Developed by Omega Force and based off one of the most popular dark fantasy mangas, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk follows Guts as he slashes his way through a world torn apart by war and demons. The game implements both segments of anime and rendered cut scenes to bring the world of Berserk to life.
Together with the makers of Dynasty Warriors comes a “slash and hack” adventure that puts you to the test. When the game suggested I play through for the first time in easy mode, I was a little apprehensive about how challenging a game of this magnitude might be. I noticed that true to its promise, there are hundreds of enemies on your screen at a time. However, easy mode may have been a little too easy. The first few levels I found the enemies did not even appear to be actively trying to attack me.
The issues I experienced with the game were not with the difficulty, but with the rendering of the gameplay itself. Due to the sheer amount of enemies, I immediately started to drop frames which is something I have never encountered on my console. Additionally, there seemed to be issues with the pathing of some of the enemies that ran into walls rather than attacking. However, I imagine these are issues that will be patched soon upon release.
After a while, the variation of enemies did not seem enough to prevent me from getting a little bored with the repetitive combos. I found it more entertaining to rush objectives rather than sit and wave clear after a while. The real fun and challenge to this game is definitely in the boss battles, which are significantly more difficult.
The most interesting aspect of the gameplay was the ability to utilize multiple weapons not just as Guts, but a multitude of characters. In addition you gain spoils of war, which are items you can wear that buff certain skills, after every battle. There are also consumables which only grant boosts during the level in which they are used. This can be quite beneficial, especially when dealing with more challenging levels.
It is also worth noting that once a level is completed, you can unlock new game modes, such as free roam where you can collect all the items and collectibles you may have missed. The other new mode is eternal eclipse where you battle continuous unrelenting waves until your demise.
I feel that the story is not really something I need to speak on since the manga is so popular, but I will say that the build up for the main plot takes some time. The game is quite long so it is important to be committed to the storyline that features several arcs to get the most out of the game. I found the story overall to be quite engaging and I believe that fans of the series will enjoy getting to play out their favorite battles.
Watch the Berserk and the Band of the Hawk Guts Gameplay Trailer:
For more information, please visit the official website at www.koeitecmoamerica.com/berserk. This title has been rated “M for Mature.”
Berserk and the Band of the Hawk released today, February 21, 2017, in North America for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Windows PC via Steam.