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Review: The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia

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Sins of the father

The Seven Deadly Sins is one of the most fun anime series in recent memory. An interesting, unique premise with great character design and a bouncy art style and fight choreography are all reasons the series succeeds in both manga and anime form. If only the series would have made as successful a jump to video games as it did to anime. 

Unfortunately, the exuberance and fun of The Seven Deadly Sins is all but gone and there is nothing left in The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia but a stiff, terribly paced mess.

The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia (PS4)
Developer: Natsume Atari
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Released: February 9, 2018
MSRP: $59.99

The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia is a 1-on-1 fighter, broken up into an Adventure Mode and Duel Mode. Fights take place on a 3D map in which you can run around and take pot shots at your opponent if you'd like (much like the Dissidia, Budokai Tenkaichi, and J-Stars Victory VS) with magic attacks. There's a dash, light, and heavy attack buttons, though the fighting system in itself doesn't lend to combos or anything other than a single string of the square button with a triangle mixed in every now again. There are two special moves for each character, along with a cinematic super. The characters here don't all feel the same, which is nice, but each one does boil down to the same button chain, play style, and strategies in battle.  

But even with its simplified system, which will be great for fans of the series who want to jump in (though you'll have to unlock 90% of the Duel Mode cast in Britannia's Adventure Mode), each match in Britannia is a poor slog of a time. There's a noticeable delay between button presses and attack animations (especially when using the super move), no way to break out of a string of attacks (which gets tiresome against the AI), and it does stutter when a stage hazard activates in an optional 2-on-2 fight. 

There are some fun moments in this system since the dash feels nice to use, and the fact that breaking items in the stage helps out in Adventure Mode by building up its Rumor system, but even those highlights lead to glaring faults. Some stage hazards don't immediately break, so there are times when the poor lock-on system meant I dashed into corners and got stuck punching a rock before swiftly getting punished by the AI. 

In Adventure Mode, Elizabeth is a princess who runs away from her kingdom after it was taken over by Holy Knights staging a coup. She leaves in search of The Seven Deadly Sins, a group of knights who had defended the kingdom ten years ago but disbanded when they were accused of plotting against the kingdom. Elizabeth eventually meets their leader Meliodas, and the two set off in search of the other Sins.  

There's a neat way of unlocking missions in Knights of Britannia's Adventure Mode with the idea of "Hearsay." As Meliodas fights knights in the area (and does damage to the stage as he does so), the townspeople bring up rumors about the locations of the other sins. But like the fights themselves, even this interesting idea is buried with poor execution. 

Accepting missions in the series' famous traveling pub on the back of a pig, the player must physically move The Boar Hat to each mission location on a map and then select the mission to play (or even worse, opening a menu in The Boar Hat and then selecting a mission) which all feels like padding that sacrifices good menu organization for stylistic reasons. The missions themselves also range from the 1-on-1 fights, 2-on-1 fights, 2-on-2 fights, side missions where Elizabeth must gather items, and missions where you must KO a certain number of knights within a set time. These latter missions shift the camera to a slight bird's eye view, multiply the stiffness of the standard duels by 50, and add unneeded frustrations with time limits. These missions don't fit a game that's meant for close-up action between characters. 

I would have forgiven a lot of these faults had The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia at least successfully captured the spirit of the series. Unfortunately, the production value isn't here as character models stiffly talk to one another (and this is even more egregious before fights), so unless you're a diehard fan of the original material these wooden conversations will do nothing for you. They are completely devoid of personality, aren't good windows into the characters, and the sad delivery of the Adventure Mode sucks out all of the fun from even the best points in the series to date.

There's a tease of depth in the fights, and I even managed to have quite a bit of fun when things fell into place. Too often, however, it felt like accidental fun. Like I wanted to enjoy what I was playing so much, I stumbled into a good time. 

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia reviewed by Nick Valdez

4

BELOW AVERAGE

Has some high points, but they soon give way to glaring faults. Not the worst, but difficult to recommend.
How we score:  The destructoid reviews guide

 
 
 

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Nick Valdez
Nick ValdezAssociate Editor   gamer profile

Nick Valdez has been writing for Modern Method for years, but now he's writing about videogames! He likes games where you punch dudes in the face.  more + disclosures


 


 


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    Filed under... #Anime #Bandai Namco Entertainment #Japanator #PS4 #reviews #The Seven Deadly Sins #Top Stories

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