DEVELOPER: EKO SOFTWARE / PUBLISHER: BIGBEN INTERACTIVE / PLATFORM: PC, PLAYSTATION 4, XBOX ONE (REVIEWED) / RELEASE DATE: 4TH JUNE
Another addition to the rapidly growing list of Warhammer videogames, Chaosbane is a top-down action RPG dungeon crawler that takes most (if not all) of its cues from the highly-regarded Diablo series.
Players choose from one of four classes to play through the story, which is typical Warhammer fare involving monsters, orcs, elves, people with silly names and all that sort of stuff. You don't need to be familiar with the source material to enjoy it though, as it's more just window dressing for the demonic slaughter that follows.
Each character has their own unique attacks, and all feel very different to each other. New moves and abilities are unlocked and upgraded through level progression, and there's tons of loot to find, but it's all a little less involved than other similar games (there's no enchanting, reforging, class sets, crafting or item shops, for example) so it might be a bit more accessible for newcomers to the genre.
Chaosbane hands out new abilities quite frequently, but takes its time introducing new elements, such as “fragments” which are collected throughout the story but the use of which doesn't come into play until after a few hours. It takes a while to reach a point where you feel like a badass, but when you get there, it's really enjoyable.
While the spells and attacks are great fun to use, enemies rush in and surround you so quickly that it's hard to see many of the fancy flashy effects. You also can't move while attacking, so working through the maze-like dungeons ends up being little more than stand still, hold an attack button until everything's dead, then move on to the next mob encounter. Slicing through swathes of monsters is always fun, but it'd be nice to have a bit of breathing room to take in what's happening.
Completing the game opens up a couple of new modes - expeditions, where you revisit randomised versions of story locations to earn even more loot, and a boss rush. Online co-op supports four players, and a ton of post-release DLC has already been announced, so there's a chance this could keep you going for a fair while.