Warhammer Chaosbane is still under development and is slated for release later in June however I was lucky enough to get a preview copy early and managed to spend some time with the game testing it out. This is my preview of Warhammer: Chaosbane and I will tell you why the upcoming Warhammer: Chaosbane is worthy of having the name of Warhammer despite taking a brand new direction for the franchise.
When we say Warhammer, the only thing that comes to is the real-time strategy battle titles in the franchise. However, Bigben and Eko Software are taking a totally new direction for the franchise with the upcoming Warhammer: Chaosbane. The new title is more of a hack n slash rather than a real time strategy title which the franchise is known for.
When you first start Warhammer: Chaosbane, it looks pretty ordinary and plays out much like every other RPG hack n slash that you might have played. However, even in current market’s saturation, Warhammer: Chaosbane still brings enough to keep it fresh and make it stand out from rest of the crowd in this genre.
Warhammer: Chaosbane is set in different iconic locations from the entire Warhammer Fantasy Battles universe however the preview build that I received only had the first area accessible which is the Sewers of Nuln. The Sewers of Nuln are infected by the forces of Chaos and it is up to the player to kill each of the Nurgle demon in them.
There are four different and unique classes to play with in Warhammer: Chaosbane. Players can pick their class from human, dwarf, high-elf and wood elf. Each class comes with its own unique abilities and skills. You can pick which ever class you prefer and set on your journey throughout familiar locations from Warhammer franchise.
Your character in the game has 9 skill slots and you have a large variety of skills to choose from. Each class has their own unique skills in the game. Out of these 9 skill slots, 6 slots are for Active skills and the remaining slots are for passive skills. Active skills are activated by the press of a button while passive skills grant you different buffs and bonuses passively and you do not have to activate them.
Both Active and Passive skills are further divided into Basic, Advanced and God Skills. The best skills are in the God Skills category but you must unlock them first from the God Skill Tree. God Skill Tree is unlocked after reaching part in the main story of the game. Keep playing the game and you will get access to the God Skill Tree in the later part of the first chapter.
During your missions, you will use these skills to kill your enemies and survive in the game. Each skill costs a certain amount of points. The basic versions of all skills do not cost any point but they are also the weakest of the skills. As you level up in the game, you unlock better versions of the currently equipped skills as well as new skills.
To equip better versions of the skills, you will need Skill Points and if you lack required total Skill Points, you cannot equip that specific skill in any slot. However, as you level up, your total Skill Points also increase allowing you to equip better skills at the same time. You must balance out your skills depending on your available Skill Points.
You can literally build any type of character as you like with the skills but you must keep the skills within the Skill Points that you have. You cannot exceed this number. This goes both for Active and Passive Skills. Better skills are more effective in combat but they also cost more Skill Points so you will need to manage them accordingly.
Apart from the skills and the basic stats of your class, you improve your build by equipping the best items available in the game. The game is very generous and will literally shower you with items so that you can easily build your character to your own desire. There are three basic stats to look for in each class.
These are Attack, Defense and Utility. Apart from these basic stat, each item you equip may also come with different other bonuses such as blocking chance, critical attack boost and many others. This gives you complete freedom to further tinker with your build and aim for special stat builds. You can aim for critical damage tanks, fast moving mages or so using the items that provide specific bonuses.
I played with the Human Imperial Soldier as I love playing with characters who can tank and Imperial Soldier can really take a beating in the game. The game plays out really well and gives you enough breathing room at the start to get used to the control scheme and game mechanics. If you a fan of games like Diablo and Baldur’s Gate, you are on your home turf here.
I played the game on PS4 and the controller layout is very convenient. You get comfortable with the game very easily. The L1 button is assigned to the health potion which can quickly heal you when your health is low. You use left joystick to move around while the right joystick is your character’s special ability which in my case was the shield bash. It stuns enemies and gives you a free window to dish out some pain on the stunned enemies.
You use your skills with the remaining buttons and also the R1 and R2 button. The L2 button is assigned to your character’s Bloodlust which is the ultimate ability of your character. You must charge it by picking up red orbs dropped by killed enemies. This is pretty easy to do so in the game since you will be killing hordes and hordes of Chaos forces in the game.
The level design of Warhammer: Chaosbane is also very good. The levels are big enough and there are side paths and hidden areas to explore where you find some of the best loot in the entire game. Apart from the main path which is not obvious right away, you can explore each level to your will apart from sections where an objective is time bound.
There is always loot hidden in each level in different chests in different areas. You must explore each and every area in each level. Also break the barrels as they will give you gold. Sometimes enemies will drop items as well so make sure that you pick them as well. If you come to a chest which is guarded by a large number of enemies, the chest usually has high level items so do not skip them.
As you move around the level slaying hordes and hordes of Chaos spawn, you will get better items and you must equip them on the go. Warhammer: Chaosbane has a very simply UI and allows you easy access to everything that you need. Tap the middle button on the controller and you can quickly change the items in your inventory.
The stats are shown right in plain sight so you can check which item is better at a single glance and equip it quickly. As you progress in the main game, you must find and equip better equipment otherwise you will not be able to survive in the game. Better items will improve your attack, defense and utility allowing you to take on heavy enemies and hordes easily.
The game also gives you a little freedom on how you can complete the main missions. During my playthrough, I had to save 7 soldiers from Chaos within a time limit but I managed to save only 6 but the game allowed me to carry on with the quest and the end dialogue was adjusted accordingly as well which was great.
Apart from the main quest, after you have completed the main game you can also go back to each location and try out different modes as well. These modes include Boss Rush, Relic Hunt and Expeditions. Boss Rush are timed events where you must try to beat all bosses as quickly as possible. This is you against the boss versus the time.
Relic Hunts allow you to find special items while Expeditions are randomly generated and are also a source of finding some of the best loot in the game. You unlock them after beating the main story of Warhammer: Chaosbane so the game also offers end game content to you. It is not game over if you finish the main campaign of the title.
After completing the main quest, you can move around the main area to organize before heading out to the next mission. You can access your personal stash here to store objects or sell or donate your extra items to the cause. If you donate your items, you level up with the Collector’s Guild and that unlocks more special skills for you every time you level up.
Warhammer: Chaosbane offers solid combat and the chaos army slaying is very satisfying. There are times when the game makes you feel like an absolute god and then there are times when the game will absolutely humble you and you are running around waiting for your health potion to recharge and finally healing yourself.
If you keep equipping better items in the game, do not get surrounded by too many enemies and keep a good balance between skills and how you use them, you will absolutely dominate your enemies in Warhammer: Chaosbane. I managed to unlock my first God Skill and it allowed me to create a fiery aura around myself and I was absolutely crushing the enemies with it.
Some enemies do require a little bit of strategy. The most annoying enemies if you have a melee character are the ranged ones. If you surrounded by melee enemies, you may stun them with your shield but the ranged ones keep shooting from a distance and you get poisoned eventually. Some of the attacks also have different debuffs such as certain attacks will slow you down seriously hindering your movement in the game.
Your best friend in combat is your armor, skills and your health potion. The health potion requires time to recharge so make sure that you use it when you really need it. Time your skills right and you will have no trouble in handling any type of enemy and any type of situation in the game. Enemy design is excellent and seeing your favorite units from the Warhammer universe in a different perspective is amazing.
Eko Software and Bigben might have taken a bold new step for the franchise but it seems that they have done a stellar job in doing so. Warhammer: Chaosbane although having a different face, retains the same Warhammer DNA underneath it and is absolutely blast to play. The combat is solid, level design is excellent and I had a very good time playing it.