Man takes up the sword in order to shield the small wound in his heart sustained in a far-off time beyond remembrance. Man wields the sword so that he may die smiling in some far-off time beyond perception.
Before starting this review I want to say that I'm a huge fan of Berserk. I've watched every single anime adaptation and read the manga twice. Hell, I even bought the entire manga. In short, my love for Berserk is like a truck. So naturally I was very excited about this game. I thought Berserk and Warriors would be an excellent combination and I'm happy to say that I was right.
For those of you who are not familiar with Warriors games, they are basically hack'n slash games with very simplistic gameplay. You kill hundreds of enemies in each mission. They're not so much about challenge, instead they're about making the player feel like a god. Now, be warned. These games are very divisive and some people find them very boring and repetitive. If you're the kind of person who gets bored quickly, this game may not be for you.
So let's talk about this game. It's basically a Warriors clone with a Berserk skin. The story covers 32 volumes of the manga and it took me 20 hours to beat. So the length is very good. Even though the second half of the game feels a little rushed compared to the first half, it was still a lot of fun for me. Visually, game looks pretty good. I really like the cel-shaded graphics, and there are some very nice cgi cutscenes as well. It's a joy to finally see some post-golden age stuff animated (or at least animated well, cough 2016 anime cough). The game has a pretty enjoyable soundtrack as well. I mean it's no Susumu Hirasawa, but I found it enjoyable. Voice acting is good too. They use the same voice actors from the 2016 anime, so that's nice. Also, I must mention that the game has no English voice over, instead it's Japanese audio with English subtitles.
There are a total of 8 playable characters in the game. Character selection is a little disappointing because of the number of playable characters and lack of some characters (Skull Knight anyone?). But at least all characters feel different enough, so you don't feel like they are the same characters with different looks. You can use these characters during Free Play mode or the Endless Eclipse mode. Endless Eclipse is kind of like a survival/horde mode, but it also has some roguelite elements in it. Basically you go through layers of Eclipse and try to complete series of missions. You get a checkpoint every 20 layers and if you die, you go back to the previous checkpoint. You unlock new equipment and costumes by beating this mode and It's fun enough to keep you playing for a few extra hours.
Now let's talk about some negatives. First and the biggest one is the boss fights. I've been playing games for as long as I can remember but I've never seen more terrible boss fights. They are so bad, they made me question the logic of their inclusion. The game would've been infinitely better without them. Specially that Femto fight. I can write an essay on how broken and annoying that fight is but never mind (I had to beat him 8 ♥♥♥♥ing times!!). Awful hit boxes, bad camera, never ending stun locks, invinsibility frames on bosses (dafuq?) and so on. Apart from that, the game is not a very good port too. A controller is almost mandatory, and the performance is not stable (be sure to set environment quality to low for better performance).
So overall, I think Berserk and the Band of the Hawk is a very enjoyable game. If you are a Berserk or Warriors fan, you'll definitely like this game. If you've never played a Warriors game but considering buying this game, check out some gameplay videos and keep in mind that the game tends to get a little repetitive at times. Be sure to check out the manga and thanks for reading my review :)