The return of the Black Warrior

 Berserk and the Band of the Hawk review

The manga of Kentaro Miura, whose Japanese publication began in the now distant 1989, lends itself in an excellent way to the typical structure of the Omega Force production, given the abundance of fighting “one against a thousand” style and even the bosses that characterize the original work.


Well, after several hours of play in the context of a campaign composed of four different narrative arcs, covering events up to the number 63 Italian volume, we could only confirm this impression: Koei Tecmo has made the center in awarding this license,


although for obvious reasons we will hardly see a sequel in a short time. Will you need seventeen more years, like those passed since the release of Sword of the Berserk: Gut’s Rage on Dreamcast? We hope not.

 berserk band of the hawk ps4 shows how the Kentaro Miura manga was perfect for a musou

 Berserk and the Band of the Hawk walkthrough


The plot of Berserk, for those who do not know it, revolves around an unbeatable Black Warrior, Gatsu, who carries on his neck the so-called “symbol of sacrifice”, a sign that attracts evil spirits and Apostles: human beings who have exploited the power of Bejelit to turn into immortal monsters, sacrificing what was most dear to the world in order to embrace a ruthless darkness.

The return of the Black Warrior

Gatsu’s mission is to find and kill them by using the Ammazzadraghi, a huge sword that only he manages to wield , obviating the lack of the left arm and the right eye thanks to an effective prosthesis of iron (which hides a cannon! ) and a battle experience that is unparalleled.


The story of Gatsu begins in fact a long time before: raised by a mercenary, he has been used to fighting since he was a child and always use larger swords than normal, through a series of vicissitudes that lead him years later to become part of the legendary Team of the Falcons, an army led by the charismatic Grifis,


splendid leader with ephebic traits. Equipped with a huge ambition,Grifis will determine at some point a devastating event for Gatsu and his companions, becoming the target of the blind fury that characterizes the protagonistwhen we meet him for the first time in the comic.


This initial narrative arc, called “L’Epoca d’Oro”, is accompanied in the game by the sequences of the three animated films produced between 2012 and 2013, whereas for the subsequent storylines it lacks such important support, replaced by cutscene in -game however of good quality.


As mentioned in the opening,  berserk band of the hawk has a single player campaign that follows in a relatively faithful manner the events of the manga, modifying the traits of the protagonist as the story progresses and endowing it accordingly with new weapons and skills.


The four narrative arcs are divided into over forty missions that take about fifteen hours to complete, provided you select the “hard” difficulty level right from the start.

The return of the Black Warrior

In fact, using the level of normal challenge you come across what has always been a defect of the various Dynasty Warriors, ie very simple and trivial clashes also against the bosses, who rarely manage to get us to grips or even force us to use the parade.


Where the level “berserk” is excessive, since the many enemies (over one hundred and fifty) that can crowd the screen at the same time just a shot each to reduce immediately end of life, the “hard” turns out to be as said the right choice for a dignified challenge.


Closed this parenthesis, we move to the gameplay, which is the traditional Musou and suffers from the same limitations, in this case a great repetitiveness.

The return of the Black Warrior

Growing your warrior you unlock new combos, it is true, but we talk in any case of maneuvers that are carried out by pressing only the Square and Triangle keys, trying to pick up the bar of anger and then unleash the berserker’s fury: a mode in which our character does not feel pain and can not be stopped (unless he suffers powerful attacks), and that in turn leads to the loading of a devastating super move able to clean up almost the whole scenario, solving in a moment situations intricate.


There is the classic display of the map on the screen, with the hot spots to be reached and enemies to be killed, although in this case the goal is to defeat certain opponents or, more rarely, protect their companions or escort citizens to safety , instead of conquering sectors of the scenario as in the episodes of Dynasty Warriors.

The return of the Black Warrior

Therefore, the hoped increase in thickness for a combat system that does not particularly emphasize the blows, or at least remains distant from Capcom’s rival productions (Sengoku Basara), putting on the table also a series of weapons from distance (the arm-cannon, the repeating crossbow, the bombs, throwing knives and so on) that are however less effective than it would have been reasonable to expect.


To this is added a function of loot and craftsmanship that allows you to equip a series of objects, merge them to multiply the bonuses and improve their effectiveness using precious stones in exchange for the money earned in battle: an element implemented in a slightly boring way, but that in the most advanced phases it proves fundamental to be able to defeat the most tough adversaries.


Beyond this,it remains undoubtedly the great advantage of being able to count on a rich and inspired bestiary like that born of the visionary mind of Kentaro Miura, a factor that is able to guarantee the experience always a great interest.