Looking Back @ Warhammer: Chaosbane

I just finished Warhammer: Chaosbane, so here’s my opinions on the game. Was it any good? How did it play? Let’s jump in and take a look!

Warhammer: Chaosbane

Anyone who knows me will be able to tell you that I love most of the Warhammer games. I’m a bigger fan of 40k than fantasy, but it’s a universe that I find really interesting. When Chaosbane appeared as part of a Humble Bundle, it had already been on my Steam wishlist for a long time. So it just made sense for me to give it a try.

Since I play Bardin in Vermintide, I thought I’d go for the dwarf here too. The berserker class is exactly my bag.

I’m not sure that’s appropriate clothing for this environment…

It’s Hammer Time

The first thing I noticed was that it looks good and runs well on my machine. I’m stuck on a GTX 1060 until the current GPU stock shortages pass. But my frame rate was high and consistent, which is always a relief with newer games.

I really wish ARPGs would let you use WASD for controls, but Chaosbane doesn’t. It’s just like Diablo with mouse only movement. The combat is similar too, with none of the trash enemies really putting up a fight. But I expected that, since churning through mobs is a part of the genre.

Quick In & Out

The second thing I noticed was that the missions are surprisingly short. I was playing solo on Normal difficulty (at first), but even then I was done with each one in just a few minutes. There’s a lot of dialogue between missions (like a LOT) so a lot of the time it takes longer to get the next mission than it does to complete it. I found that a bit annoying.

I don’t know if this is just the best build ever, but that 1337 DoT can’t hurt!

On top of that there’s the running back and forward. You get a quest from someone, then you need to run through a hub area to get to a dungeon entrance (there’s no combat here, and only flavour dialogue). Then when the mission is over, you need to run from the dungeon exit back to the quest-giver to receive the next one – and repeat. There’s no point having a large map with nothing to do in it. It felt to me like this was only done to pad play time. And since I completed the campaign solo in under 10 hours, I can see why they might have wanted to.

Too Easy?

I might have made a broken or OP build, but I barely felt like the game put up any challenge. So I bumped the difficulty up to Hard (I think there’s 2 more above that though) to see if anything changed – it didn’t. I was never in any danger from the trash enemies and even the bosses hardly scratched me. With the item drops I got and the build I put together, I was healing faster than anything could damage me. And even if a boss took my health down a chunk, I could use an ability to speed up my attacks and bump my lifesteal. I reckon I’d need to actually try to make the game hard.

This colourful chap is the final boss, but I never felt like I was in real danger.

Levelling up is super fast too, although the levels themselves don’t seem to do much. You earn skill points that can be spent on a pretty substantial skill tree (which for me was axe-shaped). The cool part about that skill tree is that you won’t earn enough to unlock everything, so you need to make some decisions about what stats and abilities you want to enhance. But you can also reset and respec at any time, so there’s no real long-term commitment.

Gear is way more important than levels. It follows the standard Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic style of table – and I only saw one Epic level item in my time. Unfortunately in my playthrough, I got some really good Rare stuff that I hardly ever wanted to replace. Do I want 500hp extra or to keep my lifesteal? Do I want extra armour or higher damage over time? When I made my accidentally indestructible build, it stopped being worth picking up items at all – which is a bit of a problem with a heavy looter game like this.

Was It Worth It?

I think I’d like to try Chaosbane with friends on the highest difficulty, just to see what it’s like. Maybe that’s what it’s designed for. Unfortunately I can’t do that, since nobody I know has it. So that’s all theory. I didn’t dislike the game, but with the repetitive nature of the missions (and the fact I was playing solo) by the time the story was wrapping up I was ready for it to be over. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t as good as I feel it should be. I’d have high hopes if they announced a sequel though!

Where to Buy Warhammer: Chaosbane

Steam | Humble | Fanatical | GOG

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Check out my full list of First Look videos, Quick Looks and other Looking Back retrospectives!