E3 2016: hands-on with ‘Battle Chasers: Nightwar’

At E3 this year, we were able to sit down with developer Airship Syndicate and try out a demo for the upcoming turn-based dungeon crawler Battle Chasers: Nightwar. The game which is licensed from the popular comic book series Battle Chasers has a great visual feel to it and the turn-based combat hearkens back to the classic JRPGs of the 90’s.

The demo started off at the entrance of a dungeon and the hero was controlled from a top-down perspective. While running through the dungeon, players can change between the three chosen heroes with the left and right bumpers. There will be six different heroes to choose from in the game and each will have a different play style. Each character has a limited ability they can use while exploring the dungeon. Garrison, the classic sword wielding hero, has Dash and Gully, the non-standard tank, has a ground pound mechanic. Gully can use the ground pound to stun enemies while Garrison can use Dash to get away from enemies or to get in a first-strike by “Dashing” into combat.

Characters will run across enemies throughout the dungeon and once they interact with the enemy the game will go into a classic combat screen. The combat is turn-based and choosing different attacks will determine when those characters attack in the fight. Attacks charge up a three tiered bar and each hero can perform a special attack at each tier.

An interesting mechanic that Battle Chasers uses is the overcharge meter which is next to the standard Health and Mana bars. Characters have a couple of standard attacks that fill the meter and players can use this resource to cast attacks instead of using the base Mana. Once a fight is over any unused overcharged Mana will be discarded. This encourages players to build up the extra resource and make sure to use it up before the fight ends.

Players can tackle each dungeon on a difficulty scale from one to five stars. The dungeons will be semi-procedurally generated and some rooms are only available on three stars and above. Within the dungeons there will be crafting stations, traps, loot crates, and Mimics. Each dungeon will lead to a full scale boss battle with mini-bosses scattered throughout. The developer said that players who want to play it on an easier level can complete it and have fun, but players who want to be victorious on the higher difficulty levels will need to pay more attention to their hero selection, inventory, and resource management.

Even with only checking out a vertical slice of what Battle Chasers: Nightwar has to offer, this game is shaping up to be something truly special. As long as the developer finds a good balance in the higher difficulty levels, this looks like a game that will find it’s place among the classics.

Battle Chasers: Nightwar will be released in 2017 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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