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Hands-On With Berserk And The Band Of The Hawk

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I have to admit, I’m not overly familiar with Berserk. I’m only really aware that the main character is called Guts and that the series is best known for its grim story and extreme violence. With that said, Berserk delivered on all counts. It’s dark, it’s bloody and should even make for a good starting point for the series, as the game will be covering an impressive 32 volumes of the manga.

 

Similar to Omega Force’s take on First of the North Star, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk is quite drab and dreary but purposefully so. It’s almost the antithesis of Arslan: The Warriors of Legend. Where Arslan was quite bright and colourful, trying to retrain the playable anime look while sporting quick hack and slash gameplay, Berserk is clearly 3D and playing as Guts is like using a character who only has heavy attacks. As well as wielding his giant sword, Guts is also able to use his prosthetic arm in place of various ranged weapons like a machine gun (good for keeping enemies at a distance) or a cannon (useful for dealing a lot of damage or clearly an area quickly).

 

The short mission I played had Guts defend a village from trolls and they were surprisingly relentless in their attack, unlike any Warriors game I’ve played before. In my own experience, the general mob enemies are usually aimless with one or two taking a stab at you with the real threat being the opposing officers on the field. These trolls swarmed Guts, throwing plenty of attacks your way so you need to keep your distance and make sure of your guard and sidestepping techniques.

 

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Each Warriors collaboration has a different take on the Warriors special attack with Berserk’s version being “Frenzy Mode.” Killing enough enemies builds up a bar which will let you activate Frenzy Mode, making Guts stronger, faster and more violent as this is where the blood and gore comes in as he starts to tear enemies apart. While you’re splashing blood across the screen, you’ll build another bar which leads to you activating your special attack. What’s different here to previous Warriors games is that the Frenzy Mode levels up the more you use it, making Guts even more powerful and fearsome. While the Japanese release of Berserk has had it’s blood and gore removed, it will be present in the Western release.

 

Omega Force’s recent collaborations, both their game and anime ones, have done excellent jobs of extracting what makes a particular series unique and then adapting that into their love-it-or-hate-it Warriors formula. While it’s not the departure from the series norm that Attack on Titan was, I think it’s fair to say this adaption looks to be in safe hands with Omega Force.

Alistair Wong
Very avid gamer with writing tendencies. Fan of Rockman and Pokémon and lots more!