Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization

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Percentile Rank

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization is ranked in the 38th percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.

Rating Summary

Based on 38 critic reviews
Fair Man

OpenCritic Rating

68

Top Critic Average

11%

Critics Recommend

Based on 38 critic reviews

Score Distribution

Unscored Reviews

Scored Reviews

Areajugones
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Nov 15, 2016

This new installment of the Sword Art saga comes to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita with brand new gameplay and great graphics that will be entertaining for the fans of the saga.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

Hardcore Gamer
4 / 5.0
4 / 5.0
Nov 14, 2016

It’s possible to argue that the release of Sword Art Online -Hollow Realization- is a bit much.

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DualShockers
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Nov 21, 2016

I came in expecting another bad anime game but was instead blown away by Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization’s enormous game world, addictive combat and different gameplay systems. Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization has a charming cast of lovable characters, plenty of dialogue, countless missions, skills, equipment and areas to uncover, relationships with the girls, a level cap of 100 — I could go on. The abysmal story pacing, technical blemishes, online shortcomings and inadequate tutorials are considerable shortcomings, but not enough to keep this from being a standout action RPG.

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Level Down Games
80 / 100
80 / 100
Jan 14, 2017

Hollow Realization is a vast, open game. If you enjoy aspects of MMO’s and have always wanted to play one offline and single player, this is a great title to jump in and do that with. Sure, it doesn’t have everything that an MMO typically offers, but what is there is really well done. The story is interesting enough at times, the combat continues to shine, and the exploration will keep fans of the genre and of the anime busy for months to come.

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God is a Geek
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Nov 24, 2016

With it being the first SAO game set outside the anime, it does a good job of creating a new story, even if it takes some time to get going.

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IGN Italy
7.9 / 10.0
7.9 / 10.0
Nov 15, 2016

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization is a good JRPG. It's made with diligence, dedicated to anime fans from which it's drawn, but also suitable for simple lovers of the genre.

Review in Italian | Read full review

Chalgyr's Game Room
7.8 / 10.0
7.8 / 10.0
Dec 7, 2016

Though fans of the series will feel right at home with the latest release, those that are not familiarly with the world and the stories of the main characters may feel a bit left out, even though there are a few attempts at explaining the backlog of events interspersed in the first hour or so of the game. With its wonderful visuals, compassionate, if naive story and character development, plethora of customization options, and wonderful relationship builder wrapped up into a universe that is beloved by many, Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization is a fun action-RPG romp that does an amazing job masquerading around as an MMO.

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Destructoid
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Dec 7, 2016

I feel conflicted about Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, because while it’s never been more interesting to play as a game, the fact that its narrative is typical of latter-day Sword Art Online stories has actually become something of a liability. A bolder story, one that took more risk, established a better sense of stakes, or even did something other than tread water would definitely not be Sword Art Online-like, and would make it much easier to recommend to people outside the show’s fanbase. As it stands, though, Hollow Realization remains a Sword Art Online game, for better and worse.

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Everyeye.it
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Nov 11, 2016

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization is an enormous title, especially when compared to his most recent predecessor. Unfortunately the game is once again devoid of a charismatic antagonist and a solid storyline.

Review in Italian | Read full review

GearNuke
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Dec 2, 2016

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization is a faithful representation of the source material that unfortunately has flaws in gameplay that can be infuriating at times. This is an unfortunate consequence of trying to follow the aesthetics of an MMO world.

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COGconnected
73 / 100
73 / 100
Nov 18, 2016

The characters are drawn in speaking cutscenes as well, and look authentic when compared to their source material.

