Astral Chain fans are everywhere, and the game doesn’t even drop until the end of the month. Let us just say this: If you haven’t already heard about Astral Chain then we’re glad you’re here. This may be the single best thing ever put out by Platinum Games. We could rave about it for days. Instead of doing that, we decided to give you ten great reasons why you need this game in your life. Full disclosure, choosing just ten reasons was incredibly tricky, but getting the scoop on games like this before they’re available to the general public is one of the best things about being a part of the entertainment industry.
1. It’s Not a Secret Anymore
When Platinum first announced this title, they were reticent and didn’t give fans much info about what to expect. That’s not uncommon when a company wants to drum up interest, or when they haven’t really filled in all the details for themselves. Projects that are still heavily in the development stage are sometimes announced well ahead of schedule, leaving fans to wonder. However, in the case of Astral Chain, it was a masterstroke. The developers who brought you Bayonetta and Neir were warming up the crowd for the genius that is this game for the Switch.
2. Interdimensional Invasion
Who doesn’t love a great sci-fi game? The creatures from some other where are out to get humanity in this action-packed thrill ride. You’ll have to fight, investigate and work as both halves of a tow-person team if you want to save the universe, this universe, from the invading hordes of creatures. You’ll get plenty of battle time in this game.
3. Masakazu Katsura
If you don’t already know his name, you probably know his art, and Masakazu Katsura is back with more gorgeously rendered art for us to interact with. Katsura is a master of his craft, and he’s been in the game a while. Fans of Tiger and Bunny will instantly recognize his colorful and crisp character designs. With Video Girl Ai, Wing-Man, and Zetman among his titles, it’s hard to be a fan of anime-style art without having seen his work.
4. That Music
The soundtrack has a country space western feel at times and changes up to orchestral ensembles and so much more as the scene and mood change. We couldn’t help but love it. With so many games going over to techno, ambient or metal, it seems like we don’t run across something truly unique very often. We love soundtracks as much as any part of a game, and we were delighted to hear this one. It’s already on our playlist, and you’ll probably want a copy when you listen to it. Satoshi Igarashi, who wrote most of the music for the game, is the same genius who brought you Bayonetta 2.
5. Dystopian Futuristic Space Police
Police and even space police have been done before, but not like this. You’ll be playing a rookie officer of Neuron along with your NPC partner/twin who is a Legion. Legions have special powers, but that sounds too limited. The Legion comes in different playable options with more than one set of skills. You can use your favorite or master them all and switch depending on what you need most at the moment. They are both people and living weapons, but more than that, your Legion is your partner too. You’ll love the interactions as much as the cool special abilities. The Synergistic play style is a little different but well made so you can enjoy killing other-dimensional bugs, and humanoid monsters.
6. The Ark
As the story goes in 2078, humanity is on the edge of collapse. To avoid the problems here on Earth, we retreated to the Ark. A fortified megacity on an island of our own creation, the Ark is humanities last hope for a decent life, but as you might expect, things didn’t go smoothly. Between the crimson corruption and the kidnappings, it’s a rough world to live in and harsher still to try and enforce any laws upon. Nevertheless, the Ark is its own self contained world with gorgeously crumbling futuristic landscapes.
7. Action Adventure-ish
Yes, Astral Chain is a fighting game with battles and but kicking aplenty, but there’s so much more to it. The compelling story of twin officers that slowly unfolds over the eleven files (chapters) is more complicated than you’ll expect. There are a few twists and turns in the plot to throw a wrench in your preconceived notions as well.
We know we already mentioned the twins, but they’re the central characters in the story, and their bond is everything. Both are ‘normal’ officers (if you can call them that) with Legion of their own, working together on the same squad. In a world besieged by beasts from the astral realm, it is their bond that keeps them from falling apart when other officers are struggling or failing to keep their Legion partners together. The unique family dynamic is one of those unexpected yet outstanding aspects of the game that help elevate it to another level.
From skills to costumes, the unlockables make you change it up regularly. There are upgrades, combos, and so much more. We hesitate to spoiler it for you. You have to play the game to see just how far you can take things with the ever-increasing unlocked skills, abilities, and upgrades.
The Chimeras are the enemy from the Astral Realm. The Chimeras are your partners, the Legion, subservient to your will. Yes, you read that right, the enemy and your best weapon are one and the same. We saved this little detail for last because it’s part of what makes the game so great. If you want to know more, you’ll have to give the game a fighting chance.
Astral Chain, for lack of a better way to say this… is off the chain. The story is brilliant, the graphics and soundtrack kill it, and there’s nothing to complain about as far as we can see. There’s not much higher praise we can give a game than to call it the Mary Poppins of its genre: Practically perfect in every way. Give it a play when it comes out and then leave us a comment about your favorite aspect of Astral Chain.