Review – Warhammer: Chaosbane
The comparison is inevitable, so let’s get it out of the way right off the top – Warhammer: Chaosbane is a lot like Diablo, but without that high-gloss sheen of polish that Blizzard can take the time to put on their projects. From the combat to the loot, there’s an inescapable ‘been here, done this’ feeling of déjà vu.
As one of four classes, gamers will run through a four-act story that’s simple but delves deep enough into the mythos to be a real treat for Warhammer fans. Don’t want to play solo? Bring up to three friends in either local or online co-op play. Each class can be specced in different ways, allowing some flexibility in how you approach the task of laying waste to the enemy armies.
And they ARE armies, with dozens of creatures on the screen at any given time. Playing as Bragi Axebiter, the Dwarven Slayer, I had a blast running past enemies to gather together an impressively large number before activating my buffs and turning his twin axes to the ‘puree’ setting.
Downing large numbers of enemies also means having to pick up a lot of loot, as the game isn’t stingy with the drops. Fortunately, with an equipment rarity system at play ranging from white (common) to red (heroic) gear, and a quick and easy ‘red score bad, green score good’ assessment system to help, the piles of loot never become difficult to manage.
You’ll also collect Fragments and gold, though the purpose of them isn’t made clear until about halfway through the game. While this might seem odd on the surface, Chaosbane doesn’t really end when you finish the final boss. Instead you can jump into a New Game Plus mode where you carry over your collected gear, or take on the Boss Rush, Relic Hunts, or Expeditions to gain new, more powerful loot.
While Chaosbane ran well on the Xbox One X, it’s a bit of a pity that more time wasn’t spent on the user-facing elements of the game. The laundry list of skills you can unlock don’t receive much fanfare when unlocked, for example, and it’s not as easy as it should be to see what each new skill brings to the table. What’s here is fun, and probably right at the top of the heap so far as Warhammer games go, but I’d love to see what they could do with more time/money/developers to really polish it up.