Reki Kawahara’s light novel series Sword Art Online has spawned a slew of video games under its moniker one of the most recent of which is the downloadable game Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet. Using stories taken directly from the manga of the same name, the Sword Art Online is itself an examination of massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) culture and follows the exploits of protagonists Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya and Asuna Yuuki.
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The Game Review
The protagonists of Sword Art Online inhabit and explore virtual reality worlds that are very much real in terms of consequences and actions. In these virtual realms, they encounter NPCs and enemies all while living out a kind of player’s fantasy. Gamers familiar with the manga and anime series Overlord will be familiar with Sword Art Online’s central thrust in terms of narrative.
While there are tons of manga and anime out there under the Sword Art Online banner, it is the video games that are worth particular consideration especially when you think about how idiosyncratic the series’ approach to combat is compared to other games.
That’s because Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet employs a third-person shooter mechanic to its game instead of the traditional turn-based or strategy RPG layout expected from many JRPGs.
Set in the VR world of Gun Gale Online, the narrative of Fatal Bullet actually makes the third-person shooting mechanic make sense narratively but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still really interesting. Players familiar with Final Fantasy VIII’s gunblades will have some notion of this concept.
Naturally, guns and blades can be wielded in tandem. To make things easier for the player when aiming the gun in battle the developers have implemented a bullet line sight system which tells players where their hit is going to land.
In what could only be considered a move to entice readers of the light manga and anime to buy the game, Fatal Bullet draws inspiration from a similar storyline found in the canon but differs from it slightly.
This makes it a new story in some ways and that’s an incentive to play if you’ve already trudged through the other media.
Whether that’s a pro or a con or not is up to the fan but the fact that the video games are listed as non-canon might make it a little less consequential and more enjoyable for the Sword Art Online lore fanatic.
Fans of the battle system in Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet will have even more content to enjoy once they’ve completed the main quest.
This is because the game has a robust and fairly compelling multiplayer system. Players can team up into four-man cooperatives or even go up against one another in individual matches with up to four players per match.
Player versus player gaming might not be your first expectation when it comes to Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet, but its presence is a benefit, not a distraction from the main game.
- Compelling gameplay that changes the Sword Art Online formula a little bit
- Awesome story for fans and non-fans alike
- Oozing with quality
- Seems like a lot of trial and error is baked into the game
- If you’ve never played Sword Art Online you’ll have no idea what’s going on with the story
- Multiplayer is something you earn not something you just jump into