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July 2019

Warhammer: Chaosbane

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: RPG/Action
Publisher: Bigben Interactive
Developer: Eko Software
Release Date: June 4, 2019


PS4/XOne/PC Preview - 'Warhammer: Chaosbane'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on July 13, 2018 @ 1:00 a.m. PDT

Warhammer: Chaosbane is a hack-and-slash action/RPG set in the Warhammer Fantasy world.

The Warhammer franchise lends itself well to video games, whether it's in classic or grim-dark future variants. It's welcoming to RPGs, but it's also great for tactical games, adventure games, and even Left 4 Dead-style shooters. The idea of Warhammer plus Diablo has a peanut-butter-and-chocolate feel to it. Eko Software's Warhammer: Chaosbane is the sort of game that would succeed just by existing, so it's a pleasant surprise that it's looking to thrive and not merely succeed.

One major idea behind Chaosbane is a console-focused game. In Chaosbane the developers are hoping to create the best hack-and-slash co-op game possible. There will be a PC version, and they're planning to optimize it to avoid the dreaded consolitis, but they don't want players on the PS4 and Xbox One to feel shortchanged or to get an inferior experience.

On the surface, Chaosbane seems like a standard hack-and-slash. Players select one of four characters (Dwarven Slayer, High-Elf, Soldier and Wood Elf) and go to town on the foes. The game uses a stamina-based cooldown system, so players can spam abilities at their leisure, but wise use of abilities is necessary to avoid being overrun by the deadly hordes that fill the dungeons. The characters have their own sets of attack skills and "right stick" abilities. For example, the Soldier can parry attacks, while the High Elf can guide an electric ball of doom.

One interesting feature is the Bloodlust meter. As you kill enemies, you gradually accumulate Bloodlust, and once the meter fills, you can activate Bloodlust to temporarily go into a high-powered state where you basically become a human (or elven) buzzsaw of death that easily decimates enemies. The trick is that Bloodlust can accumulate beyond its normal fullness. You unlock one new attack at one gauge, two attacks at two gauges, and three attacks at three gauges, so it's a balancing act between using it right away and waiting for more attacks to be at your disposal.

Co-op is going to be a major factor in Chaosbane. After all what's a good hack-and-slash without friends to help vacuum up the loot? Chaosbane will support both local and online co-op play with up to four players, including allowing combinations of local and co-op play. The developers also want to make sure that loot doesn't slow down the game and will use a picture-in-picture style inventory system so players can fiddle with their loot without slowing down the game for other players, even in local co-op.

Let's be honest. Just the concept of "Diablo plus Warhammer"would sell quite a few games. From what we've seen, Chaosbane looks like it has a solid and enjoyable mix of hack-and-slash gameplay and looting the corpses of your enemies. Hopefully, the final version of the game will live up to its awesome potential when it hits for PC, PS4 and Xbox One sometime in 2019.

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