Warhammer: Chaosbane

Thanks to PR we got to try out the previous beta of this, before the closed beta, and I was the chosen soul given the chance to dive into the rotten sewers of Nuln for Games Xtreme.

I can tell you right now, as a fan of the Old World and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay - this is the best Warhammer Fantasy Diablo-style game I've come across. As much as I love Inquisitor Martyr, and 40K, my one true love is the fantasy genre when it comes to Diablo-like games.

This isn't a review by the way, hopefully, that'll come down the line since I'm really addicted to the game - I got the two playable characters to level 19 in my time with the beta and finished the core story that was on offer with both of them.

Old World, New Characters

Set in the time of Magnus the Pious, Chaosbane chronicles the fate of four characters as they fight against the amassed forces of chaos in this action-packed Diablo 3-like action adventure RPG where hordes of Chaos enemies come at you from every direction. It's good too, I had a blast with the game and even though the other two characters were locked down for the beta I was still able to get hours of fun out of it.

Konrad Vollen and the High Elf Wizard Elontir are the two characters I spent a chunk of time with, and out of them both, I usually gravitate to warrior types the most. Not this time, for once, Chaosbane actually makes the wizard a lot of fun to play.

Sure, Vollen can hit things hard and has a range of great combat abilities to ensure victory. Elontir can throw balls of fire and guide the last one cast with the right stick, this alone is a game changer and ensures you can play tactically, especially in co-op with another player where you can use Vollen to tank and Elontir to control the rest of the battlefield with spell after spell.

The characters seem well designed, well balanced, and they synergise very well together - I was able to get together using same-screen play with a friend and explore the sewers with him slaying Chaos creatures a-plenty and racking up some sweet loot. Vollen was able to carve a nice swathe of bloody chunks through Nurglings and Beastmen alike - using a mix of offensive and support/defensive abilities.

Whilst I, the haughty Elontir put them down with ranged and area of effect magic showing just how powerful wizards in the Old World are supposed to be. Even Elontir's default magic-missile-esque spell hits quite hard and helps regenerate his energy so he can cast even more devastating magic down the line.

The more you level, the more skills you unlock and can equip. The game uses an interesting way to handle skill points, allowing you to refund your spent points if you unequip a skill to equip a different one. The higher powered versions of skills also change the skill/spell in a variety of ways, adding slow effects to Vollen's melee or turning an aetheric orb into a fire ball.

Then there are Bloodlust powers, which allow devastating attacks for a short while, and God powers which have a longer cooldown.

There's a God skill tree too, where you use fragments and favour points to buy upgrades to the character - minor ones like +30 damage, or +100 health upgrades, up to actual powers themselves which you can then equip in the skill menu.

As for the menus themselves, they'll be familiar to Diablo 3 fans at a glance and offer a similar style of radial design for the equipment.

Digging Deeper Down

From what I played of Chaosbane there's a lot of fun to be had, you'll unlock new features at a steady pace and eventually be able to return to the sewers of Nuln for Expeditions or Boss Rush mode.

New features are mission/level gated and the progression seems fair and even.

The dungeon layouts are randomly generated for the most part, offering better rewards and loot at the higher difficulties. I recommend playing the game on Normal for your first run and that'll be a nice mix of challenge and loot.

I was able to net some nice rare loot in my time with both characters, and there was a lot of it dropping in various rarities each time I went back in for the main missions or the Expeditions.

The beta was good, solid, didn't crash and the whole game looks and feels great so far. It's very polished already, and that's a good sign. I loved the physicality of the combat system and it was awesome to see blows and spells rag-doll the forces of Chaos through the air depending on how powerful the ability was.

I am curious to see how the Slayer and the Elf Waywatcher handle, because I think I'll be playing as her to begin with since I love ranged combat in these kinds of games. Before my beloved Necromancer, Demon Hunter was my go-to in Diablo 3.

The game has a lot of potential and I am sure there's loads of content in the full version, because there was a nice layer of it in the beta. I can't wait to explore more of the game's world and maps, and fight the various enemies of the Old World as they reveal their master plan through the story missions.

Overall, my impressions for this one are solid, and it's one of the best new Diablo style games I've had the pleasure to play.