Some levels provide the best hack-and-slash gaming to be found anywhere, but usually Sword of the Berserk is more cheap than challenging. We certainly felt rage when boulders began falling on Guts's head at random during one level and the designers took great pains to populate most of the levels with dozens of tiny ankle-biting enemies that are nigh impossible to hit. Unfortunately the lack of combat moves, weapon upgrades, or anything else that could have spiced up gameplay makes Sword of the Berserk far more tedious than it should be for gamers.
What really distinguishes this game from other gore games is the eloquent integration of storyline-enhancing cut-scenes that are gorgeously rendered with the game engine. There is over an hour of noninteractive story line to sit through--so many scenes that this almost qualifies as an interactive movie. If mindless combat and a compelling story sound appealing, Sword of the Berserk is what you've been waiting for. Parents should note that this game is particularly violent, and may not be suited for young children. --T. Byrl Baker
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