I feel like it is important to mention that before playing Battle Chasers: Nightwar, I knew nothing about the series that was created by famed comic artist Joe Madureira (who also served as an executive producer on Darksiders, which he designed the look for War.) Only finding out that it was a short-lived (nine issues and ending on a cliffhanger) comic book series as I was telling a friend about the game.
In one way, this is perfect as it gives me the opportunity to say how great this game is as a newcomer to the series, since the game was designed to be a continuation of the comic and a good starting point for those who didn’t get a chance to read it.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar tells the story of Garrison (a legendary swordsman), Gully (a nine-year old who father mysteriously vanishes leaving a set of powerful magic gloves), Calibretto (a kind-hearted War Golem), Knowlan (a wise-cracking wizard) and Red Monika (a voluptuous bounty hunter) as they search for Gully’s father.
At the beginning of the game, their airship gets shot down, crashing it into unknown territory over run by bandits, monsters and powerful artifacts. With the party separated, they work to team up once again and find a way off the island, while uncovering an evil force that is attempting to stop them.
Battle Chasers’ main story isn’t anything that is truly thought-provoking or something that we haven’t seen before, but it does exactly what we want by giving us an action flick inside an RPG that is still extremely enjoyable. Coming into the story, I felt like I knew most of the characters right from the start, and with the additional lore and speeches between the characters, it helped flesh out the little bits that were missing, providing the backstory and insight to the characters motivations just as they were needed.
The interesting thing about Battle Chasers is its combat system. Instead of going the brawler route as one would expect in Comic Book inspired games, the game instead takes a Turn-Based JRPG system. To my surprise, the system is extremely action focused.
Players choose three of the heroes and face off against up to 3 baddies (with possible waves joining in the battle). Each character is given multiple means of attacking which can cause overall damage, special effects or defend yourself from an upcoming attack. Each attack charges up your Mana which can be used for devastating magical strikes.
The more the characters are able to attack, the higher the Burst Meter will rise. This allows the players to unleash a special move, whether it heals or raise defenses, or summons Eldritch tentacles from a bottomless pit to damage everyone.
Combat is fast, relentless and just so much fun that even grinding on the world map or taking side missions don’t feel like a chore. A rare statement when it comes to turn base battles.
The art of Joe Madureira really comes to life with Battle Chasers, with the 3D models looking exactly like the comic counterparts and jaw dropping animations from Powerhouse Animation Studio (the studio behind Netflix’s Castlevania) were simply amazing.
Even if you never heard of the comic, I cannot recommend Battle Chasers enough! It is a solid JRPG with a fun story, an amazing battle system and a great art direction. Also at $32.99 CND, it’s an affordable title that overshadows most $79.99 games.