- Format: PS4 (version reviewed), Xbox One, PC
- Unleashed: Out Now
- Publisher: Bandai Namco
- Developer: CyberConnect2
- Players: 1(offline), 2 (online & offline – outside story only)
- Site: https://www.bandainamcoent.eu/product/naruto-shippuden-ultimate-ninja-storm-4/playstation-4
- Game code provided by the publisher
Let’s get the basic stuff out of the way. The base game, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is, as we said in our review, a brilliant game that respects the series and even welcomes newcomers to the franchise. If you’ve yet to pick a copy up, the Road to Boruto edition – including all DLC released thus far including the eponymous expansion – is a good reason to change that. If you already have the original release though, and you’re eyeing this expansion warily, should you go for it?
Despite the differing names, Road to Boruto is the official videogame adaptation of (the slightly oddly named) Boruto: Naruto the Movie. The tale therefore tells the story of that film, with some minor changes and omissions to, presumably, convince people that they still need to buy the DVD. Capitalism, eh?
Anyway, Road to Boruto’s story differs from the main one in a few important ways. Firstly, it’s shorter. Much shorter. Concentrate on the main path alone and, ironically perhaps, you might finish it in about the same time as it would take you to watch the movie. The main thing that will slow you down is another difference between the story modes. While the game’s main ‘Story’ mode is a fairly epic mix of lengthy cutscenes and differing playstyles (with traditional fights admittedly dominating), ‘Boruto’s Tale’ is actually much closer to ‘Adventure’. There are indeed storytelling cutscenes using the game’s gorgeous graphics, but there’s also some running around Hidden Leaf Village between, and sometimes as part of, missions. On the flipside, some people will be pleased to learn that you get to carry over any money you’ve earned from the main game to this mode, so you can stock up on items and temporary buffs if that’s your thing.
As for the actual gameplay during Boruto’s story events it’s usually just standard fights. There are special conditions at play – your opponent might have increased attack/defence, and/or perhaps you can’t activate your Secret Technique (newbies: read ‘super-duper move) – but at the end of the day, they’re still standard beat ’em up fights. That’s not necessarily a bad thing given the strong foundations the expansion has to build on but, compared to the main mode, it’s a little disappointing.
Of course, you’re given a bunch of new characters to play with. Amusingly, this means in part even more versions of Naruto and Sasuke. You also get a few versions of Naruto’s son Boruto (as the clever amongst you may have guessed), Mitsuki, Sarada, Mecha-Naruto, and more. Once you’re done with the story, you can of course take any and all new characters you’ve unlocked into free battle or even online. We’re pleased to report that, despite the staggering number of playable characters already up for grabs before this expansion saw the light of day, each new character still manages to have unique moves and feel like an individual. Oh, and if you’re a lapsed Ultimate Ninja Stormer and you’re wondering if there are fewer backside-kicking experts online now….. nope.
The £15.99 question is: Is this expansion worth the price tag? The answer is: just about. The story is short but, like the Adventure mode it apes, there are plenty of optional activities and fights to dig into as well. It’s not as generous as the main package by any measure, but it’s just as tightly packed with dedication and quality.