If there’s one interesting aspect that comes with the territory of reviewing a title, it would be re-reviewing it slightly down the line and on a brand new platform. Having covered Chaosbane on the PC from the original Early Access version, to the updated Beta, then the first full expansion and finally into the new freely added character (Part 1 / Part 2), Chaosbane is back for both the Sony PlayStation 5 and the Microsoft Xbox Series X as the Warhammer Chaosbane – Slayer Edition. Once again diving into this fantasy based Warhammer title, and better with a partner, I’ve dived into combat alongside Izzy while also using the latest addition to the title with the newly added Witch Hunter.
Just in case you’ve missed all of the above coverage, hey it happens the internet is a vast sea of information, Eko Software and Nacon’s Warhammer: Chaosbane is a stage based Hack & Slash adventure that sees a group of heroes set out in order to save the would be Human Emperor Magnus from the curse set upon him by the forces of Chaos that have invaded the Capital. Now totaling six heroes (achievements for only the core four mind you), there’s some choice for how you want to tackle the hordes ahead.
Upfront, even with the newest coat of paint and a few new stages and hub layout elements, Chaosbane remains much of the same. You get some dialog, you head out into a stage, finish some objectives, head back to the hub. Rinse. Repeat. Four acts later and you’re done the main campaign. By this point you can either head into the only current expansion, the free based stages that were created to introduce the Engineer, or the “end game” content that could keep you busy for a while with all of its challenges.
It’s fun in either short bite sized sessions or an entire afternoon with crappy weather outside. That said though, there’s still no current overarching plan for longevity such as Diablo 3 or Path of Exiles seasons that keep players coming back for more. There’s a fair amount of end game but once you’re done, you’re done. Playing on the console for the first time as well it felt even more finite as it didn’t take very long or that much effort to score a platinum trophy and honestly? It’s generally not something that I do but with how close I was I figured why not? I’m now up to 9 “plats” after the introduction of trophies all those years ago on the PS3 compared to Richard’s 30 (which mostly consists of 2-300 hour jrpgs) or Izzy’s 11 and she just really started playing games this past summer.
One thing that did impress me though was the utilization of the DualSense. The haptic feedback on certain abilities which got stronger as you updated them was neat, but having the triggers lock or get tougher to press while abilities were almost ready was also a nice touch. Is it a gimmick? Yes. Does it make things easier as you don’t actually have to look at the cooldowns to use them? It does yes making the whole experience just that little bit more immersive as you’re not constantly looking at the cooldowns on your major abilities.
If there’s one thing that did bother me this time around it was how small the inventory and skill screens were in local coop. And I mean SMALL with no way to enlarge it to a decent size in order to actually read what’s on the screen. While not as important in the beginning, eventually green attack and defense powers aren’t enough without knowing what other kinds of bonuses can be found. If you can’t read them, you won’t be making the right choice as you up the Chaos difficulty especially. Torment levels for Diablo fans.
The other issue with this latest version actually comes from what should have been a bit of an added atmospheric bonus. The hubs are now larger, there are people in it, the people chat and add in some life, BUT, you now have to go even further in between missions to get to your next stage. There’s only really one NPC to deal with and with no vendors, the hubs are just empty spaces and having to make you run further while in a campaign is a bit of a pain. I’m still hoping for shops and stuff in an update.