Battle Chasers: Nightwar (PC) Review

By Eric Ace 23.06.2019

Review for Battle Chasers: Nightwar on PC

Battle Chasers: Nightwar occupies a strange mix between western and eastern RPGs, and as a result it hits some good notes, but falls short on others. The game was based on an American comic book series that was started in the late '90s - popular, but plagued by extreme delays the project was eventually dropped. The designer left to work in the videogame industry, years later funding a Kickstarter campaign that resulted in this title. As previously mentioned, though, blending the two styles has left it with both its positive and negative aspects.

The game opens with a cool anime cut-scene setting the stage of an adventure of different characters through a magic/steampunk world. The main character looks suspiciously like Guts from 'Berserk,' and is likely due to an inspiration back in the '90s due to source material being the comic book series. While it is not needed to have read it, the game is a continuation of the ill-fated series that was dropped in its era. A duality is present throughout this that is hard to get around. Some of its aspects just radiate style, whereas others feel shallow and tacked on.

This duality starts with the very genre of the game, clearly a RPG, but one that has both a western and eastern feel to the experience. The dungeon crawling feels very Diablo-esque with its isometric exploration and movement. Dungeons can be dark and dank, or players can be going through colourful waterfalls and forests. Players move through the dungeon, completing puzzles or finding treasure.
The characters themselves are both a strength and weakness. The overall plot is nothing that special, either, and many of the characters do not really grow or have that engaging of plots.

All of these of course are negatives, but something that actually is a strong strength is moments of banter between the characters. This is something more games should have - every line is not something designed just to advance the plot, but rather just some characters hanging out together talking or joking. It is an element that is missing from so many titles, but is a large positive for this one. Yes, this does some interesting things, but ultimately fails on its JRPG roots.

Screenshot for Battle Chasers: Nightwar on PC

At its core, it is standard turn-based combat, with one team facing off against the other. There are various systems like an 'overcharge' system which is building up points that can be used in battle for better moves. Other choices are things like doing a bigger attack that takes longer to unload, compared to a quicker and weaker move. While more interesting perhaps than old-school RPGs where your choices essentially were just 'attack' over and over, it never especially comes alive. The battles simply take far too long, without any way to blast through the weaker ones, and are not interesting enough to try new things. This relies heavily on the battles being the draw, as the story and exploration are weak elements, and unfortunately the battle system never felt that engaging or cool.

Screenshot for Battle Chasers: Nightwar on PC

The entire exploration and world map while colourful, does not amount to an engaging experience. The overall gameplay flow amounts to 'go here, kill everyone, repeat.' There is not an interesting drive or unique elements to it, and given other repetitive elements - namely the battle system - this does not help the package. Repetitive battles can be endured if there is an epic story or adventure taking place, but here it is simply traveling from place to place without any real drive. The dungeons are randomly generated, which is problematic. This came out around the same time procedural generated level design started becoming popular, which has largely been a negative creation for the same reasons it drags this game down.

Screenshot for Battle Chasers: Nightwar on PC

By having things random, a fixed (and therefore planned) experience cannot be given to the player. Instead of say some memorable long stair case or spooky house, you get rooms randomly connected to each other. They all blur together as nothing stands out. The major issue of this game is that on paper it ticks all the boxes that 'should' make it good. But perhaps this is an example that you can have everything right and things still go wrong. This is not to say the game is bad, it is average, and someone desperate for a JRPG will be happy with it. But in a world with many good games out there, it is hard to recommend this one as it never takes off as particularly engaging. It is simply too grindy, and no novelty ever really comes out within it, and there is little keeping the player going to try to finish it.

Screenshot for Battle Chasers: Nightwar on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

This is the type of game that should be an automatic hit for RPG players, but there is something missing in the complete package. The graphics are good, and typical genre staples are present, but ultimately it gets lost in itself. Overall this is a solid title, but in the end it lacks heart. It does everything averagely, and nothing especially rises above, or provides anything unique - unfortunate, as its ingredients definitely lend itself to what might have been a really great game.

Developer

Airship Syndicate

Publisher

THQ Nordic

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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