Astral Chain is an ambitious, over-the-top action game that succeeds in making you feel like the main character in a Japanese anime. With its unique battle system, and charming word-building, it’s an must-play for Nintendo Switch owners.
You are a rookie police officer in Neuron, a special task force that deals with monstrous creatures from another dimension. To do this, you are partnered with five powerful creatures called “Legions” which have different attack styles and unique skill sets. There’s a swordsman, a tank, an archer, a beast and a brawler; you can level them up and acquire new skills as the game progresses.
During combat, you control both your avatar and the Legion at the same time, and it’s this one-of-a-kind battle system that makes each fight an exciting experience. Fighting a boss enemy that has powerful melee attacks? Switch to the archer Legion and hang back to shoot arrows from a safe distance. Your options are endless, but require good timing and coordination to use each Legion in the best way.
The boss designs are another highlight of the game. They are nasty, aggressive, and each has a unique gimmick that you have to figure out. There are also some light platforming sections as well, which will require a bit of puzzle-solving to advance.
Additionally, the cell-shaded graphics are beautifully rendered, and the game runs very smoothly.
However, the optional missions are a big letdown. They are tedious, silly and time-consuming, and include dull time-wasters such as bringing an ice cream to a kid and looking for a lost dog.
Another big issue is that, though the voice-acting for all the non-playable characters is stellar, the main character never utters a single word. Not once through the entire game. Your avatar only nods or shakes their head silently during climatic moments, and it makes you feel like you’re playing a character without a soul.
But these two issues – long, boring optional missions, and a voiceless protagonist – are the only real problems in the game.
If you enjoy great action games with deep combat systems, you will really love the revolutionary dual-control battles in Astral Chain.