WARHAMMER: CHAOSB ANE
PUBLISHER BIGBEN INTERACTIVE DEVELOPER EKO SOFTWARE ETA JUNE 2019 Lovers of couch co-op dungeon crawlers rejoice and quaff mead in an isometrically represented tavern! Warhammer: Chaosbane is imminent, and though it takes its setting from the Old World of Games Workshop’s Warhammer Fantasy Battle universe, being an action RPG it has more in common with classic isometric fantasy games like Diablo and Gauntlet.
We got busy with the game’s latest beta phase, after developer Big Ben unveiled the fourth and final of its playable characters, the wood elf archer Elessa. Elessa’s powers, aside from some powerful arrow-based attacks, include summoning a Grootlike tree spirit – a dryad – to help in battle, a nifty dodge-roll out of danger and spinning knife blades to clear away enemies who are invading her personal space.
Elessa joins a party of up to four characters – yes, you can play locally or online with up to three other players, or go it alone. The other playable characters include Konrad Vollen, a human soldier specialising in close-up combat, so is pretty much the tank class, an axe-wielding dwarf Slayer called Bragi Axebiter (he’s a Slayer who’s a dwarf, not a slayer of dwarves), whose role is that of DPS. Finally there’s a spellcaster. Elontir, one of our favourites and a high elf mage who can throw multiple bouncing fireballs around the place.
Chaos is the word
With even two characters on-screen it’s absolute carnage as the game throws busy waves of creatures at you, which you’re going to rapidly turn into ground beef.
When you’re done, all that’s left is loot which you can then pick up, trade, or equip to change your look and buff your stats. All very familiar to players of Diablo III in particular, of course, but just because Chaosbane is treading a well-worn path doesn’t mean it doesn’t stand out on its own. For starters, it looks pretty impressive, while the action is fast and smooth, and the settings of the Old World, a continent ravaged by the Great War Against Chaos – a particularly bloody conflict that’s decimated the Empire Of Men – are beautifully realised.
The controls are intuitively mapped, making use of both left and right sticks as well as having your available skills mapped to the main buttons, plus RB. You have a bottomless healing potion too, drunk with LB, but it has a cooldown period. Should your character die, you can of course be resurrected by a team-mate. Fill up your Bloodlust meter and you can unleash a devastating attack, unique to each class. It’s just our chaotic cup of tea, this one, and we can’t wait to get hacking and slashing when the game launches on Xbox One in June.
Throwing a Gauntlet down to challenge for the couch co-op crown “You can play locally or online with up to three other players, or go it alone”
Below If you like mobile ranged characters, you should get to grips with wood elf Elessa.