Battle Chasers: Nightwar Review – Down the Dark Road

Nordic’s Turn

There have been a lot of RPGs to make their way to the Nintendo Switch. Classic revivals like Lost Sphear and I Am Setsuna have already graced the eShop. Other indie titles like Devious Dungeon and Has Been Heroes from indie developers have also tried their hand at the genre. Now it’s THQ Nordic’s turn.

Battle Chasers: Nightwar boasts a traditional turn-based RPG experience with a lot of new advancements and twists that make it feel very modern. Can this action-heavy game stand out from the crowd?

Save the Girl

Battle Chasers: Nightwar hinges on the premise of a young girl named Gully. She was given strange gauntlets by her father that have amazing powers before he disappeared. Now, she’s being protected by a ragtag group of mercenaries, war golems, and cranky wizards while they’re all hunted by just about everything in the world.

Battle Chasers: Nightwar has a simple enough plot to garner some interest at the beginning, and it does a good job of pulling you in until the very end. While the characters themselves don’t get adequate time to develop (they essentially end in the same place they started in), they all drip with personality and have great dialogue to boot.

Every character in this game is voice acted. Of course, there are certain cutscenes where you’ll be scrolling through some text, but it’s split fairly evenly. This is also helped by the fact that the voice acting is top notch. Each character sounds fully realized from the start, and it makes the story much more interesting as a result.

Stand and Fight

Battle Chasers: Nightwar is a turn-based RPG that’s constructed to replicate the games of yore. However, THQ Nordic injected enough new and fresh ideas that the game fits extremely well in modern times.

Each character has a series of attacks that are categorized as either “instants” or “abilities.” The instants are attacks that, when commanded, are used immediately. Abilities take a few extra turns to activate depending on the attack as well as consume a portion of your character’s mana bar. Most instant attacks grant overcharge points that function as temporary mana points that will go away at the end of each battle. This system does wonders for Battle Chasers: Nightwar. It makes you think before spamming your best attacks while encouraging you to experiment with moves you wouldn’t normally use.

There is also a Burst meter that fills up as you deal and take damage. Once it’s full, you can have a certain character use a burst attack (unique to each one) that will give you a decent boost in battle. It doesn’t break the game or completely turn the tables, but it’s a useful advantage in a pinch.

There’s not much more to the combat outside of that, but that’s the beauty of it. Battle Chasers: Nightwar is not a complex game and is fairly easy to play. However, if you’re going to get good at it, you have to have a clear understanding of the mechanics. For example, all characters on the battlefield (including enemies) have icons on the left of the screen that show you the order in which they will attack. At that point, you have to alter your strategy accordingly. You can take out one enemy before he attacks, or try to defend yourself knowing that you’re going to be attacked.

As you use characters, they level up and gain more instants, abilities, and burst attacks to use in battle. They also gain perk points that can be used to enhance their abilities or stats. What’s interesting about the perk points is that they’re not consumed. You can use all of the points, then later take away the perks you chose to select a different combination. It’s a different way of enhancing characters that made me feel like I could adapt them to any particular conflict.

One Map at a Time

Battle Chasers: Nightwar is segmented into a world where you mostly travel on the map. The only time you’ll actually move in “real time” is when you encounter certain locations and dungeons. The map is well-designed and all, but constantly traveling in that way made me feel extremely disconnected from the world. The dungeons and environments look good for the most part, but they’re not the majority of what you’ll see in the game. Also, because you’re seeing everything on a much larger scale, it takes away the wow factor from would’ve been otherwise breath-taking scenery.

There’s also another problem that this presents with Battle Chasers: Nightwar: it means that the game will take you through more loading screens. That’s not inherently a bad thing, but the Nintendo Switch version doesn’t exactly load through these places quickly. Even loading battles can take quite some time, so imagine how long loading through dungeons can take. It breaks the pace of an otherwise smooth game.

System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.

Disclaimer: A review code for Battle Chasers: Nightwar was provided by THQ Nordic.

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