PREVIEW – Well after Miura finally decided to get the gang off the boat to slay an ancient evil that has been terrorizing the world for ages; it seems that the Berserk IP is finally back in full force (at least in Japan). After anime series back in the 90s, plus two video games for the PS2 that never made it to the West, three reboot movies, and one new anime TV series, the Berserk Committee decided to make a Berserk game for the PlayStation 4… in Musou form. The question is whether this will be a good Musou or a bad one? Let us find out!
For those who do not know what Berserk is, sit down and listen, because this is the franchise that inspired Demons’s Souls, and the armor set of Guts from the franchise was featured in Dragon’s Dogma (probably one of the only games ever coming close to the feeling of Berserk). Berserk‘s story in the manga is about brotherhood, and how its sudden rift can cause catastrophic world ending situations.
Such is the case between Guts, and Griffith two leaders of the Band of The Falcon Mercenary group. They have sided with Midland in the 100 Year War, and may change the fate of the world. While the story does seem generic, the artist of the manga draws magnificently, and the imagery is quite brutal. No wonder as Guts carries a giant sword that cuts tens of people in half with one swing. A mighty swordsman with unparallel strenght, shown in beautiful manga pages.
The reason for that long exposing was needed in order to emphasize how gory, and stunning the manga is, aaaaannnddd it feels like a waste that we are getting a Musou (Dynasty Warriorsesque game out of it).
The gameplay is okay based on the footage we were shown. Currently, there are a few characters confirmed that are playable including Guts, Griffith and Zodd (no not the Superman villain). All of the characters have different move sets, secondary and alternative attack modes – Zodd even has transformation abilities.
The enemies will range from simple soldiers to Skeletons to otherworldly demons that will try to tear us limb from limb. Luckily the enemy design and variety is going to be much better compared to Dynasty Warrior games since here the developers could add much more flavor to the simple one hit-one kill enemies. The main gameplay from the usual Dynasty Warriors will be missing, there will be no base conquering as instead, it will focus mostly on the story, and boss battles.
Which is great as Berserk does not really deal with that much base conquering in the manga, and at least that means no need to worry about allied soldiers not doing their duty. The game will take place from The Golden Age Arc until the Hawk of the Millenium Arc, which is roughly almost 90% of the manga. A sizable chunk of the lore, but due to its musou nature I’m not sure I could recommend it over the source material if someone wants to experience the story of this IP.
Big sword, dull edge
The gameplay, however, is disappointing at least what we saw as of yet. Sure Koei called it the most brutal Musou ever, but that does not really mean anything. The game got a CERO D rating which is an M rating equivalent in America, but the problem with this? Berserk is brutal, and while it is nice to see Guts in 3D on the TV screen destroying soldiers and demons, the combat feels lifeless.
The enemies seem just to disappear after being killed, and while a little blood spurts out, there is no evisceration of foes. The entire point of Berserk is blood, and gore, yet the producers stated they would do everything to keep away from an AO rating which to me both thematically and in a gameplay perspective is mindbogglingly stupid – as there are pretty harsh seems in the manga.
Oh well, the combat might not be full gore and blood, at least the graphics look okay. The characters are well detailed, and the environments from what little was shown look passable. The enemy, however, looks low quality, at least the cannon fodder, the bosses do look a bit more detailed, fortunately.
Berserk Musou looks just okay, there has not much been revealed, but I am hoping for higher quality models down the line, and a more epic orchestra theme as music. The game seems to be made for the hardcore fans, but casuals will be able to pick it up due to its simplified gameplay.
We will be able to provide a review once the game releases, and determine whether this game is worth our time, or not.
Seems to be an okay adaptation, but with the developers pulling out of a full AO rating, it will probably not be the best.
Could be good:
+ Berserk characters
+ Long linear story, covering most of the manga
+ Intense combat against hundreds of enemies…
Could be bad:
– …that seem to lack in brutality when defeating them
– Graphics look mundane
– Musou gameplay is not the best
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Developer: Omega Force
Genre: Hack N’ Slash
Relase date: Q4 2016