The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia Review

Sin-fully Mediocre
Developer: NatsumeAtari Publisher: Bandai Namco Platforms: PS4

An exceptionally average anime adaptation, this arena brawler doesn’t do enough to hold the attention of its intended audience

The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia is a licensed game based on The Seven Deadly Sins, a popular Shonen anime that until now I had never felt compelled to watch. After burning through a fair chunk of the series on Netflix I discovered that somehow, despite being objectively pretty average as far as anime goes, it’s strangely compelling. This same notion is also mostly true of the game. For all its myriad issues this shallow, crude and tedious tie-in game can also be entertaining in short bursts.

Knights of Britannia’s story mirrors that of the Seven Deadly Sins anime and manga, acting as a sort of abridged version of events. Elizabeth, the princess of the kingdom of Liones, sets out to find the Seven Deadly Sins — a group of super-powerful warriors who went into hiding a decade prior and are wanted by an evil order of Knights. Meliodas, now the proprietor of a ramshackle tavern atop a giant boar, is the first of the Sins to be found and agrees to help Elizabeth seek out the others. Together they travel the extended Kingdom, picking up the remaining Sins along the way, on a quest to take down the order of Holy Knights. Told mostly through static scenes between its pivotal characters, the story’s presentation is sorely lacking, and while the dialogue is competently written it’s ultimately dull as hell. Worst of all the game seems to cherry pick the least exciting parts of the plot to focus on and yet glosses critical scenes needed to make sense of everything. In the end I preferred to skip through all of the story scenes and just watch the anime in order to keep up with what was going on. It’s a shame when a licensed game provides nothing new for series fans while also not appealing to newcomers.

The Japanese adaptation of Babe sure is weird

When it comes time to actually play the game, things get a little better. Not by much, mind, but a little. Seven Deadly Sins is best described as an ‘arena brawler’. All of the gameplay revolves around series characters duking it out in small 3D spaces, mostly in 1v1 clashes between powerful fighters with some occasional variety by way of a 2v2 event or an all-out brawl against an army of weaklings. Fighting is basic with just a couple of main attack patterns and a few special moves, which keeps things simple and puts more of a focus on movement and timing. While not particularly impressive from a graphical standpoint, fights are impressively flashy and the look of the show is emulated well enough. Despite the lack of depth or challenge, squaring off against the series’ various heroes and villains is a decent amount of fun, it’s just unfortunate that there’s not much else to do. Playing the through the game’s campaign involves moving around an overworld map, completing various quests in order to find enough information to track down the next Deadly Sin and add them to your roster. While there are 25-odd mainline missions and 100 or so side activities to tackle, the fact that each one amounts to nothing more than a quick punch-up means that things become repetitive quite quickly.

Literal definition of the phrase ‘bringing a 25-foot woman to a sword fight’

That said, there are some RPG-lite elements in the form of unlockable character upgrades and some of the side quests mix things up a little (the ones where you play as the pig, Hawk, and face off against waves of soldiers are pretty entertaining). There’s also a ‘Duel Mode’ available from the main menu that allows players to set up custom fights using a respectable roster of series characters and locations, either solo or in local and online multiplayer. Sadly, at the time of writing I could not find anyone playing online so there’s not much to be gained from that feature. All up, Seven Deadly Sins is still a slim offering. Despite being good for a quick bash, the game’s simplicity and lack of variety don’t do much to justify its AAA price tag.

Final Thoughts

While fun in short bursts, Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia fails to bring enough meaningful fan service or gameplay depth to appeal to either fans of the anime/manga or anyone looking to dip their toes into the franchise. Series diehards would do well to wait for a price drop and newcomers are better served picking up the manga or watching the anime on Netflix.

Reviewed on PlayStation 4 Pro | Review code supplied by publisher

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Good

  • Fighting is simple but flashy
  • Main questline can be blown through in an afternoon
  • Made me want to watch the anime, I guess that's a victory?

Bad

  • Shallow, one-note gameplay
  • Average presentation
  • Badly-told story with boring dialogue
6

Has A Crack

Kieron started gaming on the SEGA Master System, with Sonic the Hedgehog, Alex Kidd and Wonder Boy. The 20-odd years of his life since have not seen his love for platformers falter even slightly. A separate love affair, this time with JRPGs, developed soon after being introduced to Final Fantasy VIII (ie, the best in the series). Further romantic subplots soon blossomed with quirky Japanese games, the occasional flashy AAA action adventure, and an unhealthy number of indie gems. To say that Kieron lies at the center of a tangled, labyrinthine web of sexy video game love would be an understatement.
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