Warhammer: Chaosbane is a hack-and-slash role-playing adventure, taking place in the regular Warhammer Universe. The title plunges the player into the heart of the "Old World," a continent marked by the "Great War Against Chaos." The Great War is a bloody conflict that has ravaged the "Empire of Men." You can play as a human, a high elf, a wood elf, or a dwarf, and discover iconic locations along the way, complete with Diablo-like multiplayer action.
$80 (opens in new tab)Bottom line: Warhammer: Chaosbane is a good game, but it would've been better had it featured expansive environments.
- Tremendous replayability
- Great visuals
- Locked 60 FPS on Xbox One X
- Great campaign
- Low-resolution on Xbox One X
- Screen tearing on some displays
- Restricted environments
- Confusing special abilities
Warhammer: Chaosbane gameplay and mechanics
Gameplay revolves around traveling to different regions – either alone or with friends – and hunting monsters responsible for the destruction. There are numerous twists and turns, and you'll have to battle hordes of terrifying foes to unravel the mystery.
The boss fights are some of the most memorable moments in the game, as it often pits you against towering creatures. The battle against "The Great Unclean One" gives you a taste of what to expect, but it gets even more challenging from there. Each one of these monsters appears to possess a human, and you'll have to knock down their health bar several times to vanquish them. As you get closer to killing them, they phase change, deploying new moves against you.
The levels before the boss fights can easily be completed on your own if you're playing on normal or hard difficulty. However, if you want to challenge yourself, you'll need to team up with friends.
Cranking up the difficulty offers better gear, but tackling normal enemies becomes a battle for the ages. Therefore, you want other players supporting you, tanking some of the enemies along the way.
Just like other top-down action games, Warhammer: Chaosbane relies on the thumbsticks to control your character. You can easily move around by adjusting the left thumbstick and execute special moves with the right one. The "A," "B," "X," "Y," and other buttons can be assigned to different attacks. The controls are simple yet powerful, and exactly what this game needed on consoles. Maneuvering your fighter feels natural and precise, and undoubtedly took cues from Blizzard's Diablo III.
Warhammer: Chaosbane loot and upgrades
Warhammer: Chaosbane features fair loot drops, that make dungeoneering all the more rewarding. After every mission, you'll want to check your weapon wheel to see which new items are better than the last. The decisions are relatively trivial, and you always feel confident about your choices. You'll either see a positive rating for attack or defense or a negative value. Usually, the gear you find will boost both statistics. However, sometimes you'll come across a legendary item which will require you to favor either attack or defense. Depending on your character type, you'll want to make sure you have the right armor more than anything else.
For example, if you're playing as a warrior – essentially a tank – you'll want a high defense rating because you're always surrounded by enemies. If you're a ranged character, you'll be taking enemies out from afar, so you should focus on boosting attack. Although there is room for different playstyles across each of the four archetypical classes.
Warhammer: Chaosbane also features a lot of replayability. After you complete a region, you can go back and play several scenarios like "Expedition" and "Boss Rush." Expeditions mostly focus on clearing out an area and earning rewards. Boss Rush is all about beating the region's boss again to gain more experience and loot. Both modes are quite a lot of fun, and they're a great way to acquire legendary gear.
Warhammer: Chaosbane environments and visuals
The game features a lengthy campaign, but the levels feel claustrophobic and eventually redundant. Unlike the Diablo series, you mostly go from copy and paste corridor to corridor, fighting hordes of familiar enemies around every turn. Almost all of the missions feature the same layout.
For example, let's say that in "Mission 1," you go from "Area 1" to "Area 2." However, instead of a new region, in "Mission 2," you'll go from Area 2 to Area 1. Warhammer: Chaosbane will simply switch the environment around so that it looks like you're in a different part of a town or castle. While this probably reduced development work, it can be quite jarring to encounter the same map for the tenth time.
Warhammer: Chaosbane looks great as it features natural lighting, excellent monster design, and imposing gothic structures. It also runs at a locked 60 frames per second (FPS) on Xbox One X. It's unclear if it's Xbox One X Enhanced or simply features an unlocked frame rate across all console platforms. The beta client was listed as Xbox One X Enhanced, but the final build doesn't have that designation.
We tested out the game on PlayStation 4 Pro and encountered several stutters. Unfortunately, the game appears to only be running at 1080p resolution on both consoles. This gives it a blurry appearance on 4K displays, but given the fact that it's 60 FPS, it looks great in motion. It would've been nice to see a moderate resolution boost to 1440p like Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr. Warhammer: Chaosbane also features a "Variable Refresh Rate" on certain displays in order to combat screen tearing.
Warhammer: Chaosbane final thoughts
Overall, Warhammer: Chaosbane is a good game, but it would've been better had it featured expansive environments. The Xbox One X support is also lacking, considering the fact the similarly-styled Diablo III can achieve 4K 60 FPS, it feels as though the developers could've pushed this title further on Microsoft's new console.
Ever since Diablo Immortal was announced – much to the disappointment of long-time fans – gamers have been looking for similar experiences which nail the combat and addictive loot-based gameplay. Even with its problems, Warhammer: Chaosbane is a supremely satisfying adventure and an excellent addition to the genre, and represents a strong basis for further updates and improvements.
Save the world
Hack and slash
In a world ravaged by war and dominated by magic, you are the last hope for the Empire of Man against the Chaos hordes. Playing solo or with up to four players in local or online co-op, choose a hero from four character classes with unique and complementary skills, and prepare for epic battles wielding some of the most powerful artifacts of the Old World.
Excellent and affordable Xbox accessories
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PowerA Play & Charge Kit for Xbox One (opens in new tab) ($15 at Amazon)
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Asher reviewed Warhammer: Chaosbane on an Xbox One X console with a copy provided by with publisher.
Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.
Well, that's sold me, 60 frames and a battle against a Great Unclean One.
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