Astral Chain - Switch

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Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Beat 'Em Up: Hack and Slash
Shoot 'Em Up
Media: Cartridge Arcade origin:No
Developer: Platinum Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (GB)
Released: 30 Aug 2019 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 16+
Features: Handheld Mode, TV Mode, Tabletop Mode
Accessories: Nintendo Switch Pro Controller


Platinum Games, famed and beloved for crazy all-out action games like Bayonetta and Vanquish, are back with a Nintendo Switch exclusive offering. Fans might be surprised to note, however, that while there's definitely a heavy dose of out-there action in Astral Chain, the game also borrows a little from surprising contemporary sources.

You play as a police officer working his or her (you can customise gender, as well as a host of other options) beat, but you're doing it in a floating city world that's still reeling from a supernatural threat called 'Chimera'. The attack has literally scarred the city, leaving it coated in pulsing red emanations from the astral plane that you must investigate and, occasionally, destroy.

Astral Chain's core gameplay involves pulling in the help of Legion, a kind of living weapons that will appear when you tap ZL. It's tethered to you through, well... some sort of Astral Chain. You control it with your left analog stick and your own with your right, creating an effect that's reminiscent of Wonderful 101. There are different types of Legion with different strengths and weaknesses and the combination of your own abilities with that of Legion creates an incredible number of combat options.

When you're not getting involved in big, fast-paced action, however, you'll be solving crimes by talking to NPCs and helping them out in various side quests. It's a change of pace for Platinum and gives the game much more of the feel of an action RPG than some of the studio's previous titles.

Don't worry, though, there's still enough brain-exploding combat to make your head spin. Oh yes.