Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet – Review
Follow Genre: Action RPG, TPS
Developer: DIMPS
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: Xbox One

Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet – Review

Site Score
Good: Shooting action, Range of weaponry
Bad: Controls, Story, Grinding
User Score
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Sometimes it feels like the Sword Art Online franchise is being kept alive only with the help of a breathing apparatus, and the yearly release of a game that often feels a bit bland in comparison with the first strong season of the series. Nonetheless, here we are again with the new yearly iteration of the Sword Art Online gaming series, namely Fatal Bullet, which promises to bring new mechanics to the table by entering the Gun Gale Online VR game, GGO for short. This time we’ll be trading in traditional hack and slash elements for a third person gun based game, which certainly had its merits. Sadly the fun combat went underneath a bland and boring blanket that seeped throughout the entire game.

Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet


You’ll be playing a newbie to the realm of virtual MMOs, but you start playing GGO because your real life childhood friend asked you. In-game she is known as Kureha, and that’s pretty much all the information of your background you’ll get, as the story immediately kicks off with a tournament in GGO, in which you both will participate. While you immediately encounter one of the top players, he takes a liking to you and Kureha, and he allows you to live, and continue with the tournament. By doing so, you’ll choose a path and end up in a special room with the prized loot of the tournament, namely a special AI that can help you in combat as well as with your finances. This one-of-a-kind AI will also become the key in a new update of the game, to unlock a special area which is probably filled with a lot of loot. On the way you make friends with a lot of familiar faces from the SAO franchise and that’s pretty much all there is to the story. While the plot is brought in somewhat pleasant dialogues, many of them don’t strike close to home, or feel a bit redundant to become something interesting.

Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet 1


While the character models in Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet certainly do the source material justice, it’s the bland and empty environments that make us think that this title was supposed to be released on the previous generation of consoles, rather than become a current gen game. Overall the entire overworld, as well as the areas in which you can grind feel a bit boring, empty and often have the same types of enemies over and over again, who spawn at random intervals. You’ll still have some fun exploring the world, but the novelty will wear off soon.

The conversations are often presented in a fashion that reminds us of visual novels, albeit mildly animated. The synchronization of the characters’ mouths is horrendous, and once again feels like a B team worked on this title, rather than moving this game to a higher status along the corporate ladder of game releases.

Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet 2


It’s commendable that these titles are always fully voiced, making them a pleasure to listen to and experience the plot. While the voice acting is being reduced to rubble due to the lackluster plot in this title, it’s still a very enjoyable feat that every dialogue is voiced. The music itself isn’t all that noticeable, but it does the trick and fairly suits an online game such as this. Then again, if you were truly in a MMO VR game, you probably wouldn’t like music, as it would distract you from your hunt.


Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is a third person action RPG, that revolves around a VR MMO that’s all about gunfights. For the most part you’ll be wading through enemy territory killing enemy monsters, fellow aggressive players and clearing dungeons in order to complete the quests at hand. On paper the game is pretty fun, but things tend to become a grind-fest rather fast, dulling the otherwise fun weapon combinations and customization options the game has to cover underneath the perpetual grinding in order to progress.

Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet 3

After going through a very lengthy intro and the bombardment of information screens that aren’t immediately relevant for the point you are in the game, you’ll finally be good to start rummaging through the different areas (one at the beginning) and use your gunplay skills. You’ll be able to equip a lot of different weapon types, ranging from melee weapons, to handguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles and so on. This immediately allows you to cater to your own play style, but you’ll also have to take into account that each weapon uses bullets and you’ll have to replenish those at the shop(s) if you want to keep going with your weapon of choice. The latter is a minor inconvenience, but it helps you plan before combat. The combat itself is straightforward, as you’ll auto-lock on opponents, but when squeezing the trigger, you’ll miss a lot more than when you’d aim manually. Aiming manually however is truly a bitch, as it’s hard to pinpoint your crosshair on a target, even if it was standing still. It feels like manual aiming is somewhat important but the developers never truly bothered to make it feel like in a real shooter.

After receiving your quests, you’ll soon find out that the game throws you in a lot of situations where the monsters are many levels higher than you, forcing you to grind to level up. Never will you find yourself in a situation where the game gets ‘easier’ or less grind focused, which takes back a lot of the fun this game could have possibly been. You’ll find new gear as you go, and while the gear does add a few fun effects depending on the rarity of the item, they never truly get overwhelmingly good. The upgrade system can help you create better weapons, but you’ll often need a lot of materials, rendering this system a bit useless at the early stages of the game. Nonetheless, it’s fun to mess around with the weapons and trying out new things.

Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet 4

If you’re limited to offline gaming only, you’ll get bored rather fast, as you can only grind solo, with the help of some AI characters. Overall the game doesn’t really motivate you enough to press forward, as you’ll be spending hours alone finding missing parts for your AI helper, which is supposed to be the key for a big update in the game’s world.


Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet does have a few exciting and fun features such as the many different weapons and the customization system, but it suffers under a perpetual grind atmosphere, somewhat mediocre controls and a graphical style that dates back nearly a decade. For fans of the previous games, this one will be a fun change of pace, but for newcomers who are looking for a fun third person shooter, this game has nothing special to offer, probably making you regret buying this game at full price in its current condition. If you can overlook the flaws of this title and you like grinding for gear and experience, then this one might prove to be a fun title on which you can spend many hours mindlessly shooting one enemy after another.

Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet 5

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Rating: 6.3/10 (3 votes cast)
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Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet - Review, 6.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

Aspiring ninja.

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