Black Clover: Quartet Knights Review PC
key review info
- Game: Black Clover: Quartet Knights
- Platform: PC
- Gamepad support: Yes
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
Manga adaptations seem to be all the rage right now, and Black Clover: Quartet Knights is just the latest. To determine whether it’s successful project remains solely in the responsibility of the fans.
Manga adaptations are difficult, for many reasons. And if we were to expand the statement, looking from an even higher position, we can safely say that adopting any kind of comics into games usually sends shivers throughout the community.
We’ve seen this problem time and time again. Let’s ask the fans of Watchmen what they think of the movie. The same can be said about manga, and we have to look no further than the latest rendition of Ghost in the Shell, to see why it’s a problem.
It’s also difficult for people in the West to gauge just how beloved is a certain manga or just many fans it has. From what we can gather, at least from the publisher’s perspective, we can clearly see that Black Clover is in second place, in Japan. The absolute leader is Attack on Titan, but that’s an entirely different beast.
Like most anime stories, it’s badly presented and discombobulated, although I have to say that the background lore and ideas used are interesting in themselves. It’s about a boy named Asta that doesn’t have any magic powers in a world where everyone has magic powers.
It’s the exact reverse medal of a story about a boy with magic powers in our world. It would stand out, but this is where the story ends for most people. The way that it’s written and presented leads me to believe that it’s actually a game marketed to people that already know the story and read the manga.
If you’re new to this world, the rapid succession of names, references, and other unworldly terms will leave you confused. It’s like you’re starting to read Game of Thrones somewhere in the middle. You have no idea who are the characters, what are their motivations, what’s with the White Walkers, and so on.
You might like the story, especially if you know a little bit about the world and its lore, but otherwise, you’re probably thinking that it’s going to be a great game in multiplayer.
Gameplay and multiplayer
The reason for which I compound these two into a single category is very simple. The game is promoted and marketed as a multiplayer game, which might seem like an odd choice. If anything, it would have made a great adventure since you’re already playing as the main character, Asta.
But it wouldn’t have been fair to the fans and to the manga itself, which is not necessarily about a single character. The guys from ILINX figured out a way to integrated more people, and they created a multiplayer game based on teams. While it sounds like an interesting idea, in theory, the implementation is somewhat lacking, but we’ll get to that later.
Basically, players control Asta and have access to a number of moves and attacks, but they’re pretty basic. For successful attacks, you need to cooperate with your team and launch coordinated charges that do more damage.
Most of the time, you will be running around trying to dodge incoming attacks and gathering enough energy to do some real damage. It’s not a bad system, but it lacks in variety, and it becomes tedious after a while. If not for the human element, it’s as predictable as everything else in gaming.
The only aspect of the game that helps in making it more unpredictable is the chaos that envelops every fight scene. Haft the time, you don’t know what’s happening exactly, and you’re just trying to orient yourself.
And that takes us to multiplayer, which is the entire base of the Black Clover: Quartet Knights. The game was designed to take advantage of a party system, which sounds fantastic if you add the fact that it’s about teams of four people in PvP matches.
In fact, it’s difficult to pinpoint a game that even comes close, at least in principle. That in itself could have been a winning strategy, but Black Clover has a couple of major issues working against it.
Putting aside the multiplayer and gameplay mechanics, we have to be fair and say that not a lot of people are playing Quartet Knights. And that only means that the multiplayer lobby is not going to be able to pair eight people together, as it should. The game will complete the teams with bots, which makes the entire multiplayer experience moot.
What makes it worse is that there is no cross-play with other platforms, which makes finding other people to play online with even more difficult. In any case, the bottom line is that you’re not going to be able to play four on four without bots. If you do, it’s going to be a lucky break.
To mitigate the fact that a multiplayer game that doesn’t find enough people to play with needs to remain attractive nonetheless, the studio added some challenges. They expanded a little bit on each of the main characters, allowing players to take them for a ride. The missions are very useful as they teach players what are the strengths and weaknesses of each character.
I also have to mention that all of the characters in the game can be customized, with some new clothes, new voices, and a few other items. It's not significative, but it adds a little bit of variety.
Graphics and sound
The short single-player portion of the game is presented in two ways, with the help of short animated sequences and still images during dialogues. It’s a weird combination, but it’s kind of works. If anything, the high-quality animations are incredibly well made, for a game, and I was surprised by them.
When it comes to the actual games itself, I can’t say that it’s going to amaze anyone. It looks OKish, and I liked that it has a ton of options for PC users. But the levels are unimpressive, the character animations are sometimes choppy, and there is simply too much color. Every scene is washed by lots of contrasting colors, making it difficult to follow the action.
As for the sound, it’s neither here or there. It’s clear that the actors put some effort into their lines, but they're not going to win any awards. I would love to compare it to the animated series, but I can’t. My best guess is that it’s not all that far off.
- Promising team dynamics
- Interesting lore
- Very well made short animated videos
- Poorly designed levels
- The action is way too chaotic
- Empty multiplayer lobbies
Focusing on multiplayer with such a niche following might not have been the best course of action. In any case, as it stands right now, Black Clover: Quartet Knights is somewhat fun to play, even if you just want to go through the single-player campaign, or if you enjoy taking on multiplayer populated with bots.
I have a distinct feeling that if a new Black Clover game will ever be made, it’s not going to focus on the multiplayer aspect.