First Impressions - Tales of Berseria

Available on PS4 and PC; version played PS4

The Game
Tales of Berseria is the latest entry in the Tales of series and fifteen hours in I can honestly say that this is a different type of Tales game. The game revolves around Velvet Crowe and her quest to get revenge on the man who destroyed her world. To be honest, this isn't the first game in the Tales series to have a dark character, as a matter of fact, the majority of Tales games I have played have had at least one or two characters with shady or questionable morals. This is, however, the first Tales game in my memory where the lead character is so singularly focused on revenge that she openly uses and manipulates others to get to her goal. With that being said the game still feels like a Tales game. If you are new to Tales games here's a little bit of a primer for you. The Tales series of games are action RPG focused games where combat is fast. There are always little tweaks to the combat system to make each entry feel fresh and different from other entries but for the most part, if you have played any game in the series you have an idea of how the gameplay works. Also, what differentiates the Tales series from other JRPGs is the heavy anime influence in the games. Each game has high-quality anime cutscenes that really help to flesh out the story and keep it different from other JRPG type games. Visually the game is beautiful. The world is vibrant with a variety of locales for the player to visit. The enemy variety is good and the cel-shade art-style looks a lot like the previous entry Tales of Zestiria. I am enjoying the supporting cast of the game as well and surprisingly I like all of them so far. I usually have one character that I could do without but in this entry I am really enjoying learning about each of the characters and their motivations for helping Velvet and her mission of chaos and destruction.

The GamePlay
As I stated early this game is an action RPG. Each Tales game has a different named combat system but it is easier for me to just remember the tweaks that they have made. For this game, there are a couple of tweaks that are pretty significant. First, the square, circle, x, and triangle buttons can all be mapped with artes that help facilitate your combos and distinct fighting style. It's completely set up to maximize your individual playstyle. For example. I like playing fast and in your face with a couple of feints thrown in for good measure. I can set my moves up to reflect this aspect of my playstyle. The second significant tweak that was made to the combat system is the use of "Breaks". Tapping R2 during a combo can initiate a "Break" and if you can catch your enemy in that combo you can dish out a lot more damage than normal. This comes in handy especially when you are surrounded by enemies as using it at the right time can help turn the tide in a fight. Mystic Artes, a staple of the series, return in this game as well. These are combos that deal out a lot of damage after certain conditions are met. It's always fun to do a Mystic Arte and to see the animation for it. This game is really easy to pick up but can be challenging once you get deeper into the story. There is a lot to learn and thankfully the game has plenty of tutorials to help you understand the gameplay. It's important to note that they are not distracting and are needed.

Final Thoughts
The game is enjoyable so far and I honestly haven't been able to predict too much of it at this point. I am enjoying the characters and their interactions with each other. The gameplay is smooth and the battle system is fluid. I haven't had any issues with it at all. The music is okay it's reminiscent of other Tales games. There are some throwbacks to other games in the series especially with the pirate Aifread, whose name comes up a lot in many of the Tales games, so if you are a fan you may be able to spot a few connections. I do have a couple of gameplay videos up on my YouTube channel if you would like to get a sense of how the game looks and plays. Are you planning on picking this game up? Have you played any of the previous entries in the Tales series? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading.


Images via PS4Share

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