When Warhammer: Chaosbane came out in 2019, I wasn’t really sure what to think of it. I gave it a whirl on the PlayStation 4 and found it to be a relatively solid Diablo clone. But the Warhammer lore itself wasn’t very interesting, and the opening hours of the game overall were kinda dull.
Some slight, immeasurable offness in the controls and limited player options solidified Chaosbane as a respectable but unremarkable 6 or 7 in my mind. I don’t think I was the only one who met Chaosbane this way, and with a re-release on the new consoles, it seems like the folks behind the game faced that response head-on.
Warhammer Chaosbane on the Xbox Series X isn’t an entirely different experience. But it’s a much more appealing version of itself, making key changes to the opening section of the game that make getting into the grind way more enticing.
Warhammer: Chaosbane Review | New Boxes, New Opportunities
This new release has the subtitle of Slayer Edition, and it seems to be the platonic ideal of a new-gen shine on a last-gen release. The visuals are crisp and smooth, meeting the 4K/60 fps standard easily.
I never once experienced a drop, and the load times as well were practically gone. This alone makes Chaosbane a more tolerable grind since there are no longer any hints of technical barriers to the action.
You’re also looking at an all-in-one package that comprises everything the developers have done with Chaosbane since launch.
This includes free and paid DLC content, as well as the various patches and other technical changes from throughout the game’s year on the previous consoles. Slayer Edition also launches with a new update, one that expands the first few hours of the game.
Onboarding was more of a slog than a game like this can handle, but now there’s a lot more variety, better signposting, and even brand new areas.
Add on up to four-player co-op both on and offline, and you have a winner. This is the only native new-gen action RPG of this style (depending on your perspective on Path of Exile). But you won’t see local co-op with any of the console Torchlight ports, so you’d have to go back to Diablo III to scratch this particular itch.
With plenty of skill trees to open up, loadouts to customize, loot to… loot, and distinct character options, Chaosbane is a totally solid and competent One of Those.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Warhammer: Chaosbane is the sheer numbers of mobs that rush you at any given moment. It takes a while for Diablo III to start throwing larger groups at you, but Chaosbane swarms you with dozens at once, all without dropping performance.
It’s almost a Dynasty Warriors-like spectacle, especially with some of the wacky crowd-clearing skills you can unlock.
Obviously Warhammer: Chaosbane isn’t a new console exclusive or anything like that. But it’s a great launch title, especially for the hooks this generation offers.
You get a solid game, improved via horsepower, and treated by the devs with additional content and updates in response to feedback.
It’s a big improvement over the game I played at its original launch, and definitely the one I’ll turn to out of all my current options in this space.
- Perfect in terms of performance.
- Improved opening hours make a big difference.
- Massive mobs of enemies make for fun spectacle in mundane encounters.
- Still kind of a generic fantasy romp with the usual motion graphic cutscenes. Doesn’t do a great job making the story exciting for non-Warhammer junkies.
- If you’re looking for long-term service-style structure you won’t find it here. Motivation to keep playing after you’re done will come from you. Not bothered by this personally but I know it’s A Thing for people.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review.