Whilst I enjoyed my ‘High Elf Mage’ playthrough of Chaosbane, it doesn’t exactly bring anything new to the table either. Isometric ARPGS have a hard time standing out from each other at the best of times due to zoomed out camera angles, leaving little for the eye in terms of character and smaller textures.
Mimicry is the best form of Flattery…
Chaosbane lazily relies on past inspirations as benchmarks for its menu systems and level layout. For all intents and purposes, Chaosbane is essentially a Warhammer expansion to ‘Diablo III’ save for magic and attack mapping. The best example would be the circular inventory screen, it is nearly a carbon copy.
Inspirations aside, Chaosbane is a lot of fun to get stuck into. My High Elf’s spells provided a range of attack distances and benefits, although an electric orb attack which can be controlled by moving around the R stick just felt awkward and unnecessary. All other attacks felt natural for the genre, this was further enhanced by being able to re-map attacks. For example, a low-cost lightning attack with a huge radius would be better suited to RB or RT in order to free up the face buttons for close range enemies.
In terms of the level design, Chaosbane is again in pursuit of Diablo glory. Whilst I can’t really make a complaint about the layout, Chaosbane does lack variety after around 4 hours. This isn’t just down to scenery and level design, but creature design also. As much fun as it is beating down 70+ types of Nurgle and Chaos hordes in one sitting, it would have been great to see a more varied utilisation of the Warhammer rogues gallery and its factions.
Do you mean Presentational or Audio Performance?
Frame rate drops can become a bit of an issue when multiple enemies and atmospheric effects get dropped into the mix, which for an Isometric ARPG running on a current-gen console is not acceptable. It’s clear that optimisation was a subject best served for the PC master race.
The voice acting is typical of the genre, wooden and complete with an array of select cheeses. As in sure every ‘Forgotten Realms’ veteran will agree, the majority of Chaosbanes audience would have read the dialogue and skipped the majority of it anyway. It would have been nice to see the development team pay a bit more time and effort into making the old world feel more authentic and gritty (Which Games Workshop are doing a great job of doing at the moment).
On the flip side, the Diablo style still image parchment cutscenes are well read and come across strikingly well. The OST is a typical overly glorified fantasy fanfare which congratulates players for just triumphs as remembering to breathe. The sound effects hold up to the title which is great news, and during dungeon crawls the OST pulls it’s socks up and does its job. Int’ Milk Brilliant?
Overall Score: 6.9 / 10
Warhammer: Chaosbane is certainly not a bad game, it’s just an uninspired one. Whilst isometric ARPG fans can grab their fix from better products such as Diablo 3 for half the price, Chaosbane is still worth a playthrough. It was fun whilst it lasted, but I highly doubt I’ll be jumping back into Chaosbane anytime soon.
Format: Xbox One (Reviewed), PlayStation 4 and PC
Price: £52.99 (Microsoft Store)
Publisher: Big Ben Interactive
Developer: Eko Software
Age Rating: PEGI 16
Release Date: 04/06/19
Review copy provided by publisher