Sword of the Berserk is a strange one. With graphics that put many games to shame and a classical combat engine... the game seems undeveloped play wise. Never mind the gameplay - watch the story... Set in or around the dark ages, SOTB has you in the role of Guttsu (Guts to his friends). Guttsu is, to say the least, mean. With a seven foot sword and the strength to swing it he is a black clad monolith that can cut through anything. He has set out to find a cure for his lover - Casca, who went mad after a horrific attack by the God Hand - a fearsome band of supernatural warriors. I am not doing this story justice. The fact that there are novels and Manga stories about this story might indicate that. The game itself could better be described as an interactive movie. Over 2/3 of it is in game movies. This is not a bad thing. With the quality of voice acting, graphics and animation its like watching an anime film. It really is that good. The characters are rich and are developed from the start towards the terrific climax at the end of the game. The story evolves on a level some RPGs never reach and if you are like me, and you like anime, you will love this game. Especially when you get the seven foot sword out. Give that baby room to swing (inside closed spaces you might want to put it away because you can't swing it) and you know shit is going to happen. With a control system similar to Soul Calibur it is like have Nightmare in a free roaming environment. You can swing across or down and combine these moves to present the keen edge of your blade to the enemy. Guttsu also comes complete with grenades, throwing knives, a crossbow and a hand cannon. A jack of all trades as far as killing things goes then! The inventory is a dream to use and is handled by the triggers. Very simple and effective. When you get hit often or deal out enough pain - you go into berserk mode. You become practically invincible and
the screen glows red with you eyes and your sword cuts through rock and all - very useful in streets and confined spaces. Instead of going after the God Hand, you have to kill these zombie like plants - Mandragorans, which attach onto humans and change them into these giant tentacled things. The story of how this all happens is, again, superb. When you realise that these things are quite peaceful by nature, and that all the things you have been killing have been deformed children or disabled people, it kinda congeals in your stomach. When you slaughter an entire courtyard full of children (albeit, tentacled ones) and then one comes up and gives you a flower... It makes you think about the motives of your character more deeply than you would in Makken X for example. I like this game - even if there is not much too it gameplay wise. The story and the presentation (the music is amazing) combined with all the voice work and animation means that you almost feel sorry when you have to kill things - the story is that engrossing. Saying that, once you watch/play it once, you are unlikely to got back to it.