[Preview] Astral Chain

Written by Brett Hill
  • Launch: 30th August 2019
  • PEGI: 16
  • Number of Players: 1-2
  • Genre: RPG, Action, Adventure
  • Publisher: Nintendo

Law Abiding Citizen

Astral Chain is a brand new IP from Nintendo developed by Platinum Games the same studio that brought you titles such as Bayonetta, Nier: Automata and my personal favourite, the amazing black & White hack and slash Madworld that was released back in 2010 on the Wii. The Switch exclusive was first announced in February’s Nintendo Direct. The trailer boasted a futuristic dystopian world, aliens appearing through portals, fast-paced high octane battles and a police dog mascot picking up and putting litter in a bin. What more could you want from a game?

Unfortunately, Astral Chain was not playable when we visited Nintendo HQ but we did get to sit down and watch a 40-minute gameplay presentation giving us more of an insight of what to expect when the game releases in August. From what we got to see on the day, Astral Chain is shaping up to be an exciting new franchise for Nintendo and the Switch feels like the perfect console to play it on.

The protagonist of the game is one of two twins, you are given the choice at the start to choose either the brother or the sister. The siblings have both joined the Neuron Taskforce as rookie cops to patrol and protect the streets of the Ark. The player also has a legion assigned to them which is tethered by a chain. You can upgrade the legion my earning XP and unlock skills from the extensive tree. From the presentation, there seem to be two mains types of gameplay, the first being the hack and slash over the top fighting with the oversized boss battles at the end of each level that we have grown to love in Bayonetta. The second is the laid back investigative style of gameplay where you have to interact with NPC and the environment to find clues to solve and crack the case of the opening gateways in which the deadly Chimera are using to invade the Ark. Chimera can’t be seen by the human eye so it is essential to quickly learn the buttons on how to control both your legion and the rookie cop. There is also a behavioural mechanic thrown in for good measure, as you are a police officer you are a role model to the citizens of the Ark and you have to give a good example when out on the beat. Extra points are given to carrying out good deeds like picking up rubbish and putting it in the bin.

From the presentation, Astral Chain looks great and the gameplay looks amazing from the amount of detail that has gone into the world around you to the cinematics of the battles. The main problem I see in the game is the controls. It might take a while perfecting those combos before becoming a master rather than a button basher.

Astral Chain is set to be unleashed on the 30th August 2019.

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