It was way back in February 2016 that I reviewed Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja STORM 4, awarding it a healthy 7/10. A year later and there’s an excuse to get that disc out and boot it up again, as the Road to Boruto expansion is finally available, covering the events of Boruto: Naruto the Movie.
Unlike the story mode in the main game, Road to Boruto’s campaign is more than just a sequence of cutscenes and battles. Instead, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja STORM 4’s adventure mode and story mode have been woven together to create an experience that feels a little more like the earlier games in the series. As such, playing as Boruto, you’re free to wander around the new Hidden Leaf village at your leisure, interacting with the townsfolk and engaging in a wealth of sidequests before choosing to progress the main story. It makes for a more fulfilling experience, despite control of Boruto being a little unwieldy at times.
When you do inevitably get into combat, you’ll find that nothing has changed from the main game, for better or worse. It’s still the same showy but often repetitive display of prowess as you and your opponents unleash preposterous Jutsu attacks whilst making wise use of your available substitutions to avoid damage. Again, it’s rather enjoyable for the most part, but sometimes you can’t help but feel that luck has as much of a bearing on the outcome of a battle as skill. It’s a problem less prevalent in what can be considered as boss battles where the combat is at its best, forcing you to learn patterns and exploit openings to emerge victorious. Of course, it helps that they have some truly epic quick time events too, treating you to some dramatic scenes conveyed with beautiful visuals.
Those heading straight through Road to Boruto’s story without engaging in any extra activities will find that it takes them about three hours to complete, though aiming to get S ranks on all battles will bolster that time. Players who revel in seeing and doing everything the expansion has to offer however, will easily find over 10 hours of gameplay as they strive to complete all sub-events including Boruto’s Ten Ninja Tasks. The expansion also unlocks Boruto, Sarada and Mitsuki for use in other game modes, as well as a handful of alternative costumes. For the asking price of £15.99/$19.99, it may not offer exceptional value for money but it’s not too stingy either.
Overall, the Road to Boruto expansion for Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja STORM 4 offers more of the same over-the-top action, which for many players will be enough for them to part with the cash. Those like me, who don’t follow the anime but avidly play the games, will be happy to catch up with Naruto and Sasuke in their later years whilst following Boruto’s endeavours to become a real Ninja. Those already familiar with the events, however, may find it all a little less exciting.