Berserk And The Band Of The Hawk Hits February 2017

Dynasty Warriors has many faces these days, and now we’re adding another to the bunch with Berserk and the Band of the Hawk [official site]. In case you’re out of the loop, Band of the Hawk is blending Dynasty Warriors with Kentaro Miura’s popular anime and manga series, Berserk. We originally expected the English language version to launch some time this fall, but it looks like we’ll be waiting until February to single-handedly mow our way through thousands of non-descript enemies.

Alright. Let’s break this down. What does it all mean? I’ll be honest, I have no idea. My friend keeps trying to make me watch Berserk but I am resistant. I can tell you that there’s a lot of shocked gasping, a skeleton knight, and an egg with a human face nestled in a flesh nest.

Luckily Koei Tecmo was able to explain things a little more thoroughly. So with two hours of animated cinematics, the game tells the story of the leader of The Band of the Hawk, Griffith, and Guts, the Black Swordsman. The Band of the Hawk is fighting for dominion, and you’ll do that by wielding a man-sized sword and swinging it at legions of opponents in delicious, nonsensical combat. There’s also a lot of betrayal and loss of limb. That actually pretty much sums it up. It looks as though there will be something to enjoy for both Musou and Berserk fans alike.

Berserk and the Band of the Hawk will be available on February 21, 2017 via Steam.


  1. Psychomorph says:


  2. Uncle Fassbender says:

    Not a huge fan of the new CG style, it looks a bit too cartoon-y now when I associate Berserk with something raw.

    At least it looks better than the 2016 series though!

  3. Geebs says:

    The trailers are nice-ish, but the TGS 2016 footage of this looks really, really bad. Three polygons with the same texture = a level bad.

    A lot can be forgiven, though, if at some point there’s a contextual prompt allowing players to press ‘X’ to point out to Griffith that he is a complete and utter arse.

  4. Baines says:

    If you actually watch Berserk, I’d suggest that you watch the 1997 series. That uses traditional animation. (Well, I’d really recommend the manga.)

    The recent Berserk films and series switched to the cheap looking “cartoon” CG that Japanese animation fell in love with a while back, presumably because it is cheaper. Making the new Berserk worse is that the series itself feels cheaply made. The 3D animation is low quality, scenes are fairly basic, music consists largely of a bad remix of Forces (the theme of the first anime), …

    The advantages of the new anime is simply that it progresses the story. The 1997 series covered Golden Age. The recent three movies redid Golden Age, presumably in preparation for the new series. The 2016 season covered Conviction, and the 2017 series will bring in Schierke and the Berserker armor.

    • Al Bobo says:

      I only suggest Berserk manga. Anime goes way too fast and there’s tons of details cut out. Of course, I do understand that if all was added in, it would become a behemoth like One Piece anime.

  5. Tiger Teeth says:

    I’d assumed from the name that this was just going to be the Golden Age again. But it looks like it’s going to cover everything up to the boat arc?

    • Silvermarch says:

      Apparently it’s going to cover Golden Age to the end of the Millennium Falcon arc.

  6. Baines says:

    As for the game, some Musou fans are a bit disappointed that it looks like Omega Force is continuing to use the simplistic Dynasty Warriors combat engine as the basis for its spin-off series instead of something like the more complex Samurai Warriors engine.

    Dynasty Warriors has the most basic system, the one closest to “button mashing”. The various spin-offs tend to take that and add one or two changes that make things a little more complex. Samurai Warriors makes the most changes.

  7. mtomto says:

    Ahh so that’s why they use crappy 3D in the new berserk. What a shame…

  8. Avus says:

    Honestly I hate this “Dynasty Warriors-ized” many different IP from Japan much more than yearly episodes of Call of Duty from USA. There is no gameplay improvement for all those Dynasty Warriors type game. Just different characters and setting.

    • Baines says:

      There are gameplay differences, but they tend to be minor changes that ultimately amount to less than the difference between the most recent Dynasty Warriors and the most recent Samurai Warriors.

      For example, Hyrule Warriors replaced the jump button with a dodge roll that serves as evasion, as a way to circle around to an opponent’s back, and as a way to cancel your current attack. It removes horses (and the series terrible mounted combat), replacing it with a sprint function (automatically triggers when running for a bit, and can be manually triggered by pressing dodge as you start to move.) Enemy officers were given extremely high defense under normal circumstances, with a “weak point” system implemented where you were rewarded for hitting them after they exposed themselves with certain attacks. (That high defense was toned down for Legends, presumably due to complaints.) The elemental system is functionally rather different from the standard Dynasty system. Giant bosses were added, as were Zelda sub-weapons. Characters were given more varied moves than Dynasty characters tended to carry, with a bit more complexity in how they were used. Adventure Mode was highly praised for the amount of content it added.

      Dragon Quest Heroes moved so far from formula that it isn’t even officially a Musou/Warriors game.

      Mind, both of those licenses already had established non-Warriors gameplay mechanics to also draw from, like how Hyrule’s weak point system tried to mimic Zelda’s boss combat. Other licensed properties mechanically diverge less.

    • Crafter says:

      Berserk is also a very bad fit for this gameplay, especially for the characters other than Guts.

      It would have made a great Souls like, but that’s very unlikely to happen.

  9. anHorse says:

    The attack on titan musou is vastly different from a typical warriros game

  10. crowleyhammer says:

    Im certain i played a dreamcast game based on this at some point, i remember it being quite hard as well and bit floaty to control.

    I had no idea back then it was based on an anime but in retrospect it explains the huge sword.

    •   says:

      There was a ps2 version too, which can be played in emulators nowdays, but apart from the wonderful cutscenes (and cruel boss fights), it wasn’t that special really. Plus I can’t speak Japanese :D

      • Baines says:

        The Dreamcast game was a made-for-game side story set post-Conviction, when Guts was traveling with just Casca and Puck.

        The PS2 game covered a chunk of the actual manga storyline (progressing through Guts getting the Berserker armor), except with the addition of a made-for-game plotline about a pair of ghost/Apostle kids that kept popping up to torment Guts during the manga story parts. (The made-for-game bit gave the developers a way to bring in Golden Age characters.)

    • Jalan says:

      It (Sword of the Berserk: Guts’ Rage) actually wasn’t particularly hard, it just (like a number of similar Dreamcast games) took some time to get accustomed to its mechanics so it seemed that way.

      Overall it was actually a fairly decent game (and its soundtrack was fantastic), despite the fact that unless you’re aware of the subject matter before playing then it doesn’t really offer a great deal of explanation for the core characters (though I understand why it doesn’t, it doesn’t stop me from wishing it did otherwise).

  11. The Algerian says:

    A Berserk game should be brutal and unforgiving.
    “Cannon fodder musou AI” definetly isn’t.

  12. Baines says:

    As a side note, did no one tell Koei’s localization groups that Miura has previously said that it should be “Falcon”, not “Hawk”? (The name was a reference to the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.)

    The licensed English manga translation switched to “Falcon” mid-run for that reason.

  13. Explodian says:

    Ehhh. Looks like the Dark Souls series will remain the best Berserk games out there for the moment.

  14. bill says:

    Why is that T-800 wearing such a stupid outfit?

  15. The Great Wayne says:

    Don’t worry, you’re not missing anything not having watched/read berserk. It’s not a bad manga, but it’s full of power fantasy clichés and the women depiction is abysmal.