Boar Hat Adventures
Played On: Standard PlayStation 4
What I've Played:
- Finished the main story quests in Adventure Mode
- Had three more characters left to unlock for Duel Mode
- Played a few rounds in online play
- Played a few local matches in Duel Mode
It was hard for me to get into The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia, a fighting game where you can play as one of the characters from the recent anime and relive the events of the first season. It’s a fan-service game where battles take place on a 3D stage, with the usual attacks and character movement you would see in anime games like these (such as Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi series, J-Stars Victory VS, etc.).
There are two modes available - Adventure mode and Duel mode. Adventure mode’s narrative is pretty much a simplified version of the series’ first arc. It starts with Elizabeth looking for the help of Meliodas to find the Seven Deadly Sins, a group that has supposedly betrayed her kingdom. Luckily, Meliodas is the captain of said group, and together they go on a journey to gather the rest of the Deadly Sins to thwart a coup d'état to overthrow the current king.
The dialogue throughout Adventure does very little for those that are new to the series. There is not enough context to get a full grasp of the world and it’s created with the assumption that you’ve already watched the first season of the series.
You travel from town to town, battling a finite amount of soldiers or characters from the series, and physically move The Boar Hat to each location. Each mission can range from 1v1, 2v1, or 2v2 battles. For some reason, there are also side missions where you play as a helpless Elizabeth, tasked to pick up shiny items on the ground with Hawk, the cute talking pig, who’s tagging along to protect her from enemies.
There’s a rhythm in the game’s Adventure mode that was hard to shake off. You go to one mission, gather gossip from townsfolk to unlock more missions, do said missions (mostly involving you beating helpless soldiers and characters), and so on. It’s a long chore at best, with hilarious banter from townsfolk freaking out that their houses are being decimated by the battle. When it come to the fights, the AI isn't challenging, and the only form of difficulty arises during missions with time limits. You can craft magic items with the rewards you get from each mission; these provide stat boosts for Meliodas and his group. Weirdly enough, the game was so simple that I was able to go through most of the content barely touching said feature. I think I had one item equipped just for the sake of trying it out. The fact that I found no use for the supplemental magic items completely negated the need to pursue any content that would derail me from the main story.
With a game focused foremost on pleasing fans, this take on Seven Deadly Sins missed the opportunity to make its characters shine. Each character has a signature move, available by pressing R2, and I was expecting flashy animations to emphasize the power of the character. Instead, we were pretty much given a simple cutscene, followed by a big explosion that deals massive damage. Even the iconic fights in the series’ first arc weren’t presented well, if they were presented at all. This would have been a perfect chance to recreate these battles in the game engine, but instead, a regular match between the two characters is just followed by the conclusion of the conflict through typical chat dialogue.
The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia is best appreciated when playing in Duel mode - that is, using your favorite character from the series and fighting against friends and players online. However, this cannot be done the moment you boot the game, because most of the game’s roster is locked away, forcing the player to go through Adventure mode in order to unlock each character one by one. It’s unusual nowadays in fighting games to totally limit one mode simply because you have not gone through the other one.
I had fun at times with certain fights, but most of them saw me pressing the same attack chains and receiving the same results. There’s no solid push or tutorial to help one to best utilize each character’s moveset, nor is there any encouragement or incentive to step up one’s game, since neither AI nor online players are doing anything differently. At the very least, I was hoping this would be a game to entice people to check out the series, or highlight the great moments that make Seven Deadly Sins a great Shōnen anime. Instead, we have a game that could potentially confuse newcomers, and which provides very little for big fans of the series.
- A robust roster of characters with different gameplay styles
Animations were clunky and stiff
Combat was simple and uninspiring
Going through missions felt like a chore
[This review is based on a PS4 review code provided by the publisher Bandai Namco.]