Developer Stormind Games and publisher Team17 have a new game out. Batora: Lost Haven is an isometric, action-RPG that sends out very strong Diablo vibes. But, can this game do anything to stand out from the crowd of similar titles, or will it just disappear into the crowd?
“Embark on an epic adventure to save Earth in this interplanetary action RPG. Harness the ancient powers of Sun and Moon to take on a variety of unique enemies while solving diverse puzzles and exploring stunning sci-fi worlds, each with its own curious stories, inhabitants, and mysteries.”
Right then, you play as Avril and become the Keeper of Balance, a kind of middle person between two Gods. Those two Gods, Sun and Moon, give you powers to help fix various planets after they have been ravaged and destroyed. Joined by her friend Mila, Avril has to travel to the planets and fix their very cores.
As you play through Batora: Lost Haven, you are given choices to make and these choices will alter just how the story pans out. You’ll get to pick one of two decisions during conversations, those two choices are Conqueror or Defender. The former being based around brash instinct and the latter being more compassionate and thoughtful. Basically, you can look at it as a ‘bad’ or ‘good’ choice, though that is not exactly how they play out. Really, the choices boil down to you picking between action (Conqueror) or a more puzzle-based approach (Defender). It’s not as if you can be outright evil or good.
The choices that you make don’t really make a massive difference to how the game or story plays out. They feel like they are there to try and encourage multiple playthroughs and add repeatability. But that is the big question, is Batora: Lost Haven worth multiple playthroughs to begin with?
Gameplay-wise and Batora: Lost Haven feels very ‘by the numbers’. While a very nice-looking game, the gameplay is pretty bog-standard. The maps that you will find yourself on offer very limited exploration and funnel you to go in one direction, even when there seems to be a choice of paths. For most of the game, you will be fighting a variety of enemies. In terms of the combat, you do get a bit more depth. The two Gods who guide and provide you with powers also dictate the combat. You get two different attack styles, a close-quarters melee and a longer-distance projectile attack. The enemies you face will be weak to one or the other and you can switch between the two attack styles on the fly.
Throw in some dodge moves and you have a pretty well-implemented combat system that does work well. If I had a gripe, that would be the lack of a lock-on option. Fights can get a bit intense and with you going up against multiple foes at once. Keeping in mind that they will be weak against one of your two powers and that you do need to keep moving around. It just gets a bit hard to hit your intended target at times and a lock-on would’ve helped massively. Batora: Lost Haven isn’t all about fighting as there is a puzzle element too. These never felt too taxing and the majority of the game does focus on the combat.
There are some RPG elements, XP to gain, levelling up to do, new skills to learn and runes to find and equip that will give you various buffs. This adds a bit more depth to the gameplay and ties into the whole dual powers thing too. With a price tag of £20 and out now on everything (except the Switch, which is coming soon). Batora: Lost Haven is a decent game. I don’t think it will set the gaming world alight or anything, but it is certainly playable. But, getting back to a question I asked earlier, is the game worth multiple playthroughs to see the outcomes of the decisions that you make? For me, not really. I did go back to the game just to try the alternate choices for a while and honestly, they really don’t make a massive difference to how the game plays. I think this is very much a ‘one and done’ experience, even with the choices on offer.