Warhammer: Chaosbane tries to bring the Diablo formula to the Old World, but a fresh coat of paint can't cover the problems with the game.
Warhammer: Chaosbane is a hack and slash action RPG that takes place in the world of the Warhammer tabletop miniature game. The game takes the tried and true formula of slaying countless monsters in order to steal their treasure and transplants it to the world of Warhammer, but can a shift of setting help Warhammer: Chaosbane stand out from the competition?
It's impossible to talk about Warhammer: Chaosbane without mentioning the fact that it's heavily inspired by the Diablo series. Warhammer: Chaosbane is essentially a less ambitious and much shorter version of one of the Diablo games, with little incentive to keep playing once the brief story campaign is over.
The story of Warhammer: Chaosbane is set during the events that led to the reunification of the Empire of Man. A hero named Magnus managed to unite the warring human societies against the hordes of Chaos and formed a new Empire that could stand united against the darkness. Warhammer: Chaosbane involves an assassination plot against Magnus' life which results in him being placed under a curse. The player must team up with Teclis the High-elven sorcerer in order to save Magnus and prevent his alliance from falling apart.
The player can choose between one of four characters with unique abilities - an imperial soldier named Konrad Vollen, a High-elven mage named Elontir, a dwarven slayer named Bragi Axebiter, and a Wood-elf archer named Elesssa. Each of the four characters possesses a unique fighting style and players can form them into adventuring parties using the game's online co-op features.
The main problem with Warhammer: Chaosbane is the lack of variety in the kind of enemies that you face. A game like Diablo III will throw enemies with unique capabilities and powers at the player in order to keep them guessing and forcing them to switch tactics in order to succeed. Warhammer: Chaosbane repeatedly throws the exact same kinds of mobs at the player in each stage, which means that there is never a reason to experiment with their powers, as 90% of the foes in the game are mindless mobs that rush at the player from the front. There is also little incentive to seek out treasure, as the majority of the loot in the game only offers boring stat increases, as the unique treasure is saved for the post-game.
Warhammer: Chaosbane suffers greatly in terms of its design and visuals. The game would not look out of place on the PlayStation 3, but the quality of graphics would have been excusable if the character designs were interesting. The Warhammer tabletop game is filled with interesting monster designs, yet the foes in Warhammer: Chaosbane are so incredibly generic that they could appear in pretty much any fantasy game. The soundtrack is barely present and does little to help elevate the quality of the game.
The level design in Warhammer: Chaosbane is also shoddy, with each of the four worlds using the same repeating designs for each dungeon. The player will quickly grow familiar with the same generic sewers, ruined cities, and snowy forest templates that appear. The only interesting stage design is the Chaos Realm in the final chapter, which is also the shortest part of the game. The hub areas that appear between each stage are also small and uninspired, with little NPC interaction outside of quest-givers and shops.
The only interesting villains Warhammer: Chaosbane is the four bosses, which have the best designs and actually require tactics and a thoughtful approach in order to beat them. It's just a shame that the same level of thought wasn't put into the other enemies of the game.
The story campaign in Warhammer: Chaosbane is short, as it takes around ten to fifteen hours to complete. The post-game mostly involves hunting for sets of high-level gear and items that can upgrade them. The game feels bare in terms of its content, especially with so many other competitors on the market that offer far more content for their price tag.
Warhammer: Chaosbane might be of interest to those who are fans of the franchise, or to those who are looking for a simpler version of Diablo, but there just isn't enough interesting content in Warhammer: Chaosbane to recommend it to anyone else.
Warhammer: Chaosbane is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A digital code for the PlayStation 4 version of the game was provided to Screen Rant for the purposes of this review.