I have never felt as powerful as the first time I played Koei Tecmo Games and Omega Force’s Berserk and the Band of the Hawk. In this game you work your way through the Berserk manga series fighting farther than the anime has reached at this point. Battling through this entry in the Dynasty Warriors series felt like I was playing the style of game again for the first time.
The Dynasty Warriors series has always succeeded in making the gamer feel like a badass. It is expected to slay hordes of enemies with more ease than any other series I’ve played. This is why this is such a perfect format for the Berserk series. There have been Berserk games in the past but they have all failed to capture the essence of Berserk which is being the single strongest human warrior alive: Guts. for guts, slaying the enemy isn’t difficult, it isn’t even remotely challenging. He swings his monstrosity of a sword through anything that stands in his way like butter. Fighting man and demon alike never halting.
The game has a fantastic story following the manga closely and going even deeper into the lore than the series. Through cut scenes and dialogue sequences you learn to love the characters and even feel bad for the ones you dislike. The cut scenes are taken from the animated films as well as some being done just for the game, all of which in Japanese with subtitles. The only problem I had with the story was that i was unable to read all the dialogue as a good amount of it happens during battle. The game certainly stayed true to the series that I and many others have grown to love.
Due to the dark and twisted nature of the Berserk series Dynasty Warriors added a huge amount of gore into this game. Where most of the entries in the Dynasty Warriors series are kid friendly, Berserk and the band of the hawk certainly earned it’s M rating. With the vast amount of gore, nudity, and utterly messed up stuff the game stays incredibly true to its manga routes.
I was impressed by being able to play as multiple characters with entirely different play styles. Each character truly feels different. From playing as Griffith dancing his way through enemies, to Schierke casting spells and only living as long as you time her casts correctly, to Guts slicing his way through enemies with bountiful swings killing enormous amounts of enemies I never felt bored during combat. The combo system, while incredibly easy to learn is very difficult to master. Taping square a number of times before hitting triangle would cause a different finisher.
Overall I feel Berserk and the band of the hawk accomplished everything it attempted to do. The biggest complaint I have is the lack of Co-Op play in a Dynasty Warriors game. While only a minor complaint I felt I should note it as it is irregular for the series. This game still deserves a high rating as it accomplished everything it set out to and made the gamer feel like they truly were the strongest man alive. I give Berserk and the Band of the Hawk 4/5