Bandai Namco seems to be all in these days when it comes to developing games based on popular anime and manga series. The Seven Deadly Sins is their first original release to hit this year after the successful Dragon Ball FighterZ. Unfortunately, the game suffers from an incredibly repetitive mission design that reuses locations and characters just to extend its story. There are some good ideas here, and it is possible to enjoy a lot of it, but they are often held back by tedious mission design that relies on simple objectives.
I haven’t actually seen the anime but from playing the game, I loved the world and its characters. It seemed like they all had cool personalities and if there is one thing that the game does well, it is developing the personality of each character. The story in Knights of Britannia deals with finding these holy knights which are called The Seven Deadly Sins. The main character is Meliodas, who is one of these Deadly Sins and he has sworn to protect Elizabeth, who is a princess on a journey to recruit these holy knights in order to save her Kingdom.
The exploration takes place while your party is in a bar which is located in the hat of a Giant Boar. Yes, you heard that right. The world map exploration boils down to roaming around by controlling a huge green boar. Exploration will be a chore at first since the developers somehow thought it would be a nice idea to give the boar an upgrade model that also has an affect on its speed. The initial speed was so slow that I thought the game had glitched or I missed out on a sprint button. Once you upgrade skills, it is possible to roam around with a little more ease and there are also skills that let you reach new locations like getting to walk on shallow waters.
Knights of Britannia is a rather short game if you just focus on the main story. The game attempts to circumvent some of this by forcing optional quests called Field Quests. These are divided between Trial, Combat, Battle and Fetch Quests. Completing them usually gives you a percent of gossip points that are needed in order to unlock new quests on the world map. The issue with this method is that while it sounds great in theory – by letting the player gather information from people that visit their bar – it ends up being incredibly repetitive the further you go in the game. It comes to the point where you won’t even bother listening to the comments made by the villagers since all they do is repeat the same quote for the umpteenth time.
The gameplay in The Seven Deadly Sins is a mixed bag. It is hard to grasp it at first because the camera is all over the place, especially in boss fights. There are a lot of flashy effects that are used in battle but sadly their inclusion means that frame rate is unstable during some of the more heavy post process effects. The combat works like in a standard action game with a weak attack, high attack, ranged attack and jump, all being used in conjunction with skills that can executed through a combination of buttons. There is also an extremely powerful special attack that can be charged by attacking or taking damage from enemy, and it can come handy in some tough battles, or when you need to end the fight quickly.
There are multiple playable characters during the main story segments although you will be limited to the holy knights of the Seven Deadly Sins. There is even a cute controllable pig called Hawk who seems to be rather well suited to combat. However, not every character can prove to be as good or fun to use in combat. The 30 foot tall Diane, for example, is incredibly tedious to use in battle because due to her large size, she moves extremely slowly and offers a limited set of attacks that are simply repeated again until the mission ends. Meliodas, meanwhile, is far more varied in combat and hence offers the best experience out of all the characters that I tested so far. He is also the best character to use in optional missions where you are required to kill a set number of enemies thanks to his powerful ranged attacks.
The presentation of the game suffers due to its low budget. The main characters are nicely animated and detailed but the environments are completely barren and the battle stages are repeated for most of the fights. To top if off, boss fights are simple with a few attacks that they keep repeating in a loop and hence don’t offer much of a challenge once you figure it out. You can button mash your way to victory easily for the most part of the game. Each character can be customized by equipping them with a variety of different accessories, however you can’t change their gear or skills. The accessories are unlocked by gathering specific materials which are tied to the optional quests.
At the end of the day, I would have liked to see a better version of The Seven Deadly Sins adaption, which isn’t the case here. If you are a fan of the anime, the story told here might not get your attention since it is barely functional at best. As a newcomer though, you might be curious to see how the actual anime and manga fares next to the game.
The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Assemble The Sins! Assemble the Seven Deadly Sins and fight to save the Kingdom of Lioness in The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia, coming to PS4! Based on the hit manga, The Seven Deadly Sins by Nabaka Suzuki, enjoy stories of adventure and experience all of the action and excitement from the anime.
Despite its best intention to create an interactive story adventure, The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia can be incredibly repetitive with its missions. There is a lot of flashy combat but the performance in battle is highly disappointing and the camera can be difficult to follow making it tricky to land combos.