Beware archmages secretly ruling on deserted islands
‘Battle Chasers: Nightwar’ brings to life an old comic book in an appealing way
Battle Chasers: Nightwar
Developed by Airship Syndicate
Designed by Ryan Stefanelli
Rated T for Teen
Upon startup, Battle Chasers: Nightwar presents a beautiful animation reminiscent of comic books. The motions are smooth and the colors are brilliant; one thing I did not expect was the well-done voice-acting in an RPG-style game like this. Each character is made all the more distinct by its corresponding voice actor. Their personalities shine in all the nuances, like in the grisly, stern voice of Garrison and the wiry, suspicious drawl of Quall the alchemist.
The general storyline is relatively simple. The story stars Gully, a teenage girl, whose missing father, Aramus, was a heroic warrior known for the invention of his powerful gauntlets, which were passed down to Gully once he disappeared. Upon acquisition of these gauntlets, many began chasing after Gully in search of her new power, and the young teen was forced to flee and fight for her life until she met Garrison, an ally and friend of Aramus. Garrison swore to protect Gully as soon as her father disappeared. Along the way, they recruited Knolan, the wizened wizard, his mysterious partner Calibretto the war golem, and the finicky rogue Red Monika.
The gang starts off the game in search of a hidden island rumored to be brimming with mana. They’re attacked by airships of bandits as the island comes into view and they’re separated in the midst of the chaos. Calibretto (whose personality reminds me fondly of Alphonse from Fullmetal Alchemist) protects Gully and Garrison during the crash. Meanwhile, Knolan and Monika are nowhere to be found. The aforementioned trio thus set out to look for their missing friends and run into the controversial topic of mana along the way. The power of mana is great, yet those who are willing to acquire it are even more dangerous. The inhabitants of the island also prefer to not acknowledge the existence of the dwindling sources of mana.
Gameplay-wise, Battle Chasers plays very nicely. The battle mechanics are easy to use and simple enough to understand. The fights are turn-based and evocative of old school Final Fantasy. The motion of the characters in-game are fluid. The design and artwork is beautiful and pleasing to the eye. They even include the small detail of changing character appearance when you change certain pieces of equipment.
Another lovely part of the game is that the soundtrack establishes the ambiance of the game and helps immerse the player into the game. Ruins are serene and peaceful (unless littered with horrifyingly large spiders), while the arid Rushlands are a place to be wary of. The bits of reading and un-voiced narration involved also help contribute to the feel of the game’s world. They reveal concurrent stories of other smaller characters, political dealings that affect the world, and important history and lore that shape the ideologies and beliefs surrounding the mana-infested island.
Overall, Battle Chasers: Nightwar highlights an unoriginal plot, but it makes up for it with stunning visuals and hours of easy, addictive gameplay. I recommend this game to RPG-lovers and casual players alike, though the price tag attached may be a bit loaded for some.