Sword Art Online Last Recollection is the latest game in the SAO series, acting as a direct sequel to Sword Art Online Alicization Lycoris. This installment is targeted at seasoned players of the series, delving deeper into the universe’s story and characters. While I may not be fully ingrained in the SAO lore, the game still managed to capture my attention with its intriguing premise.
The game centers around Kirito, the main character, who finds himself embroiled in a conflict between the Humans and the Underworld. Additionally, a wide array of characters from the SAO universe will become accessible as the game progresses. The overarching story, intertwined with a multiplayer online MMO experience, is relatively straightforward and easy to follow.
While I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Sword Art Online games in the past, some have managed to stand out. In particular, Sword Art Online Hollow Realization provided a more immersive MMORPG experience. However, with the release of Last Recollection, there’s hope for an even better gaming experience given the time that has passed since previous installments.
The Pacing Predicament
One of the primary drawbacks of Sword Art Online Last Recollection is its pacing. The game takes a while to build momentum, beginning with lengthy cutscenes, interspersed with gameplay, and a myriad of side quests and tutorials. This elongated introduction can make it challenging to fully immerse oneself in the game, especially with side quests that offer vague directions, leading to potential frustration and a slow start to the gameplay experience.
Exploring the Enchanting World
Despite its pacing issues, the world of Sword Art Online Last Recollection is visually stunning, marked by meticulous attention to detail in its environments. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the vast maps, and the inclusion of a fast travel system eased the travel between different areas. The game also featured optional boss enemies and hidden treasures, encouraging further exploration.
The Dichotomy of Combat
The gameplay in Sword Art Online Last Recollection revolves around real-time action combat, accompanied by skills and buffs that can be activated through specific button combinations. While the combat is visually striking, the repetitive nature of the actions can lead to boredom. The game’s flashy combat, while initially appealing, becomes its own downfall, offering little in terms of skill progression. Additionally, the inclusion of objectives mid-battle can disrupt the immersion, detracting from the overall experience.
An Auditory Delight
On a positive note, the game boasts a captivating soundtrack and features Japanese voice acting, adding depth to the immersive experience. However, the translation quality may vary in certain areas, impacting the overall cohesion of the game. While the game compensates with its audio and visual elements, it may predominantly appeal to die-hard fans of the series.
A PlayStation 5 Review Code was provided by Bandai Namco