Batora: Lost Haven, we tried the new action RPG from the Remothered authors

Batora: Lost Haven, we tried the new action RPG from the Remothered authors


After seeing them at work on two survival horror, we were not sure what to expect from Stormind Games at the announcement of a new action RPG in development, so we approached with considerable curiosity this test of Batora: Lost Haven, on a first portion of the title proposed in beta. Remothered: Tormented Fathers and Remothered: Broken Porcelain seemed to reveal a specific address now chosen by the team as a favorite for their productions, but after the two horror, the developers wanted to test themselves with something totally different, both as a game structure and as atmospheres, demonstrating eclecticism and also - as far as we have seen so far - a remarkable ability to manage very different genres and registers.

At first glance, the game clearly recalls some 90 pieces of the hack and slash RPG such as Diablo and Torchlight, but the characterization of Batora: Lost Haven immediately emerges as something peculiar, then bringing with it different specificities even of the game itself.

History transports us to an alien planet, where a human girl who escaped the destruction of half of the Earth discovers that she has unimaginable powers linked to mysterious stones of the Sun and the Moon, with which she finds herself having to save this strange world from the apocalypse. This huge mission represents a good pretext for a heroin training path, which must go through epic challenges but also some choices with interesting moral implications, always in the name of the two opposite poles that constantly re-emerge throughout the narration and construction. of the game.

The fantastic setting is outlined with almost new age tints, going and recovering themes such as the balance between body and mind, karma and physical and psychic energy, but with decidedly more practical rather than philosophical implementations . Avril, the protagonist, finds herself having to face various threats by exploiting her physical and mental abilities that have very direct applications in the mechanisms of the gameplay. These peculiarities are also reflected in the very structure of the game, which alternates puzzle elements with others from purer action RPGs, creating a really interesting hybrid.

"Bipolar" Action RPG

Batora: Lost Haven, a screenshot from the gameplay The main parts of the gameplay consist of a mechanic that is fully part of the "hack and slash" action RPG: with a shot from above positioned quite far from the protagonist, we find ourselves exploring various settings, collect loot, interact with NPCs and obviously fight with enemies through an action system that incorporates the classic stylistic features but with the addition of the continuous alternation between the two natures of the protagonist Avril. The combat system precisely recalls that of Diablo, in real time and with the possibility of using special moves and combos and avoiding attacks through dodging and evasive maneuvers, but this alternation between physical and psychic attacks applies a particular characterization to the tactics of the clash and even at the rime of the game, forcing you to constantly change your approach.

Also in this case the "bipolarity" emerges which is practically a fundamental characteristic in the whole concept of Batora: Lost Haven. We could take Ikaruga as an example, although obviously the context here is completely different: Avril changes appearance and characteristics between two different polarities at the push of a button, aligning with the powers of the sun (the "conqueror", focused on physical attacks) and the luna (the "defender", who uses psychic abilities).

In Batora: Lost Haven the colors yellow and purple represent the opposite polarities In broad terms, the difference is typical between physical melee and ranged magic attacks, but the question is made more complex by the presence constant of enemies who are vulnerable to only one of the two types of attack, or bosses who alternate the two polarities at various intervals. In both cases, we are forced to continually modify Avril's alignment in order to eliminate opponents, in the same way taking the blows that go to inflict damage on the two parallel bars of physical and mental power.

Puzzle moments

Batora: Lost Haven, a puzzle game-style moment of play The dualism, which is a sort of leitmotif of the whole game, is also found in the bizarre split of the gameplay, which in some sections becomes suddenly that of a real puzzle game. In the demo made available, consisting of about a couple of hours of play, these sections are proposed as elements detached from the standard gameplay: in some moments, during the exploration, we find ourselves entering some "rooms" in which the mechanics game changes and everything turns into a sort of puzzle in which we have to build the path to the goal. Conceptually it is something similar to the shrines of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and also in this case the gap between the standard game action given by exploration and fighting and these particular sections is really clear.

The setting, in terms of framing, controls and skills of the protagonist, remains the same, but in this case we must use the two opposing powers to operate switches and elements of the scenario to be able to compose the path that leads us to the conclusion of the level. The tested puzzles seemed rather well built although not really original, with a lot of recourse to the control of rolling spheres, just to renew the reference to clear Zeldian influences. Such a stark contrast between detached game situations appears a bit bizarre, but there is no doubt that it helps build a particular personality for Batora: Lost Haven, which moreover needs to build a bit of its own identity even with somewhat choices. outside the box, given the fact that it belongs to a rather sedimented vein.

Choices, karma and effects

Batora: Lost Haven is set in a strange alien world Batora: Lost Haven follows a narrative rigorous, which marks each phase of the game according to a very specific plan, in this sense moving away from many hack and slash action RPGs that keep a vague trace of history to leave the player essentially free to explore and conquer loot at will. Avril has to follow her mission in a slavish manner and has no time to devote herself to much else, which is further strengthened in the demo by the absence of particular secondary quests, which will probably still be included in the most complete form of the game. In this solid narrative structure, however, there is room for interesting choices left to the player, who periodically finds himself in front of crossroads with moral decisions to be made by facing the consequences.

Also in these cases the subdivision is clear and there is no room for intermediate solutions, but some moments require a moment of reflection because the situations presented are not obvious and the consequences can be of considerable impact. These choices contribute to Avril's growth through the two main directions that make up her personality as an elected fighter, that is the path of the conqueror or the defender, always linked to the two opposite and complementary poles that characterize the whole game.

Batora: Lost Haven, a moment of exploration In general, the attitude of the "conqueror" is more aggressive, based on vigorous reaction, order and revenge, while that of the "defender" is oriented more on peace and forgiveness, but both concur to form the heroine also through the acquisition of specific powers linked to one or the other path, through the alignment of karma and the use of runes.

The latter are magical seals that can be equipped and allow you to obtain new powers and an increase in statistics, in addition to the progressive growth of these through the accumulation of experience levels. In the trial version it was only possible to partially test the system, but it is configured as a significant enrichment in the possibilities of attack and defense in combat, through the addition of further special moves and combos.

Despite the setting general makes you immediately think of a traditional hack and slash action RPG, Batora: Lost Haven demonstrates instead that it has several peculiar characteristics to rely on. The "bipolar" mechanics of the combat system manages to enrich the clashes forcing you to change approach and attack and defense system continuously, which joins the other peculiarities between gameplay and narration. The puzzle component still feels like a somewhat inconsistent juxtaposition with the overall gameplay mechanism but works well for varying the action with a few puzzles, as well as the choices can keep the attention on the story and its possible evolutions alive. The cross-section of the game made available intrigued us, leaving us the desire to understand well how much the definitive experience can then be best composed as a cohesive and engaging experience.


The system two-polarity combat creates a certain dynamism Some puzzles are stimulating The presence of choices with moral consequences is always interesting DOUBTS It still struggles a bit to find its own cohesive identity between its different faces It seems very linear compared to games of this genre, also as a progression To evaluate the possible variety of settings, a bit anonymous at the moment Have you noticed any errors?

Powered by Blogger.