Many early reviews for Astral Chain are praising the game as another solid title from PlatinumGames. Originally announced in February, Astral Chain is an action title with an emphasis on its unique combat with the "Legion." The reveal trailer captivated audiences with its stylistic, anime-inspired visuals, intense combat, and story.
PlatinumGames is a fan favorite developer among gamers. The company has developed the successful Bayonetta 1 & 2, and is currently hard at work on the third installment. Metal Gear fans know PlatinumGames for its work on the action title, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. One of the company's most popular titles is NieR: Automata. Released in 2017, NieR: Automata was highly acclaimed for its visceral combat, intriguing characters, and storyline. Fans can see a lot of inspiration from NieR: Automata in PlatinumGames' latest title, Astral Chain.
Those interested in picking up Astral Chain this week will be pleased to know the game is garnering positive reception. A number of reviews are praising the game's combat, story, and its overall quality as a new Nintendo IP. Currently, the game has a Metacritic score of 88. OpenCritic concurs with this, as its top critic average is 88, and its recommend percent is an impressive 98. If the reviews to come continue this positive trend, PlatinumGames could see Astral Chain become one of its most respected titles. Check out excerpts from critic reviews of Astral Chain below.
Polygon - Chris Plante
What begins as a dark meditation on collecting pocket monsters gradually becomes a blunt, but effective, soap opera about life in shitty times. Astral Chain is about the urge to inspire good, not just by hurting the enemy, but through helping those around you. It’s also wonderfully welcoming, an action game for everybody that provides an escape to a world on fire where good people can do right.
Forget Game of the Year. Astral Chain is a game for this moment.
GameSpot: 8/10 - Michael Higham
Astral Chain's shortcomings don't overshadow what it does best. It's an incredible execution of a fresh take on Platinum Games' foundation, standing among the stylish-action greats. And its own anime-inspired swagger makes fights all the more exhilarating. You'll come to appreciate the calmer moments in between that add variety and offer a second to relax before jumping back into the superb combat. After 40 hours with Astral Chain, I'm still eager to take on the tougher challenges, and I'll be grinning from ear to ear as I hit all the right moves, one after the other, while watching it all unfold.
IGN 9/10 - Steven Petite
Astral Chain is another excellent game from Platinum, and one of the best action games of this generation. Period. Fighting off alien invaders with a Legion robot by your side proves to be even more fun than it looks, which is saying a lot. Even outside of combat, the world and its characters brim with life – other than the main protagonist, that is. Excellent pacing artfully balances tense action with enticing exploration to create a deeply satisfying and charmingly quirky ride.
Kotaku - Mike Fahey
I came into Astral Chain expecting a nice action game with a pleasant anime aesthetic, a a scoop of ice cream with a cherry on top. Platinum Games gave me a giant sundae piled high with whipped cream and sliced fruit and chocolate sauce. And nuts. Pecans. Love those pecans. What I wanted is there, and it’s good. There’s just so much more, and I love it all.
Vice Games - Austin Walker
It’s not that there are no original ideas in Astral Chain, no bright spots or brief respites from the boring loop. It’s that for nearly 30 hours, the ones that show up are either underdeveloped or else go uncultivated in favor of something fundamentally rehashed and reheated.
Although not universally positive in its reception, it seems the general thought here is that Astral Chain succeeds in many areas. The combat is unique and fun as the announcement trailer teased. Not only that, but both IGN and GameSpot agree that the "quieter" moments in-between the action are effective. One consistent negative among reviews is that the developer making the player-chosen protagonist silent was a detractor, considering other characters (including the protagonist's sibling) have full speaking lines. While having a silent protagonist among speaking characters is nothing new in gaming, it seems like an odd choice for PlatinumGames. Still, that doesn't seem to be big enough of a detractor to ruin the overall experience.
As a whole, Astral Chain appears to be a must-play for PlatinumGames' fans, anime fans, action fans, or perhaps just most gamers in general. Combat seems to be surrounded by a world with a stylistic look and engaging storyline. Although the protagonist may lack depth based on some reviews, the game's overall storyline should be able to make up for it. Although the title probably won't be as iconic as Bayonetta or NieR: Automata, Astral Chain looks to go down as a notable new Nintendo IP.
Astral Chain will be released on August 30 exclusively for Nintendo Switch.