It is a world devastated by tumultuous conflicts, the hotbeds of war light up endlessly on the face of the old continent. The stench of heresy is a nauseating companion and purulent craters are all that remains of villages and cities at the passage of the hordes of Chaos, orphans and widows clench trembling to pray for saving lives and deeds of chivalry remain only faded songs. Yet the empire, besieged from all sides by ruthless warlords, mephistophelesque sorcerers and sordid rat things, resists defying mocking fate, perched on itself. The men who inhabit those lands are simple and hard people, who see their destiny in balance on the alliance of men, Elves and Dwarves, not disdaining the help of the companies of fearful but fierce mercenaries when necessary.
Warhammer: Chaosbane sets his story in those very lands, where four heroes will have to travel from the cold Norsca to the crazy depths of the realm of Chaos to foil yet another diabolical plan of the servants of the Four Gods, who will try in vain to bring destruction to the kingdom of men. In the middle of the Hack and Slash tradition, we will have to choose our champion and throw ourselves into bloody isometric battles, which will see us rout entire hordes of enemies with the pressure of a few keys.
Heroes and war hammers
If you manage the fight from the front line thrills you, the veteran imperial soldier Konrad Vollen will be your first choice, armed with sword and shield will world the evil without retreating one step. If you’ve spotted your cowards, this is your chance to dye your hair and orange beard and seek redemption and death on the battlefield in the company of the dwarf gutter Bragi. If your motto is “for every twig trampled on a broken bone”, you can only catch the arrow to the bow of the explorer Silvana Elessa. There is also a High Elf magician, but you know, better to let go of the abracadabra of those tedious damsels (of course we’re joking … or maybe not. Editor’s note).
Once the hero’s selection is complete we will be forced to throw ourselves headlong into the story mode, which will see us go and return from the game Hub, completing expeditions that will always require us to make our way from point A to point B in maps packed with enemies. The strong point of Warhammer: Chaosabane’s offer is the ability to join groups of adventurers locally or online, so as to experience the powerful combos between champions and cooperate to get the better of the fierce hordes of warriors of Chaos.
Completing Warhammer: Chaosbane missions and massacring enemies will naturally advance the level, thus unlocking new abilities for our characters. In addition to limited slots for passive and active abilities, the abilities themselves will have a cost of equipment: the higher the level of the ability, the more points will require inclusion in our kit. From level up to level up, we’ll be invited to constantly re-imagine our attacks and spells, and as the tradition of the genre dictates, we’ll constantly collect new and better pieces of equipment, changing clothes more frequently than a diva.
The formula: talk to the NPC, go to the dungeon and split everything, return to the NPC remains unchanged for the duration of the campaign, lasting about 15 hours. Warhammer: Chaosbane’s adventure unfolds in 4 chapters, each one surrounded by the predominance of enemies belonging to one of the four chaotic gods, for 10 quests per chapter culminating in a boss fight. There are countless difficulties in the game and the more we raise the level of challenge, the better the booty we get during our raids.
Too bad that a deficient AI will help to make the offer uninspiring, where increasing the difficulty simply sees an increase in the attributes of enemies, who faced with the right crises will never represent a real danger. Until almost halfway through the game we can only donate our excess assets to the merchant, being rewarded with increasing levels of fame, from which we will get small rewards. Towards the end of the adventure, we will instead have access to the opportunity to enchant weapons and armour in our possession thanks to particular fragments that we will collect in abundance during the adventure to make each piece of equipment more performing.
Too many empty spaces
However, we did not lose heart, with the hope that the three empty, bare and desolate game Hubs would reserve happy surprises in the end game, but we were nevertheless desolate by the poverty of the content offered. Once the main quest was completed, Warhammer: Chaosbane’s offer was limited to proposing to explore once again the empty, always identical maps of the previous chapters, occasionally announcing an event aimed at the massacre of some offspring of Chaos.
Although the guys at Eko Software have also boasted the pen of Mike Lee (known author Balck Library) as the author of the story of Warhammer: Chaosbane, we really have trouble believing it: majestic characters like the wise Teclis are made like insipid stains of ink, barbarously relegated to the function of these dealers, in a plot that has very little credible and memorable. We would have preferred to avoid making comparisons with other exponents of the genre, but even the version of Diablo 3 had more interesting content and certainly told much more epic stories.
Even the design of the bosses is as outdated and uninspired as ever in the genre: banal and predictable patterns that don’t enhance creatures, but end up trivializing even a ferocious Bloodthirster. For hours, making bare levels against hordes of anything but dangerous enemies will soon end up boring, instead of prompting players to find interesting combinations of character interaction.
The audio side has definitely surprised us, boasting a soundtrack decidedly inspired, terrifying, which manages to enhance and make palpable the concept of the relentless and ferocious horde of Chaos, bearer of death and despair. Warhammer: Chaosbane is graphically pleasing, with carefully designed models and pleasant animations; it’s a shame that the repetitiveness of the elements and the desolating void that characterizes the game and map hub doesn’t do justice to the work done.