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IGN Spain
7.2 / 10.0
7.2 / 10.0
Nov 14, 2016

A game sustained by its combat system and its attractive history, although it is so much repetitive.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

Atomix
71 / 100
71 / 100
Dec 19, 2016

Hollow Realization is easily the best game based on the SAO Series; however its far from perfect. Albeit it offers a functional scheme of controls, a rich world to explore and an ambitious relations system, its weak and boring story, confusing menus and poor character AI make this game a hard test for all those die-hard fans. If you are a desperate gamer then maybe you will have a difficult time with this game; if you prevail all of its flaws, then you will get rewarded with a game that overflows with personality and fanservice.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

Twinfinite
3.5 / 5.0
3.5 / 5.0
Nov 14, 2016

It’s great to see how far the games have come in terms of managing all those damn menus, presenting an experience that is true to the source material, and figuring out how to take the combat system and make it fun and fluid. But in the end, it feels a bit too safe.

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GameSpew
7 / 10
7 / 10
Nov 16, 2016

Hollow Realization is the strongest iteration of Sword Art Online to date, and an easy recommendation for fans of the anime and previous games.

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TheSixthAxis
7 / 10
7 / 10
Nov 18, 2016

The only real problem that Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization has is that it’s a little too steady and a little too laid-back. The premise is that this is Sword Art but without the death, and really without those stakes, and with its tepid narrative, you may begin to question why you’re grinding through so much of the game. That being said, this is the best digital rendition of Sword Art Online thus far, and goes a long way to capturing the essence of the show – warts and all.

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Push Square
7 / 10
7 / 10
Nov 18, 2016

An improperly paced plot and annoying artificial intelligence aside, Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization is the best Sword Art Online game on PS4. It's utterly packed with content, from the lengthy main campaign and tons of optional side quests all the way through to challenging co-op trials and even dating sim minigames. The combat's got a nice edge to it, too, and there's a lot to be said for the sense of adventure that exploring Ainground instils. For fans of the source material, this is a no-brainer, but even if you're not into the property's waifu wars, Hollow Realization still offers hours upon hours of RPG fun.

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Cubed3
7 / 10
7 / 10
Nov 20, 2016

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization is a hard game to judge, since newcomers to the series will be baffled and even bemused by the overly complex mechanics and the unnecessarily convoluted story that seems to refuse to focus on the interesting parts. That being said, though, Hollow Realization is a great instalment for long-term fans of the series, as it is filled with enough fan-service to keep them entertained for a long time, or at least until the inevitable next one in the line arrives.

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Digitally Downloaded
Digitally Downloaded

Top Critic

Dec 1, 2016

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization augments the formula of past entries and largely succeeds by doing so.

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Attack of the Fanboy
Nov 20, 2016

While the combat is well designed and the worlds feels more expansive and alive than ever, the pacing with the story and overabundance of dialogue prevent Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization from taking the series to the next level.

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Gamers Heroes
7 / 10
Gamers Heroes
Johnny Hurricane

Top Critic

7 / 10
Nov 28, 2016

It is hard to recommend Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization to anyone who isn’t already a Sword Art fan. The story just takes so long to get into and you can’t skip the cut scenes. If you are a fan of Sword Art on the other hand, the combat and co-op is enough to make this game enjoyable.

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PlayStation LifeStyle
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Nov 8, 2016

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization is anything but hollow. There is an almost unbelievable amount of story content, with side stories piled high on top of that. The storytelling might be a bit too slow for some, but then this is par for the JRPG course. Most cutscenes are woefully static, but they are at least fully voiced. Combat almost feels like an afterthought, with few mechanics even explained well by the tutorials. Still, if you can’t get enough Sword Art Online, Hollow Realization is an easy purchase.

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Spaziogames
7 / 10.0
Spaziogames

Top Critic

7 / 10.0
Nov 21, 2016

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization does not depart from the fluctuating quality of its predecessors, with a pleasant story, though designed specifically for fans of the original work, accompanied by a complex and layered gameplay, which, however, has unclear mechanics to challenge even the most experienced of players.

Review in Italian | Read full review

IGN
6.7 / 10.0
6.7 / 10.0
Nov 17, 2016

A lot of effort was clearly put into Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, because almost every aspect of its gameplay has an underlying set of properties and nuances to come to grips with. While I usually love that kind of complexity, here it rarely felt meaningful or even coherent. Paired with a story that lacks the stakes and urgency of the source material, it leaves Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization feeling pretty tepid aside from its enjoyable combat.

