Two months ago, sitting in a room for the preview of JOIN the Indie, we watched in fascination the presentation of Batora: Lost Haven. Not only because we were struck by the desire to get back into the game of Stormind Games, fresh from the success of the survival horror Remothered: Tormented Fathers, but above all because the title they had been working on for some time seemed to be right in our strings. In short, an action RPG, with a well-characterized heroine, planets to discover, powers to be exploited, runes to equip… She really had all the credentials, at least on paper.
But to practice? Well, to find out we put our hand to a full-bodied demo that did nothing but confirm our initial positive feelings.
Avril, the Keeper of Balance
The first few minutes of the game will be spent in London.
How is London?
We said “planets to discover” so why are we on Earth, in one of the most popular and populated cities in the world?
Well, why Avril lives here. Or rather, she survives here. In fact, a mysterious calamity has completely disfigured the city and our young heroine tries to do everything possible to stay alive, flanked by her best friend. Mila.
But there is something unusual about Avril. She hears voices. And she at some point she decides to listen to them, being dragged through the streets of London, on the subway and finally in a mysterious place where she will make the acquaintance of two entities, Sun and moon, that will transform it into Guardian of Balance. His task, from this moment on, will be to exploit the powers granted by them to be able to restore harmony in the universesaving the Earth and all the other planets upset by the actions of the previous Keeper of Balance.
The task is certainly not the simplest, especially for a young woman who a moment before was stealthily moving through the streets of the British capital and a second later finds herself on another planet, with the responsibility of saving not one but many other worlds. . Avril, however, does not hold back. She faces her difficult path with courage and irony, accompanied by Mila, who seemed to us a valid and well-characterized shoulder, and by the suggestions of the Sun and the Moon.
Dualism at the center of everything
Batora: Lost Haven it’s a action RPG and so yes, the action is a key part of this title. But it is not the only one.
In the course of the game in fact Avril will be called upon to make a series of decisions that will have repercussions about her, about those around her and about history in general.
However, there are no right or wrong choices. Stormind Games wanted to opt for a different distinction, based on the approach: will you be more conquerors or more defenders? And no, one way is no easier than the other. Indeed, to tell the truth, no choice is simple. And the consequences are never obvious. Just like in real life, you will have to make difficult decisions, make painful sacrifices, and live with the effects of your choices.
This dualism also characterizes the combat system. In fact, our heroine inherited two very different powers from the Sun and the Moon. Sole gave them a sword that can be used for close combatLuna instead gave us the powers of the mind, which favor the fights at a distance.
If you think you can only use one style, you are wrong.
The Italian software house has in fact decided to create enemies who are sensitive to a specific power. Simplifying: to fight enemies with mental powers you will have to use mental powers, to defeat enemies who prefer physical attacks you will have to use physical attacks.
Some opponents who have dual souls are an exception, so you’ll have to attack them with both powers to take them down. And watch out for those that instead change suddenly passing from yellow – which characterizes the physical powers – to purple – which instead distinguishes the mental powers – because you will have to adapt just as quickly.
You will then have to keep your two life bars under control at all times. Especially because the exhaustion of one of being involves the immediate Game Over and the need to start over from the last checkpoint.
A scenario that is not at all unlikely since a few distractions are enough to be killed even by enemies less powerful than you. So concentrate and practice – practice helps you master this system better.
They think about giving some variety to the gameplay environmental puzzles that you will encounter along your path and that require the use of both powers. Nothing impossible, at least during the demo, but they will keep you busy and away from the battlefield at least for a while.
The only two elements that have made our life a little more difficult are the inability to manage the view (the second stick is dedicated to the attack) and the lock on enemies which is not always accurate. However, nothing prevents you from fully enjoying the experience.
Batora Lost Haven Proven: A promising action RPG
The hours spent in the company of Batora: Lost Haven they flew. Avril is a sympathetic, determined and well-characterized companion in adventures, with her weaknesses and frailties that emerge slowly giving life to a human figure, a heroine who bravely tries to carry on her mission while aware of her own limits. and their fears. And we find it inserted in a narrative sector that for now has proven to live up to our expectations. Never linear. Never taken for granted. Never boring.
The gameplay also works, with a good balance between movements, clashes and puzzles, in addition to the interesting dialogues with Mila, Sun, Moon and the aliens that you will meet on the planets that you will be called to visit.
In short, the premises are really excellent. We can only look forward to the release of the game scheduled for this fall.