Battle Chasers: Nightwar
This is a game that drew me purely at first with it's cover art on the Xbox Store, it sealed the deal completely by being on Gamepass a few weeks later and me "umming and ahhing" over it.
I found out literally RIGHT NOW as I'm writing this that it's based on a comic book that started in 1998... May have to pick that up!
Regardless, let's get down to the game at hand.
This game summed up to it's core elements (and from now abbreviated to BCNW) is a wonderfully crafted take on turn based RPGs that people have come to love. You adventure through a world fighting monsters, growing your party and crafting weapons. Can you ask for more?
Well yes it turns out I think there are definitely elements that could be improved further but the experience I had playing this game was a perfectly positive one!
In their own words this is described as "American made JRPG and dungeon-crawler, based on the best-selling Battle Chasers comic series by Joe Maduriera and inspired by JRPG greats such as Final Fantasy, Suikoden, Chrono Trigger and Phantasy Star. It was developed by Airship Syndicate, funded through Kickstarter and published by THQ Nordic.
Those of you that know me already know that I'm a very visual person so I'd love to start with how the game looks; ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. That's how it looks.
No, I'd like to talk a little more about how it looks. The style of the comic has definitely been kept true when adapting the visual style of Joe Madureira into the world of 3D, however they've blended it with the hand painted textures and modelling style of what you see in games like Warcraft, League of Legends and Darksiders. Darksiders was actually created by some of the team that created the studio who made this game, Airship Syndicate. This is another beautifully designed game which I recommend checking out if you're a fan of The Legend of Zelda and want it crossed with something like Prince of Persia.
The style they've chosen of "stylised realism" as I like to call it is perfect for the character designs created by Mr Madureira, whether it's the great hulking war machine Calibretto, Red Monkia the thief or Alumon the mysterious masked sorcerer they're all so different and full of character. This is only sealed firmly by their unique animations and attacks in battle!
The predominance of this game, the meat of the sandwich (or falafel of the wrap if you don't eat meat) is made up of dungeon crawling! So if you're a fan of game like Diablo this will probably be a game you want to check out. From what I experienced you can change the difficulty of each dungeon before you enter and this will not only effect the difficulty but also the layout of the dungeon itself! This is a great touch that keeps the dungeons somewhat fresh for their first few plays but you will learn their layouts after a few plays.
The main part of this game that shines is the combat. It's a turn-based RPG at the end of the day! The characters all have distinctive charm in the way the move onscreen, they're animated in such a way that displays so much feeling and gives each of their attacks motivation. You'll quickly find a favourite I'm sure! You can swap out characters back at the inn called "Harms Way" too so you can build your perfect team. Mine for example was Bastion for his piercing and bleed damage stacking, Red Monika for her awesome status effects and burst limits and finally the metal war golem Calibretto for his healing and arm cannon! The combat can be pretty challenging at time so it will become super important to regulate your moves and heals!
The JUICE in this game was one of the biggest draws for it's combat. If you don't know that term in it's simplest terms it's the player feedback you're supplied while performing actions. Think about screenshake when you hit an enemy, the particle effects that explode out from a broken box, the flash onscreen etc. When you're fighting the juice they've included is perfect, every hit, every slice and every heal feels like it has weight. You can feel the weight of Bastions sword as it falls and rips into the enemies armour. It's left me even after completing this game wanting to go back for new game plus! Just to experience killing the final boss again with all those buffs and giant moves!
I think that I probably will revisit this game and I'm looking at getting the comics too. I'm honestly glad I stuck with it. If you can get it on Gamepass DEFINITELY give it a try and if you see it somewhere as a physical copy pick it up!
I'm going to give this game a solid B. There's some things that could be improved and tightened, maybe an extra town or so just to expand on the world but I'm guessing with the way the game ended they're planning a sequel. So look out for this game and any upcoming titles in this universe.
LET'S CHASE SOME BATTLES.