Eko Software/Bigben Interactive
The ebb and flow of gaming genres peaks and dips according to what developers think the market wants at any given time. One of the genres which has been relatively steady is the action role-playing game, or ARPGs. Well established game developers, Blizzard Entertainment, has been delivering hack-and-slash titles in the form of the Diablo franchise, since the 90s. 2000’s Diablo 2 was inarguably the franchise’s high point and spawned countless clones and “me too” ARPGs that, for the most part, paled in comparison to it (the exceptions being Path of Exile and Grim Dawn).
Warhammer Chaosbane is one of the latest offerings that tries to emulate that classic Diablo formula. But does it have enough going for it to stand out from the crowd?
Our story begins right after an epic clash between the forces of Order and the dastardly forces of Chaos. Although Emperor Magnus managed to unify the good guys and defeat Chaos and its multitudinous minions, a crafty witch managed to sneak into his throne room and cast a curse upon him.
Players are tasked with choosing one of four heroes and taking on the newly revitalized forces of Chaos in an attempt to break the curse and restore the Empire to its former power and glory. This is all explained through beautifully-rendered still images with narration in the background. In fact, one of the first things I noticed about Warhammer Chaosbane was that the voiceover sequences were of high quality, which helps to immerse one within the game universe’s deep lore.
Warhammer Chaosbane offers four distinct playable heroes (with a fifth on the way as announced in recent development notes). You can go with the human Empire fighter-type, Konrad, who wields a one-handed weapon and a shield; Elontir, a High Elf mage who prefers to vaporize his enemies from afar; Elessa the Wood Elf archer; and Bragi, a formidable Dwarf Slayer.
All of these heroes play well off of each other, such as having Konrad soak up enemy damage as the party’s tank-type, while Elontir and Elessa kill enemies from range. Meanwhile, Bragi the Slayer wades into battle fearlessly, slicing and dicing with his mighty axes. The good variety of toolsets that each hero brings to the table ensures that just about any playstyle can be enjoyed.
What really sets these heroes apart, however, is that their individual class traits can be activated with a push of the space bar (or the right analogue thumb button on a controller). For instance, Elessa can execute a highly useful dodging move which allows her to get out of tight spots and maintain proper distance management. Elontir, on the other hand, can decimate entire gaggles of enemies by blasting them with area-of-effect spells.
Luckily, controller support for Warhammer Chaosbane is excellent instead of being an afterthought as it typically is in other games of this sort. It even supports local multiplayer so that you can enjoy the game with buddies from the comfort of your couch.
Warhammer Chaosbane is also a game which features different modalities depending on what you’re in the mood for. In addition to having an array of difficulties, it also sports entirely different gaming modes. For example, Expeditions allows you to obtain powerful resources called Fragments which can really boost your chosen character’s abilities. For those who are into collecting lots of loot, Boss Rush mode will have you taking on powerful boss enemies and gear up with unique loot after defeating them. Invasions, the final mode, hasn’t been released yet and there isn’t much information out on it yet.
When it comes to visuals, Warhammer Chaosbane is also top notch. Each swing of your weapons yields satisfying arterial blood spray and dismemberment. Likewise, spell effects are beautifully-rendered and will even fill up your computer’s monitor in some cases; it looked spectacular on my gaming laptop.
Warhammer Chaosbane is an exceptionally crafted ARPG that has an addictive combination of fun, loot-based gameplay, dazzling graphics, and a dark storyline which really draws you in and makes you feel immersed in its considerable lore. Try it out for yourself.
Warhammer Chaosbane features some pretty nice looking graphics that make its ARPG gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig: