Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Brittania – PS4 Review

Genre: Action, Adventure
Developer: Natsume Atari
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.
Release Date: Mar 9, 2018
Edited by KnightAvenger

As someone who has fallen out of watching anime on a frequent basis, many game adaptations of anime or manga tend to slip by me pretty easily. So, when it was time for our next review title, I had to remove the rose-colored glasses and give it a fair shot: Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Brittania. Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Brittania is an action, hack and slash, beat ’em up developed by NatsumiAtari, later released on PS4 by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, which pulls from the manga to recreate the scenes and the story, but feels like it missed the spark of the series. As a quick note, I have only seen/read some early portion of Seven Deadly Sins, so, while I will keep spoilers low, this game does stick close to the story.

Like walking into the boar hat, the story of Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Brittania is near that of the original manga although it felt like it got lost in the concept of an action game, with some story pieces missing altogether. We, the player, jump around many a character but start as Elizabeth, the princess of the kingdom of Liones, in her search for the seven deadly sins, which she happens to find in a small pub known as the boars hat, where she meets Meliodas, one of the seven sins, with a broken sword. Meliodas is quickly thrown into a fight, when a knight appearing to be chasing Elizabeth shows up, leading to a fight between the two. Meliodas quickly wins, leading to him accepting the task and beginning the hunt for the remaining six sins to fight the knights, in an attempt to free Liones, but many things stand in Meliodas’ way, with something more sinister down the beaten path, as he fights knights and so much more to complete the task. I will end the story synopsis here. While the manga has been out for a while, I choose not to spoil it in good taste, but know this game, while fun, can be short if the player rushes through it, with a normal playtime based on the gameplay of about ten to twelve hours.

While I will admit, I find the base story of Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Brittania to be an overall good time, the telling of the story here is very spotty, mainly just due to how it is divided. The main issue the story has is that it is told through quests from various locals of the anime/manga in the boar hat, which makes it very hard to follow if you play the game on and off, leading to some confusion. Other than this, it was purely pacing issues that plagued this storytelling, but as it is split among the quests, I saw this as a shortcoming more with the gameplay.

Coming into the gameplay of Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Brittania, the rough patches start to show, despite the polish this game has on it. Let us start with the boar hat, the central hub of the game. Here, you can do a few key things to prep for battles, such as select your equipment for each character you have unlocked or craft magical items through the magic item creation system. This system, while it has good intent, can be one of the hardest systems to make progress. In order to make items for the characters to equip, you have to get items from around the world of Liones from side quests to make them, alongside magic crystals you earn in battle. These items quickly become crucial, as some do passives like increase attack power and defense, or even extend the time limit of the quest once in battle, while others are actives for the characters or the boar hat, such as faster movement, passive magic crystals while walking, etc. You can also select main story missions from the boar hat, depending on the location you are in at the time. Once on the field, you walk around as the boar hat on the back of a green pig, going from location to location to complete the various tasks. These tasks are quests or missions, which can be a battle between specific characters, gathering missions with Elizabeth as Hawk protects her, battles with an enemy of the world, and even mini challenges. If I had one negative to say about the quest setup, the difficulty progression does get harder as you go, especially when they throw in characters you can’t control but a few times in the game. Adding to this, in Elizabeth’s gathering missions, there is a weird AI for Hawk, going about and attacking enemies randomly. It makes the later variants of those missions increasingly more difficult than some combat missions.

Diving into the actual combat of Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Brittania, while the most fun element of the game, it does show its issues overall in core mechanics, especially the magic meter. Once you enter a combat mission, you gain control of the character and are given a few options to play around with, the first being melee. Melee in this game boils down to you using a light attack, a heavy attack and a magic attack that can be either ranged or melee based. There is also the magic variants of these attacks, which can vary depending on the character and require the press of the R1 button, alongside the corresponding face button. While stronger, these attacks consume more of the magic meter under your health bar. The game also gives a few mobility options you can play with, although the teleport dashes drain the magic meter, which is something you will want to watch. The magic meter is something that is important to keep your eye on as you attack, as the biggest issue with the combat mechanics is the tie to this meter. Once the meter is empty, you have to wait for it to refill and that can take from six to ten seconds, which is time lost on the timer for that quest. My other big complaints are the lack of enemy variety and combat becoming stale fairly quickly. The game does try to give some variety to the enemies, like the black wolves or the moles, which help, but, for the most part, you are usually fighting bandits, knights or holy knights, which, traditionally, are a one versus one fight with specials and dodges similar to that of the main characters. Combat does become dull after a few hours, though, as each character sticks to one moveset. Once you know the best attacks to clear a type of quest, you instinctively go for those moves exclusively.

