Battle Chasers: Nightwar review in progress

It’s the re-boom of the comic book industry in the late 90s. After years of uncertainty, the industry is changing and sales are looking good once again. Superstars are being reborn, as independent creations take the spotlight and people look once again beyond the big two of Marvel and DC. One of the biggest comics of the time?

Battle Chasers, a stylistic combination of fantasy and steampunk themes from Joe Maduereira. 1998 saw the Battle Chasers take the market by storm, its art and story being white-hot at the time and fans devouring every issue printed. As was typical of the time however, Battle Chasers fell victim to scheduling conflicts and only managed to produce a handful of issues before it faded away.

Fans never stopped yearning for a revival of the adventures of Gully and her posse, eventually resulting in the crew of misfits making a return in the most unlikeliest of mediums: A video game. Thanks a Kickstarter campaign that managed to pull in enough interest to resurrect the property, Battle Chasers lives again with. But it’s not that kind of a video game.

You see an ancient War Golem, a taciturn swordsman and a young girl capable of shattering mountains with her magical gauntlets and you immediately think that Battle Chasers: Nightwar is Darksiders reborn. It’s hard not to make that comparison, especially with both properties sharing Madureira’s art direction. Battle Chasers: Nightwar is rather the inverse of that property.

It’s a careful and measured role-playing adventure, one that takes plenty of inspiration from a genre of turn-based combat and dungeon-crawling while also adding a few ideas of its own to the mix. It feels somewhat archaic and yet…there’s a certain freshness to Battle Chasers: Nightwar that’s hard to deny. A combination of style and substance that makes even the most hectic of enemy encounters a tactical game of chess with swords and iron fists.

The best trick in Battle Chaser’s bag so far comes down to how it handles dungeons. There’s an emphasis on Nightwar doing its very best to not insult the time of players, something that I can appreciate. You know where your enemies are. With enough practice, you know who your enemies are, what they’re capable of and how best to approach them.

The turn-based combat of Battle Chasers: Nightwar may be a slow burn that rewards strategic thinking, but at least Nightwar wants to give players a chance to formulate strategies on the fly. I’m only around ten hours into Battle Chasers: Nightwar so far (THANKS OCTOBER YOU HECTIC MONTH YOU!), but the result so far is a game which somehow manages to balance being a tense fight to survive certain scrapes by the skin of my teeth with the comfort of formulating tactics that’ll best suit my survival instincts at my own leisure, leveraging the skills of my core party of rogues and warriors.

Battle Chasers: Nightwar is as deep as it is gorgeous. I can’t wait to jump back in for some more action this week.

Last Updated: October 2, 2017

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