Developed by Stormind Games and published by Team17, Batora: Lost Haven is a top-down action RPG that combines plenty of other mechanics in the mix as well. You have puzzle-solving, interplanetary travel, tons of aliens, and open-map exploration giving you a unique experience. The game also offers a unique combat system where you have two different fighting styles, one focusing on melee while the other one focusing on ranged combat, all with a touch of a button. This is our preview of Batora: Lost Haven in which we visit the beautiful worlds of the game and defeat a ton of enemies using really cool skills.
Batora: Lost Haven is set on a world that has been destroyed and it is now up to you to save what is left of the planet. At its core, Batora: Lost Haven is a top-down action RPG and you travel to different planets in order to find the resources that will help you save your world. You step into the shoes of Avril, the main protagonist of the title who is with her friend Mila. After some weird dreams, Avril finds two gods Sun and Moon who give her magical powers, and now she is trying her best to restore power to Earth’s core and save the planet from total annihilation. Each planet you visit is unique and brings its own unique challenges, puzzles, enemies, and quests.
The story plays a critical role in Batora: Lost Haven however you will be building up your Karma at key points of the game. You have two options to go for and based on your Karma, certain options will open for you and certain options will lock out. The two options are Defender and Conqueror and it is your choice to go for whatever you seem fit. Avril is supported by her friend Mila who is mostly there just for vocal support rather than actually helping you out in the game like the two gods Sun and Moon who actually help you progress in the game and tell you a lot about the background and lore of the game and its world. Story progression is important in the game and you unlock new skills and areas only with story progression. There is plenty of backtracking in the game as well as you go back and explore some of the back areas for items or complete some quests.
Avril has two different natures at her disposal where the Physical Nature allows her to dish out melee attacks and skills that are focused on physical damage while on the other hand, while Mental Nature is all about range and skills that do not require you to physically attack enemies. Level and story progression unlock more skills for you however a cooldown timer ensures that you just cannot spam your skills and make the game super easy. You have your basic attacks and a powerful attack which at this point requires some tweaking. Overall, you will be fighting a lot of unique enemies in the game, and the plethora of skills and the addition of Runes to increase or decrease certain aspects of your character make sure that you have the build of your choice. Depending on their nature, enemies are color coded as well and you will need to proceed accordingly.
Each character nature also has its own unique stats as well and enemies attack in different natures as well. Apart from exploration, character building, and fighting enemies, there are also tons of puzzles to solve in the game as well. While some of the puzzles are simple in nature, as you progress in the game, these puzzles tend to become tougher and tougher and they begin to incorporate various elements in them as well such as your dual nature. The puzzles are a decent balance and they offer a nice change from all of the slaughtering in the game. A sharp mind is still helpful in this.
All of the dialogue in the game is fully narrated and you can choose to auto-skip the dialogue as well on the go. This is one feature that I never really noticed in other games but having it right there in Batora: Lost Haven just shows a good design and now I want it in all other RPGs as well. Continuously clicking on the screen to move to the next dialogue option is really annoying. I was a little hesitant to use this feature at the start of the game thinking that I might miss something important but it is a decent feature to have in the game and one that you will be using quite a lot. Choices play a vital role in the story and most of these choices are made while you are communicating with other people. At these points, you get the chance of adding some Karma points to your extremes. The dialogue sequences appear to be like a visual novel however there are full cutscenes in the game as well and they are really good-looking as they appear on key points of the main story.
Batora: Lost Haven does not have a release date at this point however the developer is aiming for an Autumn 2022 release. You can add the game to your Steam wishlist right now if it strikes your fancy and after spending quite a few hours in the game, I will say that this is one title that should be on your lookout. I will be diving into the game again once its release date is finalized for my final review however so far the game seems to be heading in the right direction and I am sure that once the remaining tweaks and improvements are done and the game heads into its final phase, it will be a solid action RPG. The developer has done justice to all of the aspects of the title and I cannot wait to see how much improved the final version of the game is. Players who love the top-down RPGs filled with battles, puzzles, and quick-time use of powers are definitely in for a treat.