- System: PS4, PC, Xbox One
- Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
- Developer: Dimps Corporation
- Release Date: Feb 23, 2018
- Rating: T for Teen
- Genre: Action, Third Person Shooter
- Player: 1 (Online 2-8)
- Official Website: https://www.bandainamcoent.com/games/sword-art-online-fatal-bullet
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet, as we mentioned above, is a big departure from the previous titles. Rather than using a sword, katana or dual swords in Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet, you’re using guns like machine guns, assault rifles and of course a beam sword so you can mirror Kirito in season 2 of Sword Art Online. Also, a big change from the other games is that players no longer assume the role of the Black Swordsman himself but instead, make a new character from a huge amount of customization options. Once done, whether you made a girl or a guy your life in Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet begins. Let us first talk about what you will be doing in Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet.
In Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet, players will embark on a quest as they enter into the world of Gun Gale Online to enter a new tournament that has just begun. Here, players will end up gaining an AI unit that leads to them becoming targets for rogue players and some of the more popular faces in the world of Gun Gale Online. As you dive deeper into Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet’s story you will team up with Kirito and his team to solve the purpose of the AI unit you got and why it’s so special in comparison to other models. Ironically, while we worried that being anyone but Kirito would hurt the story and narration of Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet, it actually gives it strength. This new story feels original all while familiar thanks to the expert guidance of Reki Kawahara—the creator of Sword Art Online—who you can tell made sure to adhere to the lore he created all while making Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet a new and original story.
Now while the story for Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is solid enough most gamers are going to want more than just narrative—which Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet has a bit too much of at times—and that’s why we now want to discuss the gameplay of Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet. Players will take their hero/heroine of choice and be blasting away foes in an intense third person action/shooter scenario. Guns are the name of the game in Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet and luckily whether you’re rocking a shotgun, handgun, rocket launcher or sword the combat in Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet feels solid. Fans of Gun Gale Online will notice that the bullet lines and bullet circle from the anime/light novels/manga appears and is what aids players in shooting accurately as well as dodging enemy fire. You won’t be deflecting bullets like Kirito can but you have various ways of avoiding damage such as rolls, cover and a quick escape/movement tool that reminds us of the grappling hook seen in Freedom Wars, a PS Vita third person shooter that at times feels similar to Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet.
Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet has a ton of depth in its gameplay design that amazed us here at Honey’s Anime. Every gun feels and handles differently and the various enemies—both human and non-human—react differently based on your actions. For example, if you favor heavy rocket launchers be prepared to have enemies evading a lot, especially if they are NPCs or real-life players. Your 4-man squad—which in story mode is AI companions—need to be guided by your hands and with quick emotes to tell them where to go and what to do, you’ll always come out on top in Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet.
In terms of RPG elements, Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is chock full of rather unique ideas. Players can customize a lot about their set up in terms of if they want to be a strong melee focused fighter/tank or wish to be a sniper like Sinon. What’s also amazing is that Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet features the ability to save builds for you so you can have essentially the same character be able to use different roles depending on the situation. All you need to do is go back to town, load up a custom slot with your skills and status saved on it and then you’re good to go. Add to this a checking system—yes Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet features a banking system—and even the ability to have your AI unit buy items for you of their own violation and you begin to see that Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is a very deep third person shooter thanks to the integration of RPG mechanics.
Graphically, Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is also quite stunning. Characters have a lot of depth to them and the same can be said of the enemies—namely the bosses though—as well as the environments. Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet looks beautiful and when you get cutscenes you’re treated to some solid animation that reminds us of the Sword Art Online world but with that gaming spin we’ve grown accustomed to here at Honey’s Anime. The same could be said about the music which is solid and really keeps battles flowing. Overall, we knew going into Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet—thanks to us playing the demo—that Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet was going to look incredible and sound equally impressive.
While Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet does more good than bad, it does have some glaring flaws and we wish to explain some of them here. Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet has an online component where players can either team up for co-op battles with bosses and other foes or go against each other in several PVP like experiences. While the PVP element is unique, neither the co-op or the PVP itself is that enjoyable as it feels stale and lags something rough. Even when our connections were in top performance, Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet still lagged leading to some silly battles and sometimes unfair deaths. Be prepared to spend the majority of time in Sword
Art Online: Fatal Bullet solo as that’s where the enjoyment truly comes into focus.
Speaking of Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet’s narrative, there is a ton of it. We are use to the narrative heavy titles from past Sword Art Online games but this one takes the cake. In the first hour alone, there is more explaining the game’s mechanics—which is why we didn’t go into super depth here with our review—that will hammer in every detail of Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet whether you want it or not. Even after 10 hours, you’ll still have moments of narration that seem to last for 20 minutes before getting back to the gunplay which is where Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet shines. We also noticed that often some of the narration has weird lag issues where text won’t pop up or will pop up but the characters are talking and or have stopped already. This isn’t a big deal but be sure to not spam the confirm button unless you wish to miss a dialogue choice or hit one by accident.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Guns and swords feel different and really add variety in how you play
- Fun boss fights
- Solid story
- Tons of customization options
- Impressive visuals and music
- Interesting gameplay mechanics such as banking and skill loadouts
- Occasionally too much dialogue
- Weird technical issues with dialogue pausing or voices passing what’s written
- Online multiplayer/co-op is laggy and unoriginal
Honey's Final Verdict: