Berserk and the Band of the Hawk is the newest installment in the Koei Tecmo Warriors franchise. As the name suggests, the game is based on the world-renowned manga and anime series Berserk by Kentarou Miura. For those unfamiliar with the series, it follows a skilled swordsman by the name of Guts and his bloody adventures with Griffith and his mercenary group, Band of the Hawk.
Guts’s preferred weapon is a sword the size of his body.
Sticking to the Warriors franchise formula, the game’s story unfolds before and after each stage using cut scenes. Each scene does well in showing just a piece of the compelling tale of war, heroism and the found violence in between the two. This wouldn’t be possible, however, without the respectable graphics and excellent Japanese voice acting Berserk and the Band of the Hawk delivers.
This game contains so. much. blood.
Speaking of violence, Berserk and the Band of the hawk is the bloodiest and most violent Warriors game to date, easily earning its Mature rating. The battles are gory and filled with blood. There’s so much blood in fact that your character eventually gets coated in it like paint. Soldiers are not the only things being slaughtered in this game though. Players will face a variety of enemies, such as evil spirits, ogres, trolls, golems and demonic knights. Many of those are not easy fights either but Guts is always up to the challenge.
Staying true to the anime, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk, also incorporates magic and transformations. These transformations actually make the character count (normally 8) closer to 12 as the characters that change are given a new fighting style and combos. It’s a pretty cool way to add more characters. In the end, combat, while repetitive, is far from boring. Each playable character has their own unique combat style and can be leveled-up to unlock new combos. Weapons can also be upgraded, as well as various pieces of equipment making fans of the Warriors franchise feel right at home playing Berserk and the Band of the Hawk.
Pre-game item menu.
I had no real complaints with Berserk and the Band of the Hawk. The aforementioned gore and monsters were a fresh addition to the series and really added to the experience. It’s a great buy for any hack-and-slash fan, even if they’ve never seen the anime.
This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.
A great new Warriors game
Gameplay - 9/10
Plot - 9/10
Design - 8/10
A solid addition to the Warriors franchise and a respectable retelling of the Berserk anime.