Let me get this out there right away: I have no experience with Warhammer. Thankfully, you don’t really need to be acquainted with the medieval fantasy war game in order to enjoy Chaosbane.
My main interest in Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition comes from its co-op option. In fact, I played through the entire game in co-op. So if you intend to play this solo, your experience may be different from mine, although likely not much.
Single-player campaign and co-op
This game is a pretty standard dungeon crawler ARPG in the vein of Diablo. You pick a character class, battle against mobs, go on quests, and defeat massive bosses. Along the way you collect gold and loot, suit up with the best armor, and upgrade your characters’ stats with a skill tree. You can also “bless” your weapons and gear to improve things like damage and armor.
The game is quite easy. I have it on the max difficulty setting and have only died once the entire game – and my partner revived me. The difficulty does not seem to scale all that well based on your experience points or gear. Some of the bosses only took me a couple of minutes to beat which is disappointing since they at least look pretty badass.
In co-op, loot automatically goes to the correct player. So you don’t have to worry about picking up the wrong gear. A captain’s breastplate will go to a soldier while a staff will go to a mage. Collected gold is also split evenly. These may seem like small things, but they’re actually a pretty big deal. It definitely improves the experience.
The biggest problem that I have with the game is that you have to retread the same maps over and over again. It becomes quite annoying. Even though I otherwise enjoyed the game, I forced myself to finish it. Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition takes grinding to a whole new level.
Tower of Chaos
Once you complete the campaign, there are a few things that you can do. One of them is the Tower of Chaos, a gauntlet where you (and a friend, if you prefer) fight one floor at a time. Each floor has hordes of enemies for you to clear and sometimes has special objectives like killing enemies near fire pits. Once you clear a floor, you can either claim the chest in the room as a reward – ending your run – or continue to the next floor for better loot.
In addition to the Tower of Chaos, there is also a Boss Rush that lets you replay boss fights. Slightly more interesting is the Relic Hunt. Again, you retread old levels here, but it throws in some occasional limited-time events and loot. Overall, though, I don’t see much reason to play this game beyond its roughly 15 to 20-hour campaign.
Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition takes full advantage of the power of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The game runs at 60 frames per second in 4K resolution on next-gen consoles. I did not get a chance to play the original game on PS4 or Xbox One, so I do not have a point of comparison.
What I can say is that the Slayer Edition looks fairly impressive and runs smoothly for the most part. The screen is often packed with hordes of enemies. Only later in the game when waves of mobs start to come at you does the frame rate start to take a hit. Even then, it’s not a massive drop.
It’s also worth noting that the load times are short. Again, my frame of reference to the original on last-gen consoles is looking at YouTube videos, but I can say that the Xbox Series X loads levels in just a few seconds.
Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer’s Edition is a standard run-of-the-mill dungeon crawler that’s quite similar to Diablo. It features strong combat and good graphics on next-gen consoles, but you retread the same areas way too frequently – so much so that it becomes tiresome.
My guess is that time and/or budget constraints prevented them from creating more original levels. Putting the time and effort into that would have elevated this from an average to an above-average ARPG. Most developers would love to work on a project until it’s finished to their satisfaction, but that’s often not how this industry works, unfortunately.
That being said, I saw this through to completion. If you’re looking for a decent couch co-op game and happen to be a fan of dungeon crawlers, look no further than Warhammer: Chaosbane. It fills that niche as part of the PS5 and Xbox Series X launch lineup.
Game Freaks 365 received a free review copy.