Battle Chasers: Nightwar - PC

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Battle Chasers: Nightwar (PC)
Also for: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC, Mac
Viewed: 3D Isometric, Scrolling Genre:
Adventure: Role Playing
Media: Download (also on DVD) Arcade origin:No
Developer: Airship Syndicate Soft. Co.: Airship Syndicate
Publishers: Nordic Games (GB)
Released: 3 Oct 2017 (GB)


From the moment Joe Madureira's Battle Chasers debuted as a comic back in 1998, it looked ripe for turning into a videogame. The manga-infused visuals and over-the-top character designs, with their strong visual hooks, are the stuff all sorts of action-based games are made of. The series wasn't long-lived (it ended on a cliffhanger in 2001, and fans are still waiting for a resolution) but it's fondly remembered, and as the reason for its impromptu end was Joe Mad heading off to make games, it's only right and proper that we're finally getting this steampunk-tinged fantasy RPG.

The most striking thing about the game is its beautiful hand-drawn visuals. If you're not a comics fan but they look familiar, that might be because you played Darksiders from Joe Mad's former studio, Vigil Games. A number of team members from the studio have gone on to make Nightwar with Joe, so if you enjoyed its rich visuals and dungeon crawling exploration, you're in the right place.

One key difference, however, is that Battle Chasers: Nightwar uses a turn-based combat system that will be familiar to JRPG fans. It comes with a couple of innovations, however. For one, there's a mana overcharge. Mana can be used to activate a character's special abilities, and giving the mana bar an overcharge that occurs in combat but then fades afterwards is a way of encouraging players to use those special powers instead of hoarding mana. There's also a separate special attack bar that can be built up during combat and deployed by any member of your team, adding an extra layer of strategy in how you deploy your resources.

This might not quite be the end of the Battle Chasers story that fans have been waiting for, but it certainly celebrates everything that's great about both Joe Mad's vision and the RPG genre.