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Astral Chain

Astral Chain is a Switch game made by Platinum Games that focuses on twin police officers working together solving cases and uncovering a much bigger conspiracy. It was originally meant to be a fantasy style game but Nintendo made Platinum stick with a cyberpunk setting to make it unique among an oversaturated market of fantasy games.

The story takes place in 2078 and humanity is on the verge of extinction after an invasion by beings from another world, known as Chimeras. Arks are made to shelter the survivors from disaster.

You play as a member of the neuron task force and you are assigned a legion to assist you in crime solving and combat. As you progress, you unlock new legion abilities as well as different types of legions. You can customize your character at anytime you like and unlock new outfits for them as the story moves on.

Combat wise you have 3 choices of weapons, a swift but weak baton, long range run and a slow but powerful sword. You can upgrade them along with your legion as you collect materials in the game. Each legion has its own skill tree and special abilities to unlock to assist you in combat and mini puzzle solving. Forming combos allows you to have powerful synch attacks to deal massive damage to enemies as well as interrupting their attacks. Outside of combat, you sometimes do investigative sections where you explore the world and ask around and look for clues to solve crimes. Expect a mini quiz at the end. You can also pick up trash and throw it away in exchange for money. Depending on how well you do you are graded and rewarded based on your performance in missions. You can also buy items from vendors to help you out in combat. The game had quite the number of enemies to fight with their own weaknesses and strengths. The boss fights were really a lot of fun to go through and were very intense.

The amount of world building they went through with setting up the story was really well done and you just wanted to explore it. The control system was straightforward and the user interface was easy to learn and nicely organized and fits the aesthetics. The graphics and artstyle are really stunning and nicely detailed and the world design just looks incredible. The electronica music was also really fitting for the cyberpunk style. The voice acting both sub and dub was alright.

There was a lot of replay value like unlocking new bonuses and discovering spots and challenges you may have missed in your first playthrough. You could also find more powerful materials to upgrade your legion. The cast was interesting with unique designs.

There were some shortcomings. The game had some really strange stealth segments that just ruined the flow of the game but are thankfully few. The technical issues like framerate drops were easy to spot and the visuals are not safe for anyone with eyesight issues. The choice of a silent character especially when they have a story already made for them was a really odd design choice. Otherwise, the cast of the story was interesting enough to keep things going. The motorcycle sections were somewhat clunky and not easy to get used to and they really did not build on what bayonetta set for the motorcycle section in route 666.

Its overall a good game.

It gets 4 out of 5 stars.


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