The plague of Midgand
After the prologue and the confusion of Zestiria , the team of screenwriters of the series was at a crossroads: to continue the events of that chapter or to make tabula rasa, disconnecting the new episode from any reference to the past.
We can say that Namco Bandai has opted for a brilliant middle ground, setting Tales of Berseria at Midgand, in the same narrative universe of the previous chapter but several centuries before, thus obtaining a free narrative of too many constraints, perfectly usable by those who did not play the previous episode, which, at the same time, does not lack a series of philosophical, religious, moral, almost always veiled references and only in a couple of more straightforward occasions.
The result is that veterans will appreciate narrative continuity and enjoy a privileged point of view (albeit only minimally), while newcomers will enjoy the unpublished narrative racket without the need for summaries or online guides.
The title opens with one of the beautiful anime-style interlude films, one of the best products from Ufotable, the responsible studio, where two children, scared to death during a bloody attack on a village, are secured by a swordsman silver hair, which will recommend them to wait for his return away from the battle.
The screaming screams that come from the village, however, do not promise anything good, and in fact the older sister of the two kids, Celica, wife of the swordsman above, Artorius, loses life in the attack, caused by citizens transformed into demons after have contracted the demon, a terrible disease that is rapidly spreading throughout the realm.
The death of Celica, who was pregnant, leaves Artorius to care for two little boys, Velvet and Laphicet, with whom he seems to lead a frugal life in a small village bordering the kingdom, immersed in a lush forest.
Peace, however, is not going to last.
Years later, on the night of the anniversary of the so-called “Scarlet Night”, something terrible and unexpected happens: Artorius sacrifices in a dark ritual the life of the little Laphicet right in front of Velvet’s eyes, which contracts the demonies and, frothy anger, swear revenge.
Tales of Berseria is the story of how this vengeance will take place, of the unsatisfactory thirst for blood of a girl once careless and cheerful, transformed into a monster unable (or at least so to believe) to experience feelings and enjoy simple pleasures like a meal warm or a restful night of rest.
As a tradition, the story unfolds along a journey that will start from the most distant corner of a smelly cell and will cross all the islands of the continent, linked together by sea routes: a journey of this magnitude can not be tackled alone, not even for a demon so determined, and in fact Velvet will find a cast of very varied characters, composed of faceted and heterogeneous personalities, in which the heroes are missing in the most classic sense of the term, and abound instead
of the controversial figures, with inscrutable intentions and often endowed with fine seconds.
If Zestiria represented the day and put the player in the role of the redeemer, forced by his nature and the expectations of others
to act according to a predetermined score, Berseria is the dark and mysterious night, where for the first time inside the saga , they are not only dressed in heroin, but they are made with a mixture of reluctance and empathy, driven by persistent feelings like rage and hatred.
There will also be moments of light, witty spirits and skits (helped by an Italian subtitling always punctual), but light moments are brilliant parentheses in a ripe, violent story that explores the whole spectrum of human feelings .
If there is an aspect in which Berseria overwhelms Zestiria of several wings it is precisely in the quality of interweaving, staged by a handful of memorable characters.
A pinch of extra technique
Though it may seem like a paradox, the only aspect of Zestiria that had convinced us fully, that is, the rapid and dynamic combat system, is also one that has enjoyed a general maquillage, which, though not shaking its foundations, has made it even better .
The hub of the new system is represented by the Slave, five rhizomes next to the portrayal of the party members that symbolize the amount of action points stored, from which to draw for any battle needs (apart from using objects), attacks physical to magic ones.
Each clash begins with three characters per character (unless you are surprised by the adversaries or surprise them) but this number may vary depending on the actions taken by the player: inflict altered status, hit the elemental weaknesses of enemies or lead to a sign Critical hits, among other actions, earn an additional soul up to a maximum of five.
These rules also apply to the monsters against which we will fight, obviously, and then engaging in poison or stinging are just two ways to lose a soul: to recover souls it is enough to parachute the incoming attacks, at the back of the dorsal left, or wander around
the clash area until these are recharged.
In theory, it would also be possible to continue attacking without more souls available, but the effectiveness and precision of the attacks brought to this condition are halved, almost as if to discourage wild button mashing advocates.
The new system guarantees greater balance to the battle system, which still maintains the prerequisites of speed and technique that had already distinguished the last episodes of the franchise.
At the pressure of the two PS4 paddles, the player can release two high-power attacks under certain conditions: the one called with L2 allows you to prolong the already remarkable combo string, stepping on opponents without giving them a counterattack , while the second, called Soul Soul, is a strategic weapon of considerable importance.
If the first attack requires the filling of
a three-tier circle that takes into account the damage suffered and those suffered, the Slapping Soul does not require that the simultaneous presence of three souls, that is, the starting conditions of each clash: despite the short duration, this attack can be devastating because, in addition to inflicting a large amount of damage to the target, it provides additional effects for those who launched it, such as regeneration of life points or temporary immunity to certain altered states, just to make two examples.
The tactical valor of this ability is also due to the fact that, upon activation, the character that will use it will definitely lose a soul, which will be added to the total of the target’s target, ensuring a good balancing of the mechanics and preventing it ‘Abuse by the players, especially when confronted with bosses, surely the highest point reached by the combat system.