There is one more element to the gameplay I didn’t want to leave out, the duel mode. As you progress through the story, you unlock characters and locations for duel mode, an option you can select from a story continue file. This mode acts as a multiplayer, both local and co-op, for the game, which, while it added a separate and competitive side to the game, felt unneeded. The waiting to get an opponent, at least on the online side of things, was less than five minutes when I tried it out, so the game does still have life in this mode, but it feels tacked on, as there isn’t any type of leaderboard or ranked to prove how good you got at a character.

To explain the presentation of Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Brittania, I found it related heavily to the anime in terms of looks, with a classical-themed soundtrack mixed with Scottish influences. Visually, I was surprised how close the development team got to the original look of the anime, as the character and series locales look spot on to what the anime brought to life. The backgrounds, as previously mentioned, are all locales from the manga/anime, which is presented nicely, as the buildings are destructible, with many foreground objects and villagers making comments as you go about the battle. The characters are spot-on, which was a surprise because 3-D models can often alter a character’s look, but they do justice here, with excellent facial and body motions to the show itself. If I have one fault to bring up with the visuals, though, it is how models interact once they collide with another model. For some reason, when you enter a mission as a co-op or enter an Elizabeth gathering mission, if you run into another character’s model while they are performing an action, you get stuck there until the other model moves, or you go backward. This cost me so many missions because I would run into this collision and be stuck there for seconds at a time, which tick away from your mission timer.

Striking the strings, the soundtrack of Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Brittania is a nice connector to the anime, bringing the classical front forward. Musically, Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Brittania is interesting because, while it is a style of classical music (in this case, the strings like the violin and cello), it uses less of what one would consider truly classical like the piano and adds in a Scottish flair to the songs to make it feel closer to the anime soundtrack. The sound effects are all here as well, a nice touch overall, as it gives the soundtrack a bit of flair at times. However, the soundtrack does feel limited, as the overworld theme does become old after some time, and the battle music can as well, depending on how long you stay in an area.

Overall, I found Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Brittania to be a good experience across the board. While I did find flaws or issues in many areas of the game, the more fun elements stayed true and kept me interested as I played. The quest-based story system, character development within said story, use of the magical crafting system for items, large open world map, simple but fun and destructive combat mechanics, a heavily inspired presentation from the anime itself, and the classical Scottish influenced soundtrack provide a good time for those willing to look past the flaws.

Pros:

  • The quest-based story system
  • Characters get solid development over time
  • A magical item crafting system to power up characters
  • The large open world to go through
  • The simple but fun combat mechanics
  • A welcome inspiration from the anime itself as the presentation
  • The unique Scottish-themed classical soundtrack
  • A solid ten to twelve hour experience with all content
  • Secondary duel mode for players online and local

Cons:

  • The story feels broken up and can cause confusion at times for returning players
  • Later combat quests can be harder than needed at times
  • The gathering quest hawk AI can cause frustration when not needed
  • Too much reliance on the action/magic meter across the board
  • Duel mode felt tacked on, as no ranked or ladder in the game
  • Models in the game can collide, causing lost movement and time

DarkLunarDude gives Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Brittania a Drastik Measure of 7.0 out of 10.0 (70)

For the price of $59.99 (USD) on the PlayStation Network, I can only recommend Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Brittania to those seeking a good mission-based action game, as the content is plentiful, and to those fans of the anime or manga, as it follows the story very well. I would advise waiting for this to go on sale, though, if you plan to buy it digitally, as the near $60 price tag does not support the content given, with all the problems I found while playing it.