I have been excited for Astral Chain since I first saw it. The style, combat and Platinum Games were enough for me! What else do you need? My expectations were high, so when I got my copy, I was nervous? Will it live up to the hype? Is it is as good as Bayonetta 2 and Nier? I couldn’t wait to play AC and give my impressions.
The combat is unique and fun. You have two characters to control, you and your legion. Thankfully, the control set up is simple. You use ZL to call your legion, and ZR is your attack button. Your legion attacks on its own while you use the control stick to do different moves (rotating your stick will help chain your enemies up, so you can attack without them counter-attacking). It does take a while to get used to, but once you do, it flows like water. There are lots of layers to the combat, but the game adds it bit by bit instead of pouring it on. This helps the player adjust to the complex moves in the game.
Graphics don’t matter to me, but Astral Chain is a looker. Gorgeous colors, shinning textures, great details, and a solid 30fps will have your eyes exploding. The environments are incredible. I’ve never seen anything like them in a game before. The world is huge. It isn’t an open world, but open-ended. I am not a digital foundry, but this game shows what the Switch can do when the right developer gets ahold of it.
One part of this game that doesn’t get enough praise is the music. Holy cow the music is incredible. This is one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard. Thumping techno, rebellious punk, and glaring rock will fill your ears with original sounds and beats. The opening cinematic plays out like an Anime with a wonderful track called Savior. I would buy the soundtrack if it was available.
Some people may not like detective work, but I love it. Its a nice break from the action, and gives you a chance to use your IRIS which helps you solve cases and fight enemies. The cases you solve can be pretty simple, but they’re engaging and fun. Sometimes you have to chase down a civilian who broke the law. You never kill anyone, but you can use your legion to catch them and arrest them. This adds variety to the gameplay.
I thought Fire Emblem Three Houses was game of the year, but along comes Astral Chain. This is one of the best action games I’ve ever played. It is my favorite Platinum Games game, even over Nier and Bayonetta 2. The variety, size, graphics, combat, gameplay, and music are mind-blowing. I cannot get over how good this game is. I will be back in 2 weeks with my final review. I am 15 hours in and I am not finished, so it is a big game, and I am having a blast. Get this game for the Switch. If you don’t own a Switch? What’s wrong with you? Get one, and get this game now!