Battle Chasers: Nightwar Review
Battle Chasers: Nightwar hopes to revive the struggling dungeon-crawler with a return to tradition. Embracing turn-based combat, a deep and rewarding crafting system, and a creative art style alongside an immersive story campaign, it certainly checks a lot of boxes – but should you venture deeper into this dungeon or hang up your adventuring cloak and call it a day? Check out our Battle Chasers: Nightwar review for the full low down.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar was off my radar for much of the development. It wasn’t until the recent release of a new trailer that it caught my eye. I’m not the biggest fan of dungeon-crawlers, by definition they can be repetitive and lackluster, but the creative art style behind the characters and environment caught my eye. Not typically a game I’d pick off the shelf but this is one occasion where I was very happy to step outside my comfort zone.
Much of your time in Battle Chasers: Nightwar will be spent crawling dungeons and exploring small environments. Accompanied by a host of colorful characters you kill stuff, find stuff, complete stuff and repeat. It’s not a very complex game but it doesn’t need to be, it’s got the basics down to a fine art and delivers in almost every aspect. While initially you are only able to use a small number of party members, this eventually expands into more choice. Each character is unique in terms of battle abilities, personality and mechanics design, offering an impressive level of customization and variety that is all too often overlooked in this genre.
The story itself can be a little thin at times, with prolonged periods between meaningful events. The blow is somewhat softened by random interactions between members of your party when you’re resting or exploring, offering additional insight into their personalities, backgrounds and goals. Garrison, the typical hard-man knight that fears nothing, the innocent Gully who is vastly unaware of her huge potential, and the wise but bitter old wizard, Knolan. These are just some of the colorful characters you’ll enjoy getting to know. While lacking during certain periods of the game the overall story is engaging and worthwhile, with a few surprises along the way.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar’s strengths are with its exploration and combat. While the game features only a small number of dungeons, each dungeon is randomly generated and has several difficultly settings. The basic level is rather easy once you get the hang of it but even with a very well equipped party and a tactical mind for turn-based combat, the higher difficulty settings will challenge even the most skillful of players. As well as increasingly difficult enemies and an enjoyable boss battle, each dungeon also features, puzzles, hidden rewards, secret passages, it’s great fun exploring every crook and cranny and the game somehow manages to make it worth your time – each and every time.
Character progression is often an oversight in dungeon-crawlers but Battle Chasers: Nightwar keeps the combat entertaining and deep every step of the way with vast amounts of character customization. Each character has multiple skill trees they can invest in, unlocking new abilities with additional effects as they progress. You can also unlock perks that can both increase a characters individual abilities, or be used to stack with the skills of other party members.
The combat itself is homage to the turn-based titles of yesteryear. Characters can launch abilities that can work alongside previous abilities, build a gauge over time to unleash devastatingly powerful attacks, master the art of healing during combat to save your exploration abilities. Whether the turn-based era was before your time or during your prime, Battle Chasers: Nightwar delivers with near perfect execution.
I did face several technical problems during my play through. Several crashes hindered my progress, a boss that could instantly one hit my party with no possible chance of victory and FPS drops while fishing. While really annoying, it didn’t hinder much progress outside of a quick reload. We have read through the launch day patch notes and are happy to report, the vast majority of technical hiccups we encountered will be addressed by launch.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar is a must-have for fans of the dungeon-crawling genre. A fantastic art direction, strong character development, tons of hours of content and a wonderful homage to true turn-based combat. At this price, it’s a steal.