+Extremely intuitive control designs allowing for players of all skill levels to play
+Destructive environments add an extra layer of detail to an already great looking game
+The games overall narrative draws straight from the anime, offering newcomers a way to experience the series as a whole
-Players who want to head straight to online play will need to experience the offline component of the game.
-Delayed terrain damage can become minor irritation when having to dash after an opponent.
Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time with the recently released The Seven Deadly Sins anime, which takes us on the wild trip with Melodias and his unruly gang of Seven Deadly Sins. Just like the anime itself, the game is an amazingly well-done retelling of the anime itself offering up a new take on immaculate character designs and a lively art style that comes to life.
Just like the anime its inspired from, The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia is a delicious serving of both the anime and manga forms as a fighting game. If the series was to jump from television screen to video game, this would be what comes to life and does an excellent job at what it hopes to do.
To get things started, The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia is a 1v1 fighter that’s broken up into two separate modes. One, the adventure mode, is where your story comes to life as a story-driven adventure where players get to take on the role of various characters from the anime itself. For those looking to explore a 1v1 online mode where they can compete against one another, the Duel Mode is the place to go for players wishing to show off their skill as various characters from the series.
Over the span of their time with the game, players will explore a 3D map of which they’ll navigate while using Hawk Mama to guide them about. To initiate a fight, players have to go to move to set up camp by going to a needed destination, accepting their mission and letting the fight get started. Much like games such as Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, Dragon Ball Xenoverse, or J-Stars Victory VS, players have several different approaches to the attacks and abilities they will use.
Just like other titles in the brawler genre, there are dashes players can use to dart from point to point on the map while players can also use heavy and light attacks to widdle down their opponent’s health until their health bar reaches zero. To toss abilities into the mix, Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Brittania offers players a way to utilize the use of multiple skills as they fight. By holding R1 on a DualShock 4, players can open up a new string of attacks by holding R1 and “triangle” for a heavy attack elated special or “circle” together for a ranged special attack.
Like recently released titles such as Dragon Ball FighterZ and Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, combat is destructive, allowing players to destroy the terrain around them including buildings, trees, and fixtures around them. Another trait that follows through is the need for characters that never once feel the same, each coming with their own abilities, and combos. Toss in a unique special move which is brought to life through a cinematic, such as Melodias’ ability “Revenge Counter” and you have a nice homage to the series that inspired the game.
But even with this simplified system, some of the game does feel as if it falls short in several ways: unlocking the game’s roster of characters for online play is required for the games single-player adventure mode, meaning players will have very few characters to use in duel mode till they reach a certain point of progress. For those looking to just jump in and duke it online, they’ll find the campaign to be a bit of a slog of time. During online play, however, the once fluid attacks having been used during their single-player experience feel delayed and lacking a powerful punch.
Unfortunately, there is a delay, and it’s noticeable through each of the characters animations. If offline, the small delay only comes to life during offline 2-on-2 matches where characters can choose from a few members of Melodias’ crew to join them in combat. Just as expected, there are delightful moments, however. Dashes feel nice to use, they are fluid and do cause damage to minor set pieces throughout the game. This interactivity does help in the Adventure Mode where players earn their Rumor bar through the course of the game, but this minor system does bring some glaringly large flaws with its implementation.
On several occasions, I found that pieces of the terrain wouldn’t immediately break upon impact and thus would leave me short on shards I would need for a high-rank score. Unfortunately, this has also caused some issues while deciding to partake in a few online competitive matches. Several times I’d find characters such as Ban or Hawk would get stuck against a wall or tree and would be incapable of moving about the map as intended and thus getting swiftly beaten to a pulp by my online opponent.
Just like the anime the game is inspired by, the Adventure Mode, Elizabeth has run away from the kingdom she calls home after it had been taken over by a sect of holy warriors called the Holy Knights. As a part of their plot to cause a coup, the Holy Knights have begun to take over the kingdom, eliminating anyone they see as a possible threat to their end-game goal.
As a part of her mission to save the land she calls home, Elizabeth has left in order to search for The Seven Deadly Sins, a group of knights who once defended the kingdom ten years prior to the events that unfold within the series, but have since disbanded after having been accused of plotting against the ruling body. As expected, Elizabeth does eventually meet this group of vagabonds by first encountering their blonde hair blue eyed leader Melodias, the Serpent Sin of The Seven Deadly Sins.
Unlike previous titles such as Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 or Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, one by Bandai Namco and the other by Square Enix, respectively, Knights of Britannia has a unique way of unlocking playable missions through the use of “Hearsay”. In the opening hours, players will take on the role of Hawk, Melodias, and lady Diane as they search the lands, listening for rumors by the local townspeople about the locations of his fellow Sins.
Butin order to unlock these rumors, Melodias, and his unruly gang will have to beat up local guards, break a few trees, fences, and houses, and rack up some serious damage to the lands around them in order to obtain the needed information. As players earn more “hearsay” or “rumors” they will unlock new missions to explore and will end up traveling back to Melodias’ famous moving bar “The Boar Hat,” which makes each mission readily available for players to accept.
Missions themselves unfold in a wide range of scenarios, some being 1-on-1 brawls while others can equate to 1v2, 2v2, or even 2v1 fights. Others include side missions where Elizabeth will gather various items during her adventure and then there are others where players will take on the role of specified Sins such as Ban or Diane who must bash through as many enemies as possible within the allotted time. While these missions are fun, they don’t always fit the game nor do they work well for some of the games more close-ranged characters such as Ban or Melodias or the giantess Diane herself.
While the game certainly does a great job grabbing at the source material it is inspired by, The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia isn’t a half-bad experience for fans of the series, but for fans wanting a hardcore fighting game, they may find themselves cringing at the character models, which pale in comparison to Dragon Ball FighterZ’s. Even as enjoyable as I found the game to be, I found that the biggest shortcoming of the entire game was its entire roster being locked behind its story progression, forcing players to take on its 15 hours or so campaign.
The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia – PlayStation 4
Developer: Natsume Atari
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Release Date: Available Now
Even as things within the game such as crafting or elements of its overall story fell into place, I still found myself cringing from time to time, often growing bored of the games various sidequests that seemed to take away from the overall experience.
With all that being said, The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia is a rather enjoyable game, one that will send diehard fans over the edge as they relive many of the games mind-blowing encounters within a 3D brawler.
Our review is based on a retail version that was provided to us by the publisher of the game. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 7.5 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPGs, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.