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Ps4 Game Review

Sword Art Online
Alicization Lycoris


Format: PS4
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Developer: Aquiria
RRP: £49.99
Click here to buy -
Age Restrictions: 12+
Release Date: 10 July 2020

Kirito awakens in a completely unknown virtual world. His memory is patchy, but something about this world feels familiar... Kirito meets a virtual character named Eugeo, but Eugeo acts too much like a living breathing person rather than a computer character. Eugeo’s friend, Alice, disappeared after violating the Taboo Index, laws that all people in the Underworld must follow. Kirito decides to help Eugeo find Alice, hoping to learn more about this mysterious world and maybe find a way to go back to the real world... Set in Underworld, an expansive world introduced in the Sword Art Online anime, enjoy seamless, action-packed real-time battles using a combination of sword skills, sacred arts, and your favourite Sword Art Online characters...

Review imageFans of the Sword Art Online franchise will have had this game on their wishlist for a long time. Following on from 2016's Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris allows players, for the first time, to experience Sword Art Online's anime storyline in game format. Here you play as the protagonist Kirito, immersing yourself in "Underworld," a mysterious virtual world set in the anime's Alicization arc.

Don't worry if you've never read the manga, watched the anime series or played any of the other games, it's relatively simple to get sucked into the story in this game. This is helped greatly by having Kirito suddenly awakening in a strange world with no memory of his past. So as Kirito learns things about his new environment so too does the player.

Review imageThere's quite a lot to take in (even if you're a seasoned RPG fan) so the game slowly releases this a little bit at a time, while also gently immersing you into the story. This ensures that you don't get too bored, nor do you get overwhelmed with too many tutorials on how to play. And to be fair, you'll be playing this "tutorial" element of the game for quite a few hours, before you can gain full control of your team and journey into the depths of the game.

The look and feel of the environments are beautifully realised, taking their cue from the anime. The sound design and music is also noteworthy. There is no English language audio track, just the original Japanese with english subtitles. Personally this is the option I would have chosen anyway, but some may be put off by this, because you're going to spend a lot of time reading the dialogue early on in the game.

Review imageThe combat element at first seems a little simplistic, but it works well when you're switching between your team. Tactics are important here as you'll need to evenly balance skills as well as working out how to best approach any given threat.

There's plenty of additional elements to the game including fishing and picking flowers and other items that grow in the environment, crafting weapons and levelling up your skill trees.

Fans of Sword Art Online, RPGs and deep storybased games will get a huge kick out of this. While it's also accessible to those who have no previous knowledge of the franchise, obviously you'll get way more out of it if you already know the universe.


Nick Smithson

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