The next generation of consoles is here, and that means fresh and shiny new games for these new consoles. Or at least, older games with “ultimate” or “complete” editions released with shiny new graphics updates. That’s the case for previous released Warhammer: Chaosbane, which comes to the Xbox Series X|S with its complete Slayer Edition which includes new characters, more levels, and a graphics overhaul to bring it to standard for the next generation—sort of.
You can check out my original review of Chaosbane here . In it, I make the argument that Warhammer: Chaosbane is closer to a Diablo clone than it is its own brand of action role-playing game (ARPG). I think I even went so far as to call it akin to an unofficial expansion for Diablo III—just one that isn’t as polished as Blizzard’s beloved ARPG. The Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition is two more episodes of Chaosbane, with a couple of new player classes thrown in. But this time, I had the opportunity to play it all on Microsoft’s newest flagship console, the Xbox Series X. Does it live up to the next gen hype? Not really.
First of all, despite being a Diablo III doppelganger, Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition didn’t get a cool dodge button for its console release—old news, since it was ported a year ago, but this is my first go at the console version. Not having a dodge is too bad, because I think that was a brilliant move by Blizzard to add more action to the ARPG genre. But that doesn’t mean Chaosbane is lacking on console—in fact, my experience with Chaosbane on my Series X is pretty much on par with my PC experience. It runs great, and feels satisfying to play—with ARPGs somehow feeling so much different in controller play than mouse and keyboard play to me, I’m glad Chaosbane’s controller setup is satisfying. But again, old news. What is surprising, to me, is that the Xbox Series X lags a bit behind graphics-wise. Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition just isn’t as pretty I was expecting. Colors look flat and muddy on my admittedly non-HDR TV. I was hoping one of my Series X games would really wow me, but Chaosbane Slayer Edition is not the one.
The Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition packs in several paid and free DLCs. In this complete Slayer Edition you not only get the four original classes—the Imperial Soldier, High-elf Mage, Slayer, and Wood-elf scout—you also get the more recently added Dwarven Engineer and Witch Hunter. The Dwarven Engineer uses her flamethrower to roast her enemies, while smashing them with her hammer and shooting with her close-range pistol. She can vent heat with her archetype ability—which she can direct at her foes to do damage. Also included is the Witch Hunter, which reminds me of the Demon Hunter from Diablo III with his ability to spin shoot ranged weapons and multitude of traps at his disposal. His archetype ability allows him to switch between ranged and melee abilities. These two new characters are interesting, and manage to stand out from the original ensemble.
The Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition adds two chapters to the base game’s four with “The Tomb Kings” and “The Forges of Nuln.” Don’t expect a Reaper of Souls type expansion—these chapters are relatively short, but do add more content, with few recycled enemies. If they were standalone, I might tell you to wait for them to be discounted, but as an addition to the main game I can’t really complain.
Wahammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition is a good entry point into this action role-playing game. Back in my early 20s, I used to while away hours playing co-op console action role-playing games that were mostly crap, but fun to play with friends. That’s exactly what Warhammer: Chaosbane is, and with up to three of your friends in co-op, it’s the best it can be.
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