Berserk Musou, also known as Berserk and the Band of the Hawk in western territories, is a hack-and-slash game developed by Omega Force and published by Koei Tecmo for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Microsoft Windows, released on October 27, 2016 in Japan, on February 21, 2017 in North America and on February 24, 2017 in Europe. It is a collaboration between Koei Tecmo's Dynasty Warriors video game series and Kentarou Miura's Berserk manga.
The game follows the story of the manga, starting in the Golden Age Arc in Guts' battle against Bazuso and ending in the Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc, after Guts and his companions board the Seahorse.
Berserk Musou is a 3D tactical-action/hack-and-slash game, set in large arenas based on various locations in the Berserk universe. Players may pick a single character to control in a large environment, where they will face hordes of demons and other monsters to slay in battle. Playable characters can fill a Frenzy Mode gauge by battling, entering a period of time upon activation where they take no damage (but still receive knockback) and can do much more damage, performing bloody Obliterations. Obliterations will fill a second meter that, when full, allows characters to perform their unique Deathblow, a single large attack that deals immense damage and will refill some of its own gauge.
In addition, certain characters have a special Transformation ability that allows them to change forms and become increasingly stronger, destroying enemies in a single blow. For example, Guts' Transformation Move has him don the infamous Berserker Armor, Zodd can morph into his apostle form and Griffith can smite foes as the God Hand Femto.
Players can battle on multiple stages, and experience a story mode where they will progress through the story of Berserk, from the Golden Age Arc up to the Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc. In this mode, players can interact with characters, partake in monstrous boss battles from the series and relive the tragic tale of Guts, cleaving through multiple apostles at a time. Some story areas will have cutscenes directly ripped from the series' animation counterpart.
In addition, players can test the highest limits of their survival in "Endless Eclipse", where they encounter endless waves of enemies until their character is overwhelmed. In this mode, any playable character can be chosen and an AI-controlled partner is available to provide assistance.
Playable characters can level up by fighting in battles, thus growing stronger and gaining access to new moves and combos. Characters can also collect accessories by defeating enemies and bosses, or by buying them from the shop. Equipping these accessories provide various stat boosts such as slightly higher health or faster cooldown times for Kill-Crush moves. Endless Eclipse provides the opportunity to gain character-exclusive accessories with better stats as well.
Berserk Musou was first revealed in a short promotion video by Koei Tecmo on June 12, 2016, prior to E3 2016. Koinuma Hisashi spearheaded the game's development after discussing his love of the story with the other staff members. He was pleased with the overall response of the teaser video, but feared that the erotic content may hamper overseas localization. A week later, on June 20, a flyer was sent out in Japan, which confirmed a September 21 release in the country.
In an interview, producer Hisashi Koinuma confirmed that the development team is aiming to release the game as a CERO D title similar to their Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage series. Although labeled a collaboration, Berserk Musou remains distinct from the 2016 anime series while containing approximately 120 minutes of footage from the Berserk: The Golden Age Arc film trilogy (with some shots censored, new recording for the voices and a different soundtrack) . On July 15, 2016, Koei Tecmo revealed that the Western version of the game was planned to release in Fall 2016. However, on September 14, 2016, Koei Tecmo pushed the expected release date back to February 2017 for the Western and European releases.
In Japan, first-print copies of the game included a "wet-outfit costume" DLC code for Casca.
- Guts (Black Swordsman Arc) (Voice: Hiroaki Iwanaga)
- Berserker Armored Guts (Millennium Falcon Arc) (Voice: Hiroaki Iwanaga)
- Femto (Millennium Falcon Arc) (Voice: Takahiro Sakurai)
Characters that only exist in menus, special abilities, or the story mode as AI-controlled characters.
Stages are designed as large, dynamic 3D environments of varying altitudes. All modeled after key locations in Berserk, the stages can be run through by playable characters and are complex, featuring a degree of varying twists, turns and large battle zones for combat.
- This is the first Berserk video game to be developed since the 2004 PS2 game.
- This is also the first Berserk video game since the 1999 Dreamcast game to be released outside of Japan.
- Berserk Musou received good to mixed review scores; Destructoid awarded it an 8/10, Famitsu a 35/40, GameSpot a 5/10 and IGN a 6.3/10. The game has a total score of 66/100 on Metacritic.
- Miura sketched an illustration of Guts and Griffith to commemorate the completion of the game.
- Most of the characters are voiced by their respective seiyuus from the 2016 anime and the film trilogy.