As if it weren’t obvious enough by my screename being “Nero Claudius”, I love Fate. When I watched the series available on Netflix, I instantly fell in love. The amazing diversity of characters and drama with great action throughout the ride made me eager to find more content. I’m incredibly limited with my anime viewing, but I was certainly surprised by there being a PlayStation 4 game in the same franchise. I ignorantly had no idea that there was so much more to Fate than what was available on Netflix.
Fate/Extella pits the player up against a dizzying number of enemies and a play-chest of heroic spirits to mow down said enemies with. Right from the go, I was introduced to the bright, colorful character of Nero Claudius. “Red Saber” blasts through conflict in a brash and exuberant fashion. As the game progresses, the player meets all of the other main characters and support heroes that are easily accessed. I recognized the familiar faces: King Arthur, Emiya, and the other heroes from the same Holy Grail war. While I didn’t know who a lot of these characters were, I loved to see and look into their respective stories (I was really lost when one of the first antagonists was a vampire idol?).
Unfortunately, that’s where the praise for this game ends.
Within the first three or four missions, the game gets ridiculously repetitive- the same enemies fight you, and only on rare occasions are there different mechanic fights with the other heroes. I fell asleep during a particular mission just from how boring it actually got! The challenge mode is interesting, and the conditions for appealing to other heroes give a tiny bit of a shake-up, but it doesn’t go very far.
Where the game gets uncomfortable is how strongly it tries to sexualize the various characters. I spend hours playing as these characters, and instead of finding out their tragic stories, aspirations and the sort like the series is so well known for, I get...uncomfortable situations. The dialogue in this game is written like it is pulled from an anime fan fiction forum- having the protagonist swoon over their respective leader character and partake in...odd interactions. I understand that Nero’s deal is her boldness, but do I really need to see her in a rose bath? No. No I don’t.
All in all, this is a pretty underwhelming game that can only be recommended as a rental to folks who are into the Fate series enough to stomach awful writing, mediocre gameplay, and a very unrewarding experience. I personally hope that when the anime adaptation of Fate/Extra hits Netflix later this year, it gives a more likable experience for what is now my favorite character.
Thanks for reading!