Developer: Airship Syndicate
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch
Tested on: PC
Battle Chasers: Nightwar – Preview
Many comic book fanatics that have reached the blessed age of 30, who started reading comics when they were in high school will probably have heard of the dubious series, Battle Chasers. This series was released at the end of the nineties, and revolved around a nine-year old girl, who inherited magical gloves from her father, that grant her amazing powers. Sadly, the series never saw its conclusion and was given up by Joe Madureira, who decided to pursue a career in gaming. Now, more than 15 years later, we are treated to a Battle Chasers game, which continues where the series had ended. A little too late? Or a welcome trip down memory lane? Only time will answer those questions, as our inner child was just happy to try out the beta of this upcoming title.
As the story value of this early build is quite negligible, we’ll dive into the presentation, rather than the underlying plot. While the music is fairly on the background, and the game currently has no voice acting, it’s the game’s graphical prowess that steals the show. We have to say that this game, even if it’s only an early build, looks amazing, ranging from the overworld to the dungeons, to, last but definitely not least, the battles. You’ll be treated to the characters from the comic books, as if they simply popped out of the beautifully drawn series, with some 3D rendering, ready to win your hearts once again. The characters are just how many fans will remember them, albeit with a new modernized lick of paint. The environments and backdrops are very colorful and also fit the comic book-like theme for this game.
You’ll be thrown on a map right from the beginning, having to find your way to the only dungeon in this build. The map is done in a very simple fashion, a bit reminiscent of very old school RPGs where you also roamed around the map, which had only little detail, to be thrown into towns or dungeons only when running over them. Battle Chasers: Nightwar uses a similar formula, which in many ways graces these comic book characters of a nearly forgotten age.
Dungeons however are room based, where you’ll either find enemies, or traps and obstacles per room. Enemies can band together, forming a bigger party, but if you’re able to seclude them, battles may become easier. Each of you characters also has a special move he or she can use in the dungeons. Gully can stun enemies, damaging them before the battle, while Garrison can do a quickstep move, to quickly pass traps, and Calibretto has healing powers, which heal the entire party. The latter is probably the most useful move, as in this build you’ll only have a very limited stock of potions.
Combat in this game follows a typical old school turn based format, where you can see the turn order on the left-hand side, meaning you can plan your moves to take out specific foes before it’s their turn. For the most part you’ll follow a standardized pattern, where your characters can either use basic attacks, guard or special skills. The game adds a ‘Burst’ meter, which, when filled, allows you to use special moves, which either consume one burst bar out of three, or the complete meter, and these moves are pretty much the equivalent of finishing moves, or just very powerful skills. Overall things remain simple and are fairly balanced in this build, but certainly not easy, as you’ll have to keep your wits about to make sure nobody drops dead on the floor on your side.
We only had the chance to wade through roughly an hour of content in this demo build, but if this is the quality we can expect for the rest of the game, albeit with hopefully a thicker plot, we are quite convinced this will be a title to keep our eyes open for. Nonetheless, the map based system might need a bit of spicing up, to remain interesting if the game would become a lengthy one.
Our encounter with Battle Chasers: Nightwar may have been a short one, it was a rather impressive one in terms of gameplay and visual representations. The story portion was a bit vague and unclear for our taste, but we loved what we saw so far. We have high hopes for this revival of the Battle Chasers franchise, but we do hope a bit of extra attention is spent to those who haven’t had the chance to read the original work of Joe Madureira. We can’t wait until we get our hands on the final build of this title.