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LevelUp
6.7 / 10.0
6.7 / 10.0
Nov 22, 2016

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization is yet another licensed anime game that does not live up to the expectations. While the presentation is a success, lousy storytelling, a broken battle system and dull dialogues ruin the overall experience. The game has no rhythm or anything that makes it worthy of your attention.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

Reno Gazette-Journal
3.25 / 5.0
3.25 / 5.0
Jan 4, 2017

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization feels like a game that’s on the cusp of something great but is held back by a few hiccups. The story is interesting and quite fleshed out, and the base combat has potential. The inconsistent pacing, sketchy AI and grindy nature of the game, however, make it feel like a slog after a while. If you’re a fan of SAO, though, this is worth checking out just to re-experience Aincrad’s rebirth once again.

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Checkpoint
6.5 / 10.0
6.5 / 10.0
Nov 14, 2016

A huge game with great ideas on how to treat an environment based on a MMO world. Sadly it has many flows. While it’s combat is interesting, the characters are dull and tracking missions ends up in a headache every time. An experience only SAO fans will like.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

Wccftech
6.4 / 10.0
6.4 / 10.0
Nov 23, 2016

What turns out to be a fun JRPG with a big world to explore and good combat is marred by bad story, bad quests and some diabolical pacing. Only recommended for SAO fans.

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High-Def Digest
Nov 17, 2016

While 'Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization' is definitely a step up from its predecessors, it's still too rough around the edges to really appeal to anyone other than fans of the anime. It fails to take advantage of the unique premise, and an unpolished localization makes the game overly confusing in spots. Hopefully 'Sword Art Online' will get a great game adaptation, but that still hasn't happened yet.

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Rocket Chainsaw
Dec 29, 2016

Things like grinding, incompetent AI and unrealised affection and attribute systems mean the experience isn’t going to compare against other RPGs on the market. If you’re a fan then there’s a lot to take in, but otherwise there’s little here to keep you interested for long.

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Impulsegamer
3 / 5.0
3 / 5.0
Nov 28, 2016

In summary this is a game that fans of the genre will love and those new to it will most likely give up on. You can tell there has been a ton of work gone in to tweaking this game, making it clearly the best of the series to date, but the onerous nature of the storyline along with the static nature of the interaction during dialogue will put a lot of people off. Into the series? You will love this game. Hopefully I’ve helped with the pros and cons. Have fun!

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Rice Digital
Nov 30, 2016

Aquria have created a game that really does feel like an MMO.

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MonsterVine
3 / 5.0
3 / 5.0
Nov 22, 2016

While it can be a fun action game in the short-term, it quickly becomes repetitive due to its meandering plot and disingenuously perfect cast of characters.

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PlayStation Universe
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Nov 21, 2016

Hollow Realization is the best Sword Art Online game to date but that doesn't mean it's great by any means. If you're a fan of the franchise this game is a no brainer as it’s packed with so much content you can put as many hours into it as you would an actual MMO. It’s just a shame that a lot of that content is as Hollow as its name suggests.

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RPG Site
6 / 10
6 / 10
Dec 23, 2016

Fun MMORPG-style mechanics aside, this game lacks much of the excitement the license is known for.

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RPG Fan
51%
51%
Dec 18, 2016

Skip it unless you're a diehard Sword Art Online fan.

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GameSpot
5 / 10
5 / 10
Dec 12, 2016

Sword Art Online is built on high-stakes drama and a compelling premise--Hollow Realization delivers on neither.

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GamingTrend
50 / 100
50 / 100
Nov 28, 2016

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization is a game that places too much of its emphasis on its dating sim mechanics rather than a polished RPG experience. Dodgy armor designs mar the progression that the weapons add to the game, and a rather stale storyline does not give enough motivation to want to progress through the game.

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