When you think of Italy, you don’t first think of a nation with a great video game culture. This is a reputation we’ve been upholding for some time but, with effort and sweat, the boot is gradually becoming a place full of talented developers. In this scenario, it stands out in particular stormind gamescreators of Remothered Tormented Fathers (2018) and winners of several awards such as Outstanding Italian Company at IVGA (2020).
We are talking about a young team but certainly very active, given that after a couple of years since the previous publication it is almost ready to publish a new game: Batora Lost Haven. Leaving aside the horror of Remothered, the Italian team focuses on the isometric action RPG and takes us on a sci-fi and fantasy journey around the galaxy.
We have had the opportunity to try a demo of Batora Lost Haven and then we tasted all the fundamental components of this adventure, waiting for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Nintendo Switch.
two in the galaxy
Batora Lost Haven opens some time after one arrives catastrophe that devastated the Earth (or a fictionalized version of it, if you prefer). We are Avril, an energetic girl who is too quiet in the face of danger. Her exuberance, however, leads her to discover an ancient power, that of the Sun and the Moon, divinities that grant her unique abilities and entrust her with a great responsibility: to save her planet and the entire universe.
The two entities will conduct April (and a friend of his without powers) around the galaxy on various planets that have been partially devastated by the same catastrophe that has brought our protagonist’s home planet to its knees. The purpose of our chosen one is to reach the core of each world and purify it, to restore balance.
Clearly there is something more mysterious Behind our journey and already in the demo we tried there were hints of antagonists and events more worrying than it might initially seem. We’ll have to wait for the full version for a real trial, as the plot will take us to multiple endings based on our choices, which can be narrowed down to two categories: Conqueror or Defender. For now, we can say that we are intrigued by the underlying idea that is inspired by Batora’s novel The Awakening.
Sun and moon
Speaking instead of the gameplay, as already stated in the opening, Batora Lost Haven is a action role playing game with isometric view. Avril has two different forms of combat: Sun and Moon, designed respectively for melee and ranged combat.
However, each form is effective only against enemies of the same color: this pushes to not focus only on one combat method and makes more dynamic every fight, as we will always have groups of mixed opponents in front of us. Also, as you progress and unlock new moves, you gain the ability to upgrade one form while using the other; this further pushes you to play carefully, eliminating enemies by category and optimizing damage.
the combat moves Subject to a short cooldown after each use, Avril’s include powerful strikes, whirlwinds that pull in enemies, dodges, barriers, and area attacks. There are also moves that can only be activated if she equips certain runes.
These last are the update system by Avril. By simply opening chests, completing quests, or buying them from merchants, we’ll have the chance to get various runes to equip to change the heroine’s stats. Many times each bonus brings with it a penalty (more basic attack but less critical chance, for example) and then we can customize the warrior as we prefer, giving priority to some statistics over others. We think this system will work best in the later stages of the game, when we have a lot of slots and runes to use.
Enhanced or not, Avril still has her opponents to fight. The structure is that of a hack’n’slash quite dynamic: you must always keep moving choosing your position well to avoid being blocked by enemies, who are capable of resetting our life points if you fight by attacking with your head down. Again, the combat becomes more interesting as you unlock skills: at first we can basically only attack, but as you progress you get more and more moves and the variety wins.
Overall, Batora Lost Haven appears to be a quick game And it gets better the further you go. Dungeon exploration is fast, with small rewards and fights every few steps. The variety could be aided by the fact that each planet doesn’t seem to take long to explore and complete.
In addition, between one combat and another, we will also have to face some puzzle challenges, which change the pace of the game by asking us to act with wits instead of arms: the stages tested in the demo were fairly easy, so even those who aren’t comfortable with the genre shouldn’t have a hard time. They are not sections that have particularly impressed us, but perhaps in the full version we will have a little more interesting puzzles. At a minimum, these are also created using Avril’s two forms, which activate different types of switches and platforms.
Batora Lost Haven is an interesting project, with a solid foundation: the combat system is fast and dynamic, while the plot can be intriguing, though we’ll have to understand how varied the multiple endings will be, and whether the different options will add to the repetition. worth. The puzzle sections seemed to be the weakest part at the moment, but the full version will be able to clear all doubts.
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