Journalists spent several hours behind Astral Chain, an action game for the Nintendo Switch from the creators of Bayonetta. According to the plot of the game, a special detachment of people capable of controlling special biorobots (“Legions”) confronts alien invaders in a futuristic metropolis.
Critics were mostly delighted, both from the unusual combat system and from the mechanics of the investigations. They chose the main thing from their materials.
Michael Androniko of Tom’s Guide writes that Platinum Games once again failed the battle system, and it is not particularly similar to what we saw in Bayonetta. The battles take place exclusively on the ground, the jump button is not here.
At first, the battle seems simple and straightforward, but everything changes when a robot controlled by the main character enters the battle, to which complex commands can be given. For example, you can use the chain that holds the hero together with the robot to confuse the enemy caught between them.
If the robot is in battle for too long, it overheats: the player will have to master the ability to recall and call it in time. The game has several types of robots with different abilities; access to them can be unlocked.
However, battles are only half the game. The second is the investigation of crimes using an augmented reality device, which allows the hero to reproduce the events that have occurred. The robot also participates in the investigation of crimes: for example, it can quietly eavesdrop on someone else’s conversation. This part of the game elicited the best “detective” episodes from Rocksteady Batman games from the journalist’s memory – according to Androniko, this gameplay is also perfectly implemented in Astral Chain.
The journalist praises the authors for their extremely stylish picture and soundtrack, but scolds them for “stupid” dialogues. He did not care about any of the characters, and their long boring conversations of the critic constantly wanted to miss.
So far, Astral Chain has become a pleasant surprise for me. This is not only a fresh look at the familiar stylish action that we expect from Platinum Games, but also the noir detective adventure that I needed, without realizing it myself.
journalist Tom’s Guide
Kotaku’s Mike Fahey also praises the Astral Chain for the detective component – it aroused almost more interest in him than the battles themselves. According to him, in the new game Platinum Games before you kill someone, you always need to first find out whom and for what reason.
During the investigation, the player needs to look for evidence, interview witnesses and collect information in a bunch of different ways. Then, when all the information is collected, it will be necessary to give the correct answers to several questions – and then the case will be solved. Investigations here are very different – for example, Fahey met several children who began to ask him logic puzzles in the spirit of “one of us always tells the truth, and the others lie.”
The journalist also liked the system of exploring the city using a robot tied to a hero with a chain. One robot has the ability to open secret doors with a sword, the other can shoot special arrows that allow you to manipulate switches – with different “partners” you can find something interesting even in the area in which you have already been.
Fahey was very pleased with all aspects of the game – from the “innovative” combat system to style and setting.
Phil Hornshou from GameSpot detail stopped on the combat system. There is only one attack button in the game, and the variety in battles is achieved by a large number of available weapons.
According to the journalist, the main task of the player is not to perform a complex sequence of strokes and dodges, but to coordinate his actions to the maximum with a robot partner. The battle consists of constant counterattacks: the player dodges, and then sends the robot to attack the enemy who does not have time to orient. Hornshaw calls this two-character control-oriented system “single-player co-op.”
Astral Chain clearly has a lot of cool ideas involved. Platinum Games has changed the usual combat system just so that it felt like something fresh, but did not plunge the players into bewilderment.
Astral Chain launches on Nintendo Switch on August 30th.