The Warhammer universe is a magical place. Fans have come to love its inverted tropes, such as ugly elves, and the richness of its lore. For those who love fantasy, there's really nothing quite like it anywhere else and with that in mind, I was excited to hear that Warhammer: Chaosbane was coming to Xbox One. At this point, Warhammer has invaded just about every genre from co-op shooter to tactical strategy, but its bread and butter is certainly the RPG and that's where Chaosbane firmly resides.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to dig into a closed beta for the upcoming game. As soon as I logged in, I was greeted with the grim fantasy world I've come to expect and I was ready to choose my hero. At release, there'll be four characters available representing four classes, but this beta only allowed two: a stalwart swordsman and a goofy wizard. Wizards are always fun, but I was in the mood for bashing some skulls in with my shield so the soldier was the clear choice.
With my selection made, I was doused in a downpour of Warhammer lore, and I mean that in the best way possible. Everything about the presentation fit together just perfectly to evoke a certain battle-hardened despair that few other fantasies can inspire. For lore fanatics, it's set in the Old World and the look fits. There's also a struggle against the forces of Chaos and as we all know, that can get a bit tense. But that's what my sword's for, right?
Chaosbane is an RPG in the same vein as Diablo. Right away as I entered the sewers I was striking at hordes of enemies as they swarmed me. The skill tree shows I'll eventually have a huge number of skills to choose from, though at low level I made do and still enjoyed the thrill of taking down a horde of monsters with my own bare hands. Better yet is the feeling of joy you'll get when a nice loot upgrade spouts out of a fallen corpse and you get that much more powerful. It's familiar, but that's not a bad thing and killing and looting in the Warhammer universe is going to be just what the doctor ordered for many.
As my time with the game came to a close, I was left with a lot to think about and I'm interested to see how the high-level skills and other classes play out. Betas have a way of answering some questions but often creating several more and that's where I am with Chaosbane. It wears its Diablo roots with pride, but more time will tell if it stands out on its own enough, even as I expect some would be happy if it doesn't. The beta period continues and is now live for all players who pre-purchased the game on the Xbox digital store. It'll run all the way through March 13th. I'll see you there!
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