Warhammer: Chaosbane – Review

War never changes, but like human history, it has a beginning. When the forces of Chaos invade the Imperium of Man, only the bravest of brave souls will go face-to-face with the deadliest monstrosities known in existence. From EKO Software, Games Workshop, and Big Ben Interactive comes Warhammer: Chaosbane, a hack-and-slash action RPG set within the traditional fantasy realms of Warhammer. Featuring several classes, mammoth bosses, and thousands of enemies to fight, players will be in for the fight of their lives against the enemies of Man. EKO Software has crafted a spectacular action RPG, though it falls just shy of greatness due to technical limitations.

The scourge of Chaos has been unearthed. These foul and vile creatures threaten the dignity and security of Mankind. The forces of Chaos come in grotesque and twisted forms, determined to use humans to grow and to expand. If these forces are not defeated, Man will fall. It is up to the most courageous forces of the Imperium to take arms and fight back. Players will need their wits, skills, and tactical strategy to defeat the deadliest of foes. Teamwork is absolutely essential to success, as the bosses in Warhammer: Chaosbane give no quarter. From the gluttonous Beasts of Nurgle to the Daemons of Khorne, there is a large abundance of enemies to slay, with over 70 beasts within the bestiary of Warhammer: Chaosbane. The enemy is strong, but you are stronger. Together as a team, you may pose a chance to stop this menace from consuming the world.

Warhammer: Chaosbane is an action RPG, where players will actively use attacks and evasive moves to slay enemies and accomplish various objectives. The enemies of Man are to be struck down with impunity, and direct offensives are the only way to quell the vile fiends. Along the way, players will uncover the mysteries behind the Chaos army and its henchmen. Players can choose one of four classes in Warhammer: Chaosbane. The Empire Soldier is a general class, great for beginners, but still powerful and balanced. The High-Elf Mage are for players who favor using magic to attack their foes. The Slayer is designed for players who absolutely need to murder their enemies with an ax. Finally, The Wood Elf Scout is for players who like to take the rear and shower their enemies in arrows. Each class has their own unique skillset and loot to acquire. Players familiar with Diablo III and other action RPG”s will find themselves right at home with Warhammer: Chaosbane. After a brief tutorial, and some earlier missions showcasing the game’s mechanics, players embark on their first quest.

Warhammer: Chaosbane bring the action immediately to players, and the excitement only builds. Players will be swarmed in every direction on the battlefields of Warhammer: Chaosbane. All sorts of enemies, both human and non-human, will storm the scene and do absolutely everything to destroy the player. Warhammer: Chaosbane features a very sharp difficulty that may prove to be an obstacle for players looking to play alone. Fortunately, online and local multiplayer can turn the tide but is absolutely required for boss fights. Taking one of the bigger enemies alone proves to be an immense challenge. Playing with others, even if they are of the same class, will greatly change those odds.  Additionally, for the player, new weapons and abilities are unlocked through continued play and allow the player to get the extra edge they need. Each class has unique powers and abilities that are a thrill to use, such as using the Soldier’s fiery shield ram to decimate opposing foes. Exploring each new ability and attribute is thrilling, and the customizable options are sound with each class.

Warhammer: Chaosbane is an action-packed, thrilling adventure, where each mission and activity yields great reward, but sheer challenge. Fighting the hordes of Chaos is incredible, as limbs are torn and guts are spilled to the ground. Using careful timing of defensive and offensive attributes is always exciting, and working with others is a rewarding co-op experience. The best parts of Warhammer: Chaosbane happen with larger enemies and boss fights. When working with other players, fighting these mammoth, foul beasts is a battle of David and Goliath, except David has swords and magic and Goliath is a massive monster, vomiting projectile bile at players. It is a tremendous experience and one that is absolutely fantastic for all players, especially those looking for a new action RPG experience. The presentation is sharp, feeling pulled straight from the tabletop games that inspired the game, and the sound is immersive, with clanging metal, screeching roars, and organic juices falling to the floor. I had a tremendous amount of fun embarking on missions, especially with friends, as we slew hundreds of enemies in dark and mysterious dungeons.

What keeps Warhammer: Chaosbane from greatness are its technical limitations with online multiplayer. While each experience has the potential to be different, my online experience on the PlayStation 4 could have been better.  In Warhammer: Chaosbane, teamwork, and playing with others is everything. While players can play the game solo, they are missing a good amount of the gameplay hook in doing so, and to tackle the larger bosses, they will absolutely need to team up with other players. Therefore, the online connectivity should be as smooth as possible, but regrettably, it needs work in Warhammer: Chaosbane. When players join mid-mission, they don’t get teleported to where the host is and instead, have to trek across the level to reach the clan fighting the monsters. This would be a small inconvenience if this were the only issue. However, it is compounded by serious matchmaking issues. When playing online, a friend was invited into my team. Our next battle was to fight a massive boss, The Lord of Nurgles. After selecting the mission, the countdown started. The team consisted of myself, my friend, and a random player. Upon hitting “ready” we then were teleported to the boss area, but we were also separated. The online multiplayer of Warhammer: Chaosbane actually separated us, with me having to fight the bulbous Lord of Nurgles by myself, whereas my friend and the random player fought the same boss in another room. The game was tricked into thinking I was with them in the same lobby, despite the fact that we were separated. They made short work of the boss, but I got the trophy for killing boss, even though I had not killed the boss in my lobby.  I had not even a chance in frozen Hell to defeat the boss. It took us closing the entire game and reopening it several times to engage in a match where me and my friend were together to fight The Lord of Nurgles. We were successful, but it was terribly frustrating getting there. Furthermore, we had encountered an additional glitch, following the defeat of The Lord of Nurgles. We proceeded into another area to fight more enemies, and the mission we embarked on was to find and defeat a cultist, who had knowledge of the enemy. The two of us killed the cultist, and every enemy in the area, but the mission was glitched. We couldn’t successfully complete the mission because the game didn’t verify that the cultist was dead. We could neither retrieve the necessary intel for the mission to complete it. I had to log out and close the game, then reload it, and complete the mission from the very beginning, another significant inconvenience. While I understand that video games are hard and they are made by hardworking people, it is clear that the online multiplayer, while mostly functional, features inconveniences and inconsistencies that should have been addressed before or immediately after launch.  Changing the launch date for Warhammer: Chaosbane would have been beneficial as well. This type of inconsistency hurts the overall experience, though fortunately, the team at EKO Software are working hard to release patches that correct and fix these issues.

In the face of these setbacks, Warhammer: Chaosbane does take a hit, but it is still a strong, well-built action RPG that should appease fans of action games, as well as Warhammer enthusiasts. The tabletop game has essentially been brought to life, with a solid presentation, great combat, and satisfying gameplay. For those that have longed to slay the forces of Chaos with grit and steel, now is the moment to take up arms and protect the Imperium of Man. For the Emperor. Warhammer: Chaosbane is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.