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Hands-on: Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet

It’s time for a change as next month Bandai Namco Entertainment will release the next installment of the Sword Art Online video game series. While previous titles have all been action role-playing game, Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is an third person shooter that puts you in an alternate story of Gun Gale Online arc of the anime series.

Fans familiar with the previous entries (Hollow Fragment, Lost Song and Accel World vs Sword Art Online) will see a pretty familiar interface system that allows you to access you skills by using the trigger button and a face button to activate but this requires a bit more skills seeing as you are also dodging enemy attacks, while unloading your full arsenal at your opponents.

Being able to create and customize your character will allow you to choose how they fight but in the playable build we were able to play at a recent Bandai Namco Entertainment equipped us with two different weapons that could be cycled between depending on what’s needed by using the right button on the control pad. The heavy machine gun had an infinite amount of ammo but required you to reload after emptying out a clip of around 50 bullets which is done by using the square button and skills allowed for a sliding barrage attack which was useful to get under the large mech we were facing off in the build.

The circle button allows for quick dodging especially with a missile barrage coming at you or to move into position quicker. Other skills included buffs for the weapons but when switching to the secondary weapons which in this case was a Gatling gun, rather than reload the high damage damage weapon overheats and needs to cool down and since it’s a much slower weapon to control you really need to pick your moment to use it best, as its skills are focused mainly on buffs.

In battle, you have a team of three characters joining you just like in past Sword Art Online games. Your main partner the Artificial Financial Adviser or System Afasys can be given ordered by using the touch pad on the PS4 controller with options like focus on attacking the same enemy or to focus on healing which is perfect so you don’t need to run around trying to revive fallen enemies and leave yourself a wide open target.

While this was only a tiny portion of the game, I am already enjoying the change in direction for the game and while I still rather just play as Kirito wielding a beam saber and hand gun, being able to create my own character and taking down enemies in order to become the number one player sounds pretty fun. As for fans of Kirito, it’s much later in the game you are able to play that aspect of the story in Fatal Bullet meaning you have a few things to look forward to in this game.