Warhammer is certainly one of the most popular tabletop games there are and the lore is enchanting gamers for many years already. Next to the futuristic franchise of Warhammer 40,000, there is the classic Warhammer which could be considered to be part of the fantasy genre but more like dark fantasy or gothic. Beyond the tabletop games, there are also some great video games that were built on top of the world of Warhammer, licensed from Games Workshop, and developed by various game studios. One title that didn’t get that much coverage when it originally came out was Warhammer: Chaosbane, and because it’s worth a second look, we tried it out for you and prepared this review based on our experiences.
Related post: Looking for a Warhammer 40,000 ARPG instead?
Warhammer: Chaosbane is an ARGP (action roleplaying game), which means it’s hard to describe it without comparing it to the Diablo franchise from Blizzard at some corners. Since Diablo IV is still some way to go, fans of the genre might find themselves enjoying to spend some time with Warhammer: Chaosbane. It’s also worth mentioning that this title is available for consoles as well, which makes it a safe pick for all the ARPG fans without a computer, simply because there aren’t that many titles available.
The game was developed by Eko Software and published by Bigben Interactive (now known as Nacon). It was originally released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on 31 May 2019 but there was a re-release for next-gen consoles Xbox Series X/S on 10 November 2020 and PlayStation 5 on 12 November 2020. Eko also delivered a handful of DLC such as new chapters for the campaign as well as a new character class for gamers to play with. I grabbed it for Xbox Series X during a Warhammer sales event for a discount, and if you’re looking around a little, you might also be able to get not only the base game but the full package with all DLCs included for a fair price. The MSRP for the standard edition is $30 and for the slayer edition, with additional contents, $50.
6 character classes and both local and online multiplayer
In Warhammer: Chaosbane you can create a character out of six premade classes. You will not be able to change the gender of your character, so if you’d rather play a male or a female character, that would have an impact on your class selection. You can choose to play as a human empire soldier, high elf mage, dwarf slayer, wood elf scout, dwarf engineer, and witch hunter if you got all the DLCs. Except for the missing feature to change the gender, all the characters make sense and are pretty fun to play. You can of course play the game with several classes but you can only play one at the same time. If you don’t like playing alone, you can also make use of the multiplayer feature for playing with others online or hooking up a friend to join you locally via the couch co-op feature.
I don’t want to spoil you too much about the story but it’s not boring to play and it’s not just a mindless hack-and-slash fest. Of course, it’s a plus if you are anyhow interested in the Warhammer lore. You don’t need to know Warhammer to understand what’s going on but I’m sure you’d appreciate some parts of the game a little more if you are somehow familiar with Warhammer. There is a clear narrative to follow and as you face more and more challenging opponents, your character also becomes stronger and you’ll also find useful loot along the way. Managing your character, like changing gear, or assigning skills, does not feel as sophisticated as in Diablo III for instance, but the overall experience does not need to be shy of a comparison. At some point, the vibe and the visuals felt a bit like what Diablo II fans expected from Diablo III, and maybe those will find Warhammer: Chaosbane a good compromise.
I have not yet reached the endgame but based on what I have verified thus far, I am confident that the game provides a lot of replaying potential and doesn’t just end after you offed the final boss in the story. You can increase the difficulty, try again, check out other classes, and spent time in multiplayer. I think overall Warhammer: Chaosbane is a very ambitious attempt to attack some of the most popular ARGPs ever in history and in some aspects, it introduces very cool mechanics that are surely novel to the genre.
The gameplay of the character classes feels really unique and unlike something I’ve played before. The team of Eko Software did a great job here and I am sure they will release more great titles in the future. If you’re still not sure if this game is for you, you can have a look at the gameplay footage from the Xbox Series X, which I recorded for you.
YouTube: Let’s Play: Warhammer Chaosbane [Gameplay, No Commentary]
Photo credit: The screenshots shown are owned by Nacon and Eko Software.
Editorial notice: The author has spent about six hours with the game before preparing this review. The test was carried out on Xbox Series X.