Warhammer Chaosbane, the diablo like by EKO Software set in the Warhammer universe has also landed on the next gen, we discover in this review the version for Xbox Series X and S
The game, released for the now old gen and PC in June 2019, is a classic hack 'n' slash set in the Warhammer universe. Despite the charm of the Games Workshop universe, the game had not fully convinced, leading the criticism towards not exactly excellent ratings. After more than a year, the game also returns to the next generation consoles. The boys of ECO will they have put a patch there where it was needed? Let's find out together in our Warhammer Chaosbane review for Xbox Series X and S.
Magnus the Pious
Let's start by saying that Chaosbane is not set in the most recent period of the End Times, but during the Great War Against Chaos of 2301. Magnus the Pious, who with his armies defeated the army of Asavar Kul. Immediately after this victory, Magnus is crowned King; one day however, an enchantress known as “Harbinger” breaks into the imperial fortress and imprisons King Magnus in a spell that keeps him suspended between life and death. It will be our hero's task to save the king, and here we find ourselves at the first crossroads of the game: the choice of the character.
In Chaosbane it is possible to choose between six champions, obviously of different classes: Konrad Vollen (imperial soldier), the wizard of the High Elves, Bragi Axebiter (dwarven gutter) and Elessa (explorer of the Wood Elves) were those available in the basic version of the game. Added to these are the exiled prince and the brand new Witch Hunter. The Hero's Choice it only affects the class and therefore in the style of play, leaving the campaign unchanged whatever our choice is. Once we have chosen our character we are ready to start, and we are catapulted into the building that serves as the main "base of operations" of the game ready to carry out the first mission.
More Diablo than Warhammer - Warhammer: Chaosbane review for Xbox Series X / S
Right from the start it is clear the Diablo setting that the developers have adopted in the game. Setting, however, not supported by the same number of resources (both organic and economic) as Mom Blizzard. The game, in fact, despite having a huge variety of talents, statistics and skills on the surface, is superficial to a more in-depth analysis. Character development is limited to a few elements, and as you level up the only thing that increases are the stats making the game easier but never different.
This is the most frustrating aspect of the game in the long run. Although the gameplay is fun, after a few hours of slicing demons you realize the static and the lack of variety of the combat system. Staticity that finds its outlet in a variety in based gameplay only on the class switchrather than a poorly developed character development system. The only faint glimmer of light lies in the possibility of creating skill builds to be chained, but even here the potential of the system is little exploited.
The multiplayer sector is not very convincing, although playing locally with friends is fun. We have four game modes available, but it is not possible to choose which game to join specifically. In addition, the level of the heroes is random: it can happen to participate in a party of such a low level as to be ridiculous, as well as to find yourself surrounded by enemies that are impossible to defeat for our level. Not exactly the best.
The Importance of Loot - Warhammer: Chaosbane Review for Xbox Series X / S
In Warhammer: Chaosbane we find a huge variety in the loot and drop of the equipment. Every enemy killed leave weapons, equip or gold coins to be used or sold in the citadel. Here too, however, we find a couple of underlying problems. The first is that enemies almost always leave objects that are often weaker than those already used. The second resides in the imprint of a game structure exclusively based on classes, very evident even in the drop. Furthermore, the items intervene on basic values of the statistics and almost never have modifiers that affect the gameplay in any way.
In addition to this, the loot is specific and exclusive for each class: this means that when you use (for example) the dwarf, you will find only objects useful to the dwarf, and so on. This equipment exclusivity also contributes to a flat experience with no freedom whatsoever in customizing the character or one's playstyle.
This schematic nature of the game is also evident in the story and in the settings. The narrative, being aligned on binary balances, is so framed and schematic that it gets stuck on a monotonous and repetitive gameplay. After a few hours of play, in fact, you realize how the game is a succession of hordes with no master order or purpose to perform. In the same way, we find ourselves passing through well-characterized scenarios, but always too similar to each other.
Generational Leap - Warhammer: Chaosbane Review for Xbox Series X / S
Speaking of the technical sector, Chaosbane is doing well. The environments, however repetitive, they are well characterized and in full with the aesthetic line of Warhammer. The models of the four characters do not present excessive outbursts of imagination, but on the contrary the details in the equipment allow an aesthetic customization quite satisfactory. Attack and spell animations are also convincing. Speaking instead of the enemies and their animations we cannot say the same. The animations of the monsters are few and repeated for the various classes, resulting in dozens of identical enemies but with different skins.
The audio department, on the other hand, works well, although the music is few. To compensate, he intervenes good sound design, capable of giving a good immersion without overflowing in useless vistruosities. Graphically the game isn't great, but that doesn't have to be a flaw. Over the years, we have been accustomed to a tradition of isometric games so refined that we have the foundations of a well-defined genre also on the technical side. In Chaosbane, in fact, we find all the canons of the genus (clearly leaning towards Diablo) without infamy or praise.
The Xbox Series X / S version of the game has almost the same graphic quality as the previous version, but in favor of a smoother and smoother game. No frame drops or visual bugs in particular to report in a graphics sector that does not scream at the miracle of the next-gen, in short.
We are satisfied, but we hoped for the best ...
Warhammer: Chaosbane, in conclusion, looks like a good Diablo-like hack 'n' slash but without excelling in anything. The repetitiveness of the structure linked to the exclusive choice of a class tends to get boring soon. The same goes for the story, the same for any character you choose. Despite the great variety in the equipment, even here we do not find great freedom of customization and little freedom of maneuver. On multiplayer we spread a pitiful veil. The technical sector gives some little joy, especially from a graphic point of view and settings. The audio sector is also worthy of a mention of merit.
Too bad for the almost zero technical gap between the version for the old gen and this tried for Xbox Series X and S, resulting in the conclusion practically the same game with only two classes of characters more and some tweaks to the mulitplayer.7 Not quite next-gen ...
Points in favor
- The world of Warhammer
- Overall technical sector satisfactory
- Two more classes than in the original game
- Great variety of loot but ...
- ... limited to classes
- Same story for all characters
- Monotonous and repetitive gameplay in the long run
- Too casual multiplayer