The Sword Art Online series originally began back in 2009 as a series of short stories, and was eventually turned into a manga series, which in turn received several anime and video game adaptions. Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is the fifth game to be released from the MMORPG styled franchise, following Hollow Realization which was released back in 2016. Fatal Bullet makes some welcome changes to the formula, but there are a few issues which render certain aspects of the game feeling worse than previous instalments.
This time around, the setting of the in game VRMMORPG is Gun Gale Online, which is the spiritual successor to the original Sword Art Online. When you have made your avatar, you are thrust into a tournament alongside the game’s tutorial. After logging into the game for the first time, you are welcomed by Kureha, the avatar of one of your character’s ‘real life’ friends. During one of the in-game tournaments, you accidentally activate a rare item known as an ArFA-sys, which is a fully automated AI digital assistant with a human like personality. The storyline of the game is considerably darker than previous entries, with many of the characters you meet threatening to eliminate you rather than become your ally. Fans of the previous entries will be pleased to see that the previous SAO protagonist Kirito returns, alongside his trusty companion Asuna.