The first hack-and-slash set in the Warhammer Fantasy Battles world, Warhammer: Chaosbane thrusts players into the heart of the Old World, a continent scarred by the Great War Against Chaos – a bloody conflict that has ravaged the Empire of Man. You can play as a Human, High Elf, Wood Elf, Dwarf, Dwarf Engineer or Witch Hunter as you explore the iconic areas of the Warhammer Fantasy Battles world, which has captivated millions of fans worldwide.
To a Diablo III tragic, this is a major drawback. For years we've been spoiled with a wealth of generated content that keeps the hack 'n' slash fresh. Likewise, my seven characters have been assailed by a cast of monsters so diverse it's like the original Necronomicon grew into a Stephenie Meyer-esque series of novels. In comparison, Chaosbane offered me four heroes and what felt like the first page or two of a demon brochure.Click here for our full, in-depth Warhammer: Chaosbane review.
Let's take a look at the player characters first, none of which can be customised (not even gender variants). I personally went with the wood she-elf scout who deals in high-mobility arrowslinging and can also spawn in Groot familiars. An online co-op buddy of mine went the route of a High-elf mage who loves to teleport, burn things, and deliver AOE pain from afar. One of my sons stepped into the armour of an Imperial Soldier who wades in close and is adept at defense / counter-attacks. Last but not least, we had some online rando dipping in and out as a Dwarven Slayer – an AOE maestro who's all about that bleed effect. Decent selection, all in all, but I sure did want more choice.
Elessa the Wood Elf is a scout who proved herself in Magnus' army thanks to her mastery of long-distance combat and exceptional mobility.
Elessa has an arsenal of spells based on persistent damage, able to injure and poison a large group of enemies. She can also summon Forest spirits known as Dryads to help her in battle. Even when surrounded, her wide range of skills lets her turn the situation to her advantage: spells to slow down the hordes, dodge, or entangle.
Looking at it’s inspiration, Diablo 3, no matter your opinion on the game’s longevity – the variety between each Act that extends to how each location leads into the next adds context and a framework for the action. Warhammer: Chaosbane, in the playable Chapter presented, offers a small hub area and missions that have you venturing into sewers with the same tile-set and map over and over and over. It gets to the point where you complete a story-beat only to be told to head back down to the same sewer three times in a row in the same layout with the same monsters. The entire world feels like a medieval castle and church built on top of a sewer system with nowhere else to go.