Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet Review | Refreshing Yet Familiar


After trying out the demo in a recent gaming convention, this is my most anticipated game from BANDAI NAMCO. Even a friend who is a fervent hater of the SAO franchise felt that the demo was surprisingly enjoyable. Having said all these, how does the actual game stack up with our expectations? Let's find out.



Vast Customizations



Fatal Bullet features vast customizability with the ability to change the body shape, facial features, hairstyle, and skin color. Not to mention, you can even set the makeup used or the individual colors of each eye (if you are into that).


When it comes to further customizing your character, you can visit your local Asuna's Outfitters to get your fix.



Same Ol' Cast


Like the many SAO gaming titles, Fatal Bullet comes with the beloved cast of the SAO universe. Even returning characters from previous titles like Rain (Lost Song) and Premiere (Hollow Realization) are not forgotten.

Klein being Klein


ArFA-sys & More


Like every new SAO title, there will be new characters introduced that are pivotal in the storyline. In the Fatal Bullet, you will meet an AI called ArFA-sys (Artifical Financial Adviser System) and everyone calls her Rei. Rei soon becomes your partner and is able to aid you in combat while adding some comedic value in various scenes with her klutziness.


And yes, you can also customize your own ArFA-sys to look the way you want them to and even their behavior on field. Rei is also treated as another player, with stats, skills and equipment being available for you to set.


You will also meet other characters that were lucky enough to find their very own ArFA-sys, like the very prominent Zeliska and her lover partner Daisy. Not forgetting your bestie, Kureha, who was the reason you found Rei.




Gameplay


Switching from the typical sword/magic combat to a 3rd-person shooter, Fatal Bullet mixes things up in the combat department. This proves to be extremely refreshing and fast-paced, especially when paired with a UFG (Ultimate Fiber Gun). This unique weapon allows the player to traverse any terrain like taking a walk in the park.

Sniper camping up above? Flank his face.
Cornered in a ditch? NOPE


Playing a shooter on a console is not as easy as on a PC, when pitting the mouse and keyboard combo with a controller. Fatal Bullet introduces an "Assist Mode" to help players with their aim, making the life of us peasants simpler. As long as the player roughly faces at the enemy, the nearest foe will be automatically locked-on.


This mode is extremely useful for those who have a bad aim, or for those who enjoy running and gunning. However, the reduced accuracy and removal of target selection for targeting weak spots can be slightly hindering when taking on bosses or enemies far away.


One complaint with the combat is with the lack of a sticky cover system. Like in the Gears of War or Mass Effect franchise, the player is able to roll into cover and peek out to take pot shots. However, in Fatal Bullet, the player has to manually shift slightly out of the cover or stand up to do so. Nonetheless, combat in Fatal Bullet is enjoyable with its departure from the same formula.




Worth The Money?


Did Fatal Bullet meet our expectations? No, it surpassed it with flying colors. This would be one of the few games that I will continue playing in my spare time. If playing on a controller is not to your liking, the game is also available on PCs through Steam along with its console cousins - PS4 and Xbox One. One last note: Strea best gurl.


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