In recent years, Omega Force has started to branch out from working on its own franchises, with them looking to incorporate other properties into their hack n’ slash formula. This started back in 2007 with Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, but has since expanded way beyond this, with crossovers based on Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage, One Piece, The Legend of Zelda, The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Attack on Titan, Dragon Quest and now, Berserk.
The idea of these crossovers, is to try and incorporate the personality and charm of the source material into a Musou-type setting and for the most part, it’s worked very well for Omega Force.
This particular instance sees the game following the original Berserk manga series, and covers The Golden Age arc, through to the Hawk of the Millennium Empire arc. The story is told through a mixture of anime-style scenes, pre-rendered cutscenes and static text, but even though the styles are quite varied, the delivery is positive. You will learn about the Band of the Hawk and its leader Griffith, while primarily viewing events through the eyes of Guts, the main protagonist whom you will play as on almost every occasion.
There are missions where you will have the option to select other characters to play as, but these are far and few between. This means you will become rather accustomed to Guts’ attack patterns, which follow the fairly a-typical approach for a Musou game. You’ve got your standard attacks and your charge attacks and they can be combined. You’ve also got your Musou-equivalent attack (Frenzy Mode) and a handful of defensive options, should you choose to use them. Sub-weapons are also introduced, as well as modifiers to help give you improved performance for a specific period of time.
As the story progresses, things will change slightly. New sub-weapons will unlock and Guts’ move set will change slightly depending on the circumstances. You will also gain the ability to transform, which is a further extension to the Frenzy Mode where you will gain further increased damage.
For the most part though, things are standard fare for a Warriors game. Before each mission you will see a lay of the land, while also being able to change your equipment and access the shop. You will also have certain tasks to accomplish if you want to gain a Behelits, which are used to unlock key visuals within the Gallery mode.
Once a mission is underway, the objectives are quite fluid and some levels also have multi-tiered levels. One-on-one boss fights are also present, offering a slight twist on the typical “you versus the world” approach that’s rather common. They don’t happen all that much, but it does help to offer a nice change of pace.
Outside of the main campaign, which clocks in at a decent length, there is the standard “free mode”, which is in almost every single Warriors game, but there’s also Endless Eclipse. This is rather similar to Endless Castle Mode, which appeared in Samurai Warriors 4-II and it sees you defeating waves upon waves of enemies, with breaks being offered at certain milestones. It’s through this mode that you will be able to gain character specific accessories and mounts, as well as gaining additional Behelits.
Berserk and the Band of the Hawk is a decent Warriors experience that helps to convey the brutal nature of the source material. It doesn’t really expand the Warriors gameplay much, instead choosing to cherry-pick pre-existing gameplay elements and modes from other, more established titles within the franchise, but what’s there works and is sure to keep fans busy for quite some time.Berserk and the Band of the Hawk was reviewed using a digital copy provided by Koei Tecmo Europe. You can find additional information about Gaming Union's ethics policy here.
|Combat conveys the brutality of Berserk well.|
|Story is well presented.|
|Could have been more modes outside of Story and Endless Eclipse.|
|Does little to expand upon the established gameplay.|
|Story mode presents only a handful of opportunities to play as other characters.|