Shin Megami Tensei: Liberation Dx2 is the first game in the SMT franchise to be built exclusively for mobile devices. Originally released in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau on January 22, 2018, the game was later released to US and EU audiences on July 23, 2018. The game was mainly developed and published by Sega, but Atlus oversaw the characters and plot elements. The game's story was written by Makoto Fukami, and character designs were done by Tatsuro Iwamoto.
Players take control of a custom Liberator who, similar to other SMT games, collects several demons and must balance their strengths and weaknesses to defeat enemies and progress through the game.
The game is free-to-play, with micro-transactions using real money that allow the player to buy gems and other items useful for speeding up their progression in the game.
The main character (named in-game by the player) receives a mysterious app on their smartphone from a being known only as Einherjar that marks them as a "Devil Downloader," or "Dx2" for short. Soon after, they are welcomed into the ranks of the "Liberators," a small group of Dx2 within Akihabara who are fighting the influence of a larger and powerful Dx2 group called the Acolytes, who serve an entity called Vanitas and are contributing to the evil permeating various parts of Tokyo.
Chapter 1: Akihabara
The Protagonist is officially welcomed into the ranks of the Liberators at their secret hideout in Akihabara. However, they don't have time to rest on their laurels, as they are quickly thrown into their first mission: investigating the abductions of various women on the streets, who strangely disappeared with no signs of struggle.
Chapter 2: Shinjuku
A strange new drug has been hitting the streets, in the form of "digital drugs" transmitted through paintings. What does a controversial artist have to do with this phenomenon?
Chapter 3: Kudanshita
Several girls from Rika's all-girls school are finding themselves unwitting participants in snuff films created right on campus! Rika and Ririn spring into action to combat the disturbing films and stop their production before they spread out of control.
Chapter 4: Shibuya
Someone's placed a bounty on the Protagonist's head! Now all sorts of criminal gangs and bounty hunters are looking to collect. The Liberators attempt to find the source of the bounty to cancel the contract, following the trail to an underground fighting ring in Shibuya, only to find themselves in deeper than they realized.
Chapter 5: Ikebukuro
A terrorist has successfully bombed a local soccer stadium, killing or injuring several people! With the local Liberators all assembled, can they find and stop this mad bomber before they strike again?
Chapter 6: Akihabara Hideout
The Liberators all assemble at their HQ and realize that their actions thus far have been a distraction from the true threat of Vanitas, disrupting the Dragon Stream in order to destroy Japan, and possibly the world. The Liberators set out to defeat this evil once and for all.
- Protagonist: A teen boy/girl (depending on user's choice) who finds themselves roped into the conflict between Dx2 as a new Liberator.
- Taro Fuse (Megakin): The leader of the Liberators in Akihabara. A "MegaTube" sensation who uses his videos and social media reach to fight the influence of the Acolytes, as well as gather information and make plans for the Liberators.
- Rika Ryuzouji (Templar Dragon): A member of the Liberators and a gun otaku who knows more about airsoft weapons and their real-life counterparts than most people in Japan. She even wears airsoft pistols strapped to her thighs and speaks in a very blunt manner.
- Shiang Sun (Chalk Eater): A college-aged Liberator from Shanghai who is a big fan of horror and gore-filled movies. Also loves surfing. The technical expert of the Liberators in Akihabara.
- Ririn Ueda (Eileen): A swimsuit cafe waitress and budding Light Novel writer who loves pretty girls. Supports the Liberators in their mission, especially if there's money or cute girls involved.
- Jeng Yun Tsai (Kangaroo Boxer): A highly-skilled martial artist from Taiwan who helps the Liberators bust an underground fighting ring. Also happens to be a talented manga artist.
- Shiori Takadono (Shionyan): A popular underground idol who secretly holds an IQ of 180, admission to MIT, and can speak fluently in eight languages. Not-so-secretly annoyed at her fans.
- Inoue Karato (Meat Balloon): A military otaku who tried to join the JSDF, but was discharged from the service. Claims to be a mercenary for a private military company who previously operated in Aleppo, but spends most of his time playing first-person shooters online and going to idol concerts, especially those of Shiori.
- Einherjar: A mysterious old man who has been recruiting various Dx2 to serve as Liberators and fight the equally mysterious Vanitas through his smartphone app. Einherjar's true name and appearance are unknown.
- Vagit Chukov: A Russian priest who runs the Church of False Gods underneath the Liberators' hideout, where demons can be fused together to create new ones.
- Himika Hinata: A Japanese priestess who runs Pandemonium, the "Myriad Demon Shrine" on the rooftop garden of the hideout, where demons can be enhanced in a variety of ways. A descendant of the legendary shrine maiden Himiko. Also happens to be an otaku and knows of various anime and manga.
- Arisa Habara: A maid who manages the hideout, particularly the Summoning Portal where the protagonist can acquire new demons with summoning contracts. A fan of Japanese literature, especially Yukio Mishima and Haruki Murakami. She occasionally voices her wish to die.
- Seiran Saikawa: The supervisor of the Aura Gate, a parallel dimension where demons gather. She seeks the Protagonist's help to find out what happened to a research team that traveled through the Aura Gate to study it and never returned. A Taoist who loves Chinese culture, including kung-fu movies and Chinese dresses.
- Kazufumi Fukumoto: A butler who manages the hideout with Arisa. He maintains a store that sells items of questionable legality to the Liberators. He also has an interest in history and folklore.
Players chose from a menu of options where they wish to go, whether to continue through the storyline, the Aura Gate, or improve their stats and that of their demons in the Hideout. When preparing for a combat mission, players choose their preferred Dx2, and four demons that they currently possess to fight for them. In certain missions, like Leveling or Aura Gate missions, the player will choose two Liberators with four demons each (as long as they aren't in use by the other Liberator) to battle for them.
Similar to other titles in the SMT franchise, players control all four demons to fight up to four enemies. Each side takes turns, with the first turn going to whichever side has the highest combined Speed rating in their party. Players must make use of spells and attacks to exploit the enemy's weaknesses while trying to compensate for their own.
Each demon starts the match with 10 MP, which are used to execute spells or more powerful attacks. Each turn only refills 3 MP for the demon, to prevent them from being allowed to use their powerful spells all the time, forcing the player to incorporate more strategy into their thinking to prevent their demons from wasting their MP when it might be needed later. In the PvP mode, demons start out with only 5 MP, forcing players to think strategically even earlier in combat.
Occasionally (in non-boss battles), a "Talk" icon might appear above a demon's head. The player can enter negotiations with that demon, and choose the right answers to convince the demon to join their team. Sometimes, even after a successful negotiation, the demon might demand an item from the player, which they can choose to give, or not, or trick the demon and hope the demon accepts a fake gift instead.
If successful, the demon joins the player's team. If unsuccessful, the demon will cut off negotiations, and either return to battle or force an end to the player's turn and allow the enemy side to attack.
In addition, a demon may beg to join the player's team after suffering a large amount of damage. The player can choose to let them join without negotiation, or refuse their surrender and finish them off in combat.