Berserk and the Band of the Hawk is a PS4, PSVita and PC game that was released in Japan on 27th October and is due for an English release on 24th February, it will be getting a digital release on every system however the PS4 has the option of a physical release. It is developed by Omega Force and is being published by Koei Tecmo.
For those unfamiliar with the story of Berserk, it follows Guts, also known as The Black Swordsman, who joins a band of mercenaries called the Band of the Hawk which is led by a man named Griffith. After a while, things take a pretty dark turn when the Apostles start to show up, however it doesn’t really come into its own until you meet the God Hand, which are a group of powerful Apostles who are practically gods.
The game itself follows the Manga, it covers some of the Black Swordsman arc, the Golden Arc, Conviction Arc and Falcon of the Millenium Empire arc. This might not sound like a lot, but the Golden Arc covers 102 chapters, Conviction covers 81 chapters and Falcon covers a massive 130 chapters, altogether that’s 313 chapters of manga to cover in a single game, that isn’t counting the Black Swordsman arc, which I’m guessing will work as a tutorial, so there should be enough to keep you going for a while, before you even consider unlockables and Infinite Eclipse mode, which is an endless wave mode where you select a character to play as and a CPU controlled assist character, where you fight on until you can’t fight any more.
There are a number of playable characters included, they are;
Guts, The Black Swordsman, he was born from a corpse and taken into the care of Gambino who taught him to fight from a young age, Guts has always carried a sword and the only thing he’s done throughout his life is fight on the battlefield.
Griffith, the leader of the Band of the Hawk, all the members of the Band of the Hawk look up to him and respect him, they follow his orders without question because they have absolute faith in him.
Casca, the lady commander of the Band of the Hawk, she looks up to Griffith a lot, her family had sold her to a bunch of mercenaries and Griffith came along to save her, he was quite literally her knight in shining armour.
Judeau, one of the original members of the Band of the Hawk, he was a tumbler in a circus, he is pretty much always smiling and has a fairly carefree nature.
Noseratu Zodd, one of the apostles, he is known as Zodd the Immortal, as he has been known to show up on the battlefield for hundreds of years, and where-ever he shows up, he leaves a mountain of corpses.
Wyald, he is the leader of the Black Dogs (or Demon Dogs, depending on translation), he never appeared in the anime, so this is his first appearance outside of the manga. He controls his army by using fear, even though the king of Midland put the dogs in charge as their army, he feared them too.
Serpico, Lady Farness’ half brother, being her father’s illegitimate son, he also acts as her servant. Most people compare him to a fox because his eyes are almost always closed, the only time they’re really seen open is when he is serious.
Schierke, a young witch in training who joins Guts, she is young but mature for her age and Guts is very protective of her.
Some characters seem to only be available in certain story arcs, however I could be wrong. Certain characters have transformations, these include Guts’ Berserker Armour, Zodd in his alternate Apostle form and you can even transform into the God Hand Femto!
The gameplay seems very reminiscent of the Dynasty Warriors series, with a wave after wave of an uncountable number of enemies showing up that you have to clear with a hack and slash style, except it looks a little faster paced and more structured to me. The addition of certain characters being able to transform also gives the game its own unique little feature, I can’t think of another game in this style that has done this before. The artwork in it is absolutely beautiful, It has a really nice balance to it where it doesn’t look too realistic, but it doesn’t look too cartoonish either, it’s placed pretty comfortably in the middle.
I’ve compiled a playlist official English trailers which you can find here, which I’ll continue to update as I find more videos. For those who can’t wait to see the gameplay, the game has been released in Japan, so you can find some videos, however I’m avoiding them here because I don’t want to accidentally post spoilers.
So that’s pretty much all we know about Berserk and the Band of the Hawk, without going too in depth into the story. This is one that looks like it’s made for the fans, and it doesn’t look like it’ll disappoint.