PS4 Review Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet review – PS4

Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet

Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is the latest title in the ever growing Sword Art Online universe. Like past Sword Art Online titles, Fatal Bullet takes us to another virtual game, called Gun Gale Online. A unique new virtual game that favors guns instead melee weapons like its predecessors do. Dimps has taken over the development of Fatal BulletB bringing a much needed change to the SAO videogames.

One of the aspects that’s always plagued the Sword Art Online games is story. All the past titles have taken place during different parts of the manga’s and anime’s timeline. With the original stories came original concepts that never really felt fleshed out and most just took way too long to get going.

Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet once again takes this concept to tell its story. As a new player in Gun Gale Online you join your best friend in the virtual game. During one of your first missions you discover an A.I. companion called “ArFA-sys.” This A.I. companion is essential to unlocking a quest in Gun Gale’s upcoming update, which unfortunately is what over half of the games story is about.

Sword Art Online’s main protagonist Kirito returns along with this band of friends that he’s accumulated not just from the source material but from past videogames as well. Kirito and his friends act more like secondary characters this time around, and in a way it hurts the story in Fatal Bullet. As I mentioned earlier, over half of the story revolvers around gaining entrance into the game’s new dungeon using the ArFA-sys and listening and helping your teammates out with their personal problems.

During the many dialogue conversations you go through, you are given the illusion of choice when responding to your fellow teammates. From everything that I experienced, any answer you choose will always lead to the same outcome and doesn’t really impact how the story unfolds

Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet takes the gameplay into a completely different direction. Gun Gale Online substitutes melee combat for gun combat. Assault Rifles, Shotguns, Sniper Rifles, and Rocket Launches are at your disposable and allow you to enjoy any way you want to play. As far as shooting mechanics work, Fatal Bullet works really well as a shooter. What makes the shooting work so well is the great auto assist featured in Fatal Bullet.

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Fatal Bullet’s auto-assist is a great tool to utilize during some of the more frantic encounters. Auto-assist works with a big box as your recital. As long as the enemy is in the box, the characters will automatically follow the enemy and lock onto them. The auto-assist is easy to disable as well by simply tapping up on the D-Pad.

In order to utilize certain weapons in Fatal Bullet you must have the correct stats to wield it. As you battle in Gun Gale Online, you will accumulate experience. When you return to the hub world, that exp is accumulated and the characters level up, allowing you to then distribute points among the various stats such as strength and dexterity. Each weapon requires a certain amount in each stat to wield so I constantly had to adjust my stats to the play style I wanted.

Skills are also a big part of Fatal Bullet but are very hit and miss. Skills are weapon based and most of them are universal to each weapon. A lot the skills you can unlock are found in all of the weapons and only a few of them are unique to each weapon class. For those looking to use Assault Rifles you are privy to some unique skills like sliding on the ground while shooting. It’s clear from the skills that some weapons got a little more love than others.

Gun Gale Online is a post-apocalyptic setting. As you venture around the world of Gun Gale you will run through deserted cities and sprawling deserts. These semi-open environments will have you facing off against various enemies as well as exploring for treasure chests, hunting down bounties, and finding troublesome players to take out.

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These open locations are fun to explore but become tedious to constantly explore for the simple fact that every enemy will constantly attack you. Even when you face off against enemies that are 40 levels below you, they will still attack. They also have a very quick respawn time, adding more fuel to the fire.

The dungeons on the other hand are less exciting to explore. Almost all the game’s dungeons are bland and resemble an old rundown factory. The only redeeming concept in the dungeons are the boss fights. The boss fights in Fatal Bullet are a joy as each boss is unique and requires a different strategy to defeat. Boss fights are also long winded encounters mimicking what you would expect from a dungeon boss fight in an MMO. .

Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet can be a pretty game to look at least when it comes to the character models. The characters all look good and have nice anime design to them. The same can’t be said for all the environments though. Dungeons are bland with almost nothing to look at, but thankfully the open environments sport a little more effort in their design.

Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is the best Sword Art Online game to date. The combat has come a long way and the change in developers has clearly been the right choice for the franchise. For all the good Fatal Bullet does, it still has some work needed to be done. The skill system clearly favors some weapons over others, and the story telling leaves much to be desired.



The Final Word

Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet could have been an exceptional title in the franchise, with a little more work on its story and skills system, Its combat, exploration, and great boss battles, on the other hand, make Fatal Bullet the best Sword Art Online title to date.