By Sam Coles:
As well as Platinum Games the developers behind the Dynasty Warriors games have been making spin off titles based on video game series or in this case a popular Manga. Berserk and The Band of the Hawk is a good game, however it suffers due to its repetitive nature as the campaign lasts for about 20 hours and it out stays its welcome. Is it terrible? As I said no, but it could of been shorter.
Berserk’s story is based on the titular Manga where you play as the bad ass mercenary Guts who has the world’s most impractical sword alongside with Cloud’s buster sword. The game’s story takes place during the golden age trilogy of films as it uses animated scenes from the film trilogy and I must say these animated scenes are beautiful with excellent voice acting from the Japanese cast. Guts is your standard mercenary wandering from battlefield to battlefield fighting for whoever pays him the most gold. It’s not until he encounters a new group of mercs known as The Band of the Hawk he then settles down into a routine reluctantly as he fights the leader who then proceeds to incapacitate him. Guts then joins the group where they end up working for an army so they have a stable income. The game’s story is interesting to keep you playing with great voice acting and great animations from the anime cutscenes.
The gameplay is instantly familiar if you have played Hyrule Warriors or Dragon Quest Heroes where you have a huge map filled with enemies and objectives where the body count can rise to ludicrous levels. You have individual objectives which range from destroying catapults or killing high ranking officers, but it is mostly killing officers which can start to weight on you by the 10th hour. The game does offer some fun horseback combat which is hilarious when you run enemies over as they topple over like bowling pins I was excepting to hear the noise of bowling pins as the animation was so comedic.
Before each battle you can choose what character you can be, however in the main story you can only pick Guts and there is not much point to pick any other characters in the story as Guts gets the job done. The other characters are great if you want to play in free mode where you can pick any mission you want with any character you have unlocked where you can experiment with their move set.
Visually the game looks great as it blends a cell shaded look with realistic visuals as the character models are cell shaded to fit in with the Manga inspired look where the environments look great with good looking foliage and castles. However the locations do get very samey because once you’ve seen one castle and field you have seen them all.
The game tries to runs at 60 frames per second but it really struggles most of the time especially when there are lots of enemies on the screen and when you pull off special moves it starts to chug.
Berserk and The Band of Hawk is great if you’re a fan of the series but if you’re not it gets stale really fast, it has its moments but there is not much strategy besides press square to win.