The Berserk musou has finally been given a release date, as per Koei Tecmo. Berserk and the Band of the Hawk will be available on February 21st in North America, and February 24 in Europe. Coupled with the date reveal, Koei has released a trailer showcasing some of the games features and characters.
You might be unaware about Berserk, or even what a musou is. Berserk is a popular anime and manga written and illustrated by Kentaro Miura. It was originally released in 1989 yet still continues to this day with several movie and anime adaptions. It is an incredibly brutal and dismal story following the anti-hero Guts as he struggles with human morality and sanity. The game will start in what is referred as the “Golden Age”, as Guts joins a mercenary group called “The Band of the Hawk” under the guidance of another soldier, Griffith. It is an immensely influential series that inspired games such as Dark Souls (many claim that Artorias of the Abyss is a Guts reference, as well as several other areas and characters sharing similarities).
Band of the Hawk will be an action-based beat-em-up, or more commonly referred to as a musou. The term was coined based off of the Japanese series Dynasty Warriors, where you face off against hordes of bad guys and promptly eviscerate them. Its good fun for at least a while, and the better games of the series have relied on good characterization and plot, as the action does tend to get repetitive.
However, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk looks like it will stray from some of the formulas used in previous games. For one, Guts wields a massive sword, more akin to a plank of metal on a stick than a traditional blade. To that end, he is much slower than your traditional musou character, and must using timing instead of the usual button smashing to survive. Your base attacks have a large effective radius, so planning your strikes for maximum coverage is important, as smaller enemies will sneak between your strikes. As you slice and dice your enemies, you fill up a “berserk” meter that you can unleash for swifter and more powerful attacks.
Berserk and the Band of the Hawk will launch on PlayStaton 4, Vita, and for PC. If you wish to see more, check out their website for additional videos, story background, and more.