Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris is the seventh game adaptation of the well-known anime series. The JRPG has been available for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC since July 10, 2020. We accompanied main character Kirito through the new role-playing game and report on our impressions and experiences in our test.
Wherever SAO is on it, SAO is in it
We wake up alone in the forest. Large memory gaps block our memory of how we got there at all. No, we are not talking about our last weekend with too much cola rum, but about the beginning of Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris (buy now for € 58.71). In the form of the hero of the anime and manga template, Kirito, we find that he is in a virtual world, a VR video game in a video game – video game ception, so to speak.
Source: PC Games
Anyone who feels at home in the Sword Art Online universe quickly realizes that the story of the most recent anime adaptation Alicization is being retold here. Season three connoisseurs don't expect any big surprises here. The emotional story itself is a little too predictable for our taste. In the style of the manga and anime adaptations, Kirito scrapes a lot of mostly female companions along the story. Some fan favorites from the template will also join later.
A little fan service should not be missing, of course. In addition to promising shots of some large body parts, the game offers the opportunity to improve the relationship status with the pretty women in intimate one-on-one conversations. Overall, the use of fanservice seemed quite subtle, considering that this is a JRPG and Sword Art Online, which is not exactly subtle in this regard.
Work before pleasure
Source: PC Games
In the first, very expansive chapter of the game you will be introduced to the story, the combat mechanics and the game options. Annoyed, we had to put up with the fact that the page-by-page explanations and tutorials interrupt the game flow even in the middle of a fight. Numerous nicely designed but sometimes irrelevant dialogues guide us through the story. The perceived arbitrary change between the animation style of the dialogue passages seems somewhat inelegant.
After the tough start, the adventure increases a little in quality. This is where the story of the anime template ends. The game now shows its own continuation of the third season of SAO. In this continuation we have a much greater freedom of choice, more opportunities for discovery and can create our own characters. With these we can get by in online multiplayer or on our own.
Source: PC Games
The combat system may initially be overwhelming and lead to wild button mashing, but later turns out to be successful. Fights and sequences of movements feel fluid and there are many possible combat strategies to explore through the various attacks, blocks and spells. The fights in Alicization Lycoris also look good. Every hit is rewarded with colored lights and effects. With complex attack patterns, we almost lost sight of poor Kirito.
Source: PC Games
Fighting is not alone, even in single player mode. During the fight, we can switch between Kirito's companions or give them orders. We found it particularly pleasant that the death of a comrade is canceled after a short cooldown and the fight is only considered lost when all companions are incapable of fighting at the same time.
There are a few minor complaints, however. Due to an invisible but not marked wall around the combat area, we were unable to retreat during various evasive maneuvers. In addition, the entire sequence and all explanations are replayed after each failed fight. The very long loading times of the game put our patience to the test.
Title mainly for fans
Fans of the series are sure to be happy with this game. A new storyline from the Alicization Arc awaits all patient players, as do well-known characters and a complex combat system full of possibilities. The JRPG will initially frustrate less patient players. The gameplay in the first half of the game is much too tough. So if you have a lot of perseverance and are a lover of the popular but predictable story of Sword Art Online, you can add the adventure to your wish list.
Tough like old bread …
… until it softens in the mouth and gets a little sweetness. Despite the initial overwhelming, I liked the fights quite well later. For my taste there is too little gameplay between the many dialogues. The game didn't feel particularly smooth to me either. Bread just remains bread. If you can do something with the emotional, but still very predictable story, I will of course treat myself to fun with all my heart.
Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris – Dragging story turns into solid game (1) (Source: PC Games)
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