It was an age of strife, an age of warring factions, and an age of heroes when peace was merely a dream. Warhammer Chaosbane is a game that deserves an opening from a Conan movie with a deep bass voice over. Chaosbane is an action RPG set in the Warhammer Fantasy world created by Games Workshop. Warhammer began as a tabletop wargame, but over the past couple of decades, the franchise has grown into role-playing games and video games. Chaosbane’s action RPG gameplay is solidly built, and I would not doubt that the full game will be a blast.
The Warhammer universe is a fantasy setting with two times periods the medieval setting of Warhammer and the sci-fi setting of Warhammer 40K. The settings share a lot of similarities such as races, factions, and storylines. Warhammer is a universe built on the idea of never ending warfare. The factions of humans, elves, dwarves, orcs, and chaos spawn as always battling to destroy each other. The overall theme of the game is the strong rule, and the weak are swept aside as fodder for the war. I love the verse in Micah 6:8 which states, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” In Warhammer Chaosbane, I don’t feel like I am acting justly but instead, my character is pursuing their own selfish ends. I also didn’t feel like the human empire my character was fighting for was defending the weak but instead only rewarding the strong.
The enemy of the game is the Chaos gods who seek to the infect and destroy the other kingdoms. Chaos gods are beings of pure evil which feed off the worship and sacrifice of their followers. The followers are referred to as cultist many of whom have been twisted into horrible monsters by their gods. The god of pestilence, Nurgle, is the god whom my characters were fighting in the beta. During one mission, I was tasked with saving some soldiers from being sacrificed to Nurgle. The soldiers were affixed to poles in front of alters which I found disturbing. The corrupting influence of the Chaos gods is a major theme throughout the game.
Chaosbane is a violent game as players should expect from an action RPG game. The blood of the cultists is black. sp I slashed my way through groups of cultists and monsters the floor and walls of the dungeon were blackened by their blood. One mission, I was to capture a creature to learn the location of the chaos shrine. The mage who I handed the creature over to implied that he tortured the creature in order to get information out of him. Later, I was tasked with finding a cultist with tattoos which may be a map to the same shrine. The mage giving me the mission made it clear that I could just cut the tattoo off the corps of the cultist. The overall theme of the game is that any amount of violence against the cultist was ok as long as I was rooting them out.
I became acquainted with the Warhammer universe in the mid-90s as a wargame. I purchased the miniatures, painted them, and started learning the rules and lore of Warhammer. As I learned more about the lore of the game it made me uneasy in my spirit. The themes of the Chaos gods, elf and dwarf deities, and the emperor cult of the humans made me uncomfortable. I eventually got rid of my miniatures and never have invested any more time in the universe.
I’m writing about my experience with Warhammer to fully disclose my view of the universe. I know that I need to be careful not to be hypocritical about my views on Warhammer. I don’t have the same problem with Dungeons and Dragons which some could argue is similar. I will say that in Romans 14:13-14 it says, “Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.” I would not recommend Warhammer Chaosbane to anyone who felt uncomfortable with the themes discussed in this content guide, but I also want to make it clear that my opinion of the Warhammer universe is separate from my views of how this game plays. I believe this game is suitable for older teens and adults.
An action RPG needs to have a lot of action while not bogging the gameplay down with micromanaging the RPG parts such skills and gear. In Warhammer Chaosbane, hordes of monsters surround the player while archers and magic wielders shoot at the player from a distance. The player gets loot and experience from killing the monsters like any RPG, but I never felt burdened by the management of the skill trees or gear during the game.
The action-packed battles of Chaosbane are the best parts of the game to me. I enjoyed charging into the middle of the hordes slashing and hacking my way out again. The classes all have unique play styles that are fun to learn. There are four character classes with unique play styles such as a dwarf slayer, a human fighter, a wood elf ranger, and a high elf mage. The dwarf slayer is mostly a melee tank who could wade into the middle of the fight and chop everything to bits. The human fighter has a shield bash which could stun enemies making them easier to finish off. The elf ranger was the most fun class as she could shoot at enemies from a distance, but she also has a blade attack which can send out spinning blades around her. I could set up in the doorway of a room unleash the spinning blades then pick off the whole room of monsters, none of whom could get near me because of the spinning blades.
Each class has its own abilities and powers that unlock as assigned slots to the buttons on the gamepad. Around level 3, the player will unlock all the slots. What I found interesting about abilities is that as the character levels up the pool of skills point grows. Skills points are used to purchase abilities, but they are not irreversible choices. The skills points get subtracted from the pool when the player chooses abilities. Abilities can be leveled up or down on the fly as the player desires all long as there are enough points in the pool. The abilities can also be moved to any slot/button which allows the player to essentially remap the controls to their own preference.
I played most of the game solo, but there is a multiplayer mode. There are a lot of skills in each class that will buff or heal other party members, and I found that as I played each class, they fit into a role that would complement the other classes. Chaosbane is a game that would be great with four friends on any game night. Warhammer has a lot of other classes in the RPG and wargame to draw from for future classes. There is also a lot of other enemies and factions that were not in the beta that could also be added on later. Warhammer Chaosbane is a fun action RPG that seems to have a good foundation of gameplay. The game will need to keep expanding with more maps and classes in order to keep up with other games in its genre. It will be interesting to see what happens to this game after launch.
Preview code generously provided by Homerun PR.