leave nothing to be desired.
Collar x Malice is a game I’ve been thinking about a lot, and it’s one that really enthralled me. It’s likely my favourite otome game to date thanks to its variety of brilliant characters, developments and its thrilling plot, and I found myself being distracted by thoughts of it as I attempted to do other things — sorry if I played a game online with you and was sleeping on the job because it’s very likely I was playing this! Collar x Malice will keep your attention until you’ve experienced all of it, and it’s an experience that I’m happy to have had.