Having a successful Kickstarter was only the beginning for Battle Chasers: Nightwar. I went hands-on with the game during PAX East this year at the THQ Nordic booth and fell in love with the game’s classic JRPG feel. The latest build of the game showcased the game’s overworld, combat mechanics, and a previously unseen dungeon. The turn-based role-playing game is based on the graphic novel of the same name written by Joe Madureira. The game’s narrative won’t rely on previous knowledge of the series, so don’t feel disheartened if you never heard of the series previously.
Set across an expansive overworld, you’ll find non-playable characters, or NPCs, to acquire new quests, or if you are lucky, you’ll come across a rare boss spawn. As the six playable heroes rest at any of the Inn locations, things will change across the overworld. There are no random encounters, groups of bandits and other enemy types will move locations while you rest.
The biggest takeaway from the presentation was the new dungeon. Having played the game a few months back, I wasn’t bothered by the hands-off showing of the game. The game is highly stylized, well animated and the characters seem to pop off screen. Once you reach a dungeon, you are free to walk around with any of the characters in your party. Each one has different skills to handle various situations, such as unlocking treasure chests or locating and disarming traps. Being randomly generated, you’ll won’t be able to memorize layouts or enemy locations. Every time you set foot into the dungeon you are giving the choice of difficulty. The rewards yielded upon completion improve, so you’ll want to play through a dungeon more than once. One of the more interesting mechanics found in the dungeon I saw was a mysterious cube. If you place an item into the cube, it will disappear, reappearing someplace else in the dungeon. If you are able to find where it is hidden, you’ll acquire a much better version of that item. Fail to find the item, die, or complete the dungeon without finding it and you lose the item.
E3 2017 also marked the first time I was shown the game’s deep crafting mechanics. Crafting everything from weapons to armor pieces costs a set amount of materials, however, if you find yourself with a surplus, you can use it to increase the likelihood of crafting a superior version of that item. It is entirely percentage based, so with a bit of luck; you can craft rare versions of items. As previously mentioned, the game employs a turn-based combat system, allowing you to strategize your moves ahead of time with the move order on the side of the screen. It is based on stats, such as speed, similar to what was used in Final Fantasy X. I mention the Final Fantasy series as Battle Chasers: Nightwar also has a limit break meter, although it is called Burst. These flashy, cinematic special attacks can push you over the edge during an encounter. There are three levels of bursts, and since the meter is shared across your party, you can choose who to use it on.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar is the perfect blend of old-school JPG with modern quality of life changes that should help elevate the game to one of the best role-playing games of the year. It is releasing on October 3, 2017, for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.