I haven’t delved into the world of Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 for quite a few months now. The main story mode was finished, the online was basically broken, and I’d moved on to pastures new; there are just too many games which cannot be ignored. It took a hefty expansion release for me to blow the dust off the disc and revisit what I believe to be a great game on the whole. Road to Boruto is the downloadable content responsible for piquing my interest, but does it bring enough awesomeness to the table to warrant the price tag?
The Road to Boruto DLC for Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 aims to bring everything great about Boruto: Naruto the Movie to the console platform. The narrative follows Naruto’s son, Boruto, on his own journey of realisation, the not so good relationship between father and son, and how the different generations bond together to tackle brand new deadly enemies. Not only are there a whole host of playable characters, but also a full story mode to lose yourself in. Just because there’s a lot of content though, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a complete success.
Boruto’s Tale is the story mode, and the main meat of it consists of cutscenes using the in-game models to depict the goings on from the film and various battles being recreated to get involved in. As far as cutscenes are concerned, they are visually brilliant with English voiceovers to ensure you know what’s happening. Despite the story being trimmed, all the key moments are featured and the tale is told well. I felt emotionally invested in Boruto’s life from start to finish.
Story battles come in various forms, ranging from regular 1vs1 to team affairs and epic boss fights. There are just over ten story-related battles and although mostly entertaining, it’s slightly marred as the difficulty fluctuates an awful lot; I actually struggled more with the earlier fights for some reason, even just trying to get close enough to strike an enemy. During the boss fights, there are QTEs requiring your input and these work as a way to keep the player engaged while everything unfolds. One battle really took it to another level by merging the Tailed Beasts of Sasuke and Naruto together against the evil Momoshiki, however, the moveset was so limited it became a boring slog of a conflict; which is a real shame considering how cool it looked initially.
The other main quests – non-battle related – are a bit strange, but occur simply due to Boruto participating in the Chunin Exams. After taking an actual test about the history of the Naruto world, you’ll end up scouring the beautiful Hidden Leaf Village for a load of flags alongside Boruto’s team, Sarada and Mitsuki. It’s not exactly what I was expecting, as I certainly wasn’t prepared for the exam, but the capture the flags bit is mildly enjoyable.
When not partaking in the main events, this expansion will have you running around the Hidden Leaf Village doing side quests such as fetching stuff for villagers, a hefty amount of battles and another bloody exam. These prolong the experience for sure and bolster the content included, probably offering more gameplay than the proper quests in truth.
The gameplay is still fast and furious, with defensive abilities being just as important as your attacking moves are. There isn’t a single moment where you can switch off mid-battle, which makes them highly intense. Anyone who’s played the base game of Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 before should be prepared for the pace though.
With the new story content comes a decent amount of new playable characters to use outside of Boruto’s Tale, each of which bring exciting jutsu attacks as part of their movesets to freshen up the action. Sadly, there are just too many repeat characters for my liking; do we really need that many versions of Boruto and Sarada? No, especially not when there’s no room for the villains of the piece to secure a roster slot, who I’d love to take control of.
Road to Boruto tells a great story, drawing in the player to becoming emotionally attached to the next generation of heroes. The battles are generally entertaining and using characters I’ve never used before certainly helps to keep things fresh. That being said, the best battle on paper is a real let-down and the side quests can drag on a little. Although extra characters for the roster is more than welcome, there are a handful of omissions that should’ve been included instead of having multiple variants of the certain people.
At first, I thought the DLC was a bit pricey, but it’s about right considering it adds a whole new mode packed with quests and side quests. Grab it if you’re looking for a way back into Storm 4 and aren’t bothered about who the roster additions are.