Berserk and the Band of the Hawk: ‘Almost review’ impressions


After completing a dozen missions or so, I can confirm what I always believed this game was going to be:  awesome.  The caveat of course is if you’re a Warriors fan.  It’s every bit as repetitive as any Dynasty Warriors game and unlike those titles, Berserk only has a small handful of playable characters (I read somewhere 8).  Repetition, which has rarely ever been a problem for me, might be a bigger issue here, because of that.  On the other hand, the violence is much more visceral in Berserk and every hit of your sword feels much more impactful, making it easier to live with its lack of variety in playable characters and move sets (you do expand your combos as you level up).  The moment to moment satisfaction you get from cutting through hordes of enemies is quite addictive.  I can’t stress this enough.  The combat just feels soooo good.

Like a Boss

Now if there’s one thing that I feel separates Berserk from all the Dynasty Warriors games and their various spinoffs, it’s the boss fights.  Mind you they’re not Dark Souls caliber but Berserk is the only Musou title that places such an emphasis on boss fights.  It’s not the first Musou game that has attempted to incorporate boss battles (Arslan: Warriors of Legend and that one Dragon Quest heroes with the weird tree of woe title, come to mind), but this one presents boss fights like boss fights.  They feel separate from the regular combat and is presented like the big deal boss battles are supposed to be.  In addition, I believe a first in a Musou game, you have the ability to lock on to bosses and enemy officers, allowing you to quickly maneuver around them and counter ala Bloodborne.

First Boss Fight: Zodd

But man, that “regular combat,” though.  At the end of the day, it’s all about one man versus one hundred, or in this case, hundreds.  Berserk’s greatest strength is still the joy of mowing down thousands of enemies, dozens upon dozens at a time, as you make your way from one end of the battlefield to the other, destroying everything in your path.

“Regular” combat

This is the first Warriors game I think to ever count your kills as, well, kills, as opposed to the “K.O.s” of other Warriors title.  The devs wanted to go all in with the M rating.  There’s plenty of blood in this game but it’s not the gore-fest I thought (hoped) it would be.  When I first heard of this title I got the impression that limbs will be flying all over the battlefield, but that’s hardly the case.  Most of what you get is a bunch of blood splattering as though someone popped a water balloon filed with Kool-Aid, and to be quite honest the blood doesn’t really add all that much to the violence.  There is some dismemberment though, from time to time, but they seem to be limited to enemy officers you kill with your “death blow,” or whatever it’s called, essentially Berserk’s version of a Musou move you pull off during rage mode in Dynasty Warriors 8.  I’ll continue to post videos on here.  I read somewhere that there’s a difficulty spike towards the end with some bosses, which would be a shame.  I hope it’s not as bad as they say it is, and if it is, I’ll probably crank the difficulty down to easy.


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