Batora: Lost Haven – Review
Follow Genre: Hack-n'-Slash, Adventure
Developer: Stormind Games
Publisher: Team17
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Tested On: PC

Batora: Lost Haven – Review

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Good: Not awful
Bad: Mediocre at best
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Making combat complex can be an enticing idea, although too much complexity or applying it in an annoying way can subtract more than what it adds. Batora: Lost Haven is a game that falls into this pitfall, attempting to create a “unique” combat style that ends up falling flat on its face. Here is what it has to offer.


Batora’s story takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth, where Avril, one of the remaining survivors, is conscripted by two space gods in order to cleanse the cosmos of what caused the disaster in the first place. Traveling from planet to planet, Avril will have to defeat the corrupting elements in four worlds in order to return to her normal life, although along the way she might find some elements that’ll make her question her quest.

Overall, the game’s story and writing are decent, although the lack of development for any of the characters other than Avril and her main companions leaves a bunch to be desired. This, paired with a morality system with egregious black-or-white choices like “genocide a race or let someone you’ve known for 10 minutes die”, makes it lose a lot of its possible charm.


Batora’s graphics are good, featuring varied environments with a slew of interesting character and enemy designs. That said, the top-down view doesn’t particularly lend itself to much detail and despite the variety featured, the game never really does more with its environments than the bare minimum. The novelty of a cool-looking planet wears off pretty quickly when it’s a linear setpiece that lasts for a grand total of an hour.


The game’s sound design is also decent, featuring an alright if somewhat generic soundtrack and good voice acting. However, Batora’s SFX are nothing special and can be at times downright bad, with some of the sounds becoming pure noise that’s more of an annoyance than anything else.


Batora’s gameplay combines isometric hack-n’-slash and puzzles. During the game, players will have to face gauntlets of enemies with occasional puzzles sprinkled in. Alongside this, sometimes they’ll straight up get the choice to choose between a puzzle or a fight to progress, the first usually being the fastest since enemies are rather bullet-spongey.

Said puzzles are rather simple, making players activate mechanisms by hitting color-coded switches with abilities of the same color or push balls on top of pressure plates. The only challenge these puzzles feature is the platform-ish sections, where timing is required. That being said, the only real penalty is losing time and in some cases a bit of health.

The combat is also rather mediocre, as it consists of Avril fighting small waves of enemies with a handful of abilities. Similarly to the puzzles, the enemies will also have color-coded health bars, requiring players to swap between damage types to finish everyone off. Some of the enemies also combine both colors and won’t die until basically their two health bars are depleted.

Players also have two health bars, one for each of the modes Avril can access and which are bluntly explained as “ranged” and “melee”. Although items and pickups are available to equip, they tend to only increase the damage for one of the types, making them utterly useless in fights that involve the other type. Alongside this, the moral choices also affect which items players can equip, with one path favoring damage and the other defense. This is rather questionable since the enemies already take long enough to kill normally, meaning a player going for the alignment that favors defense will never become faster.

One of the main problems with Batora is how the health bar system works, especially for enemies with both health bars and bosses. They never really do anything that changes up the gameplay, simply adding more health to whittle down and forcing specific types of attacks. It is particularly a waste when applied to bosses, since their gimmick is swapping from one type of damage to the other. Whenever Avril depletes a health bar, they simply change to the other while stunned, providing enough time to knock it down before they reawaken.


Batora: Lost Haven is a mediocre game full of wasted potential that tried to add a certain layer of complexity but ended up making things a lot more tedious. There are much better games in the genre, like last year’s Tunic, that offer a more entertaining and unique experience. Sold for €/$24,99/£19.99, the game is pretty expensive for what amounts to a relatively dull 8-hour experience.

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No longer writing for the site, pursuing other things.

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