Just in time for the launch of the next-generation consoles, Warhammer Chaosbane Slayer Edition is the definitive way to purge cultists and heretics. A hack-and-slash action RPG, Warhammer Chaosbane delighted fans in 2019, bringing the behemoth Warhammer fantasy universe to a genre dominated by the likes of Diablo, Path of Exile, and Torchlight.
Optimized for co-op in mind, the game supports up to four players local and online, as players must slaughter the daemons of Chaos, develop their characters and work together to save the Empire. The Slayer Edition brings over a year's worth of improvements, enhancements, and post-launch content, including the Tomb Kings narrative expansion and the newly released Witch Hunter class. Be prepared to purge Chaos from the world.
We've already reviewed the base game (read through for in-depth game mechanics), thanks to Marcus's deep knowledge of everything Warhammer, calling it "an unabashedly fun title." As an isometric action RPG, Chaosbane is filled to the brim with gear, loot, and dozens of foes charging towards you at any given moment. When creating a new character, you have the choice to start playing any of the three included story arcs; the original story starting in Nuln, the paid Tomb Kings expansion, and the free The Forges of Nuln chapter.
For this reason, I recommend sticking with a single class, at least until you finish the tale, as playing through the same quests on every class is tiresome (unless you are looking to unlock trophies). Through randomly generated levels, players can team up with others to journey within challenging expeditions. The time-sensitive boss rush mode tasks players with eliminating the bosses fought through the narrative, which are quite impressive and the highlight of the game. In contrast, relic hunt adds dungeons with numerous difficulty levels to earn powerful heroic gear sets. The inclusion of the Tomb Kings story content takes players to the golden deserts of Nehekhara and away from the infested sewers of Nuln, the ruined streets of Praag (the Cursed City), and the frozen Norscan penisula.
Unlike Marcus, who purged numerous daemons with his dual-ax dwarven slayer, I chose the game's sixth class, The Witch Hunter, to dish out my form of judgment upon the legions of Chaos. With his pistols and rapier, you're capable of trapping and slowing down heretics at range and finishing them up close. The hybrid range/melee approach fits well with my playstyle and effortlessly synergies with all existing classes.
The normal difficulty is a bit of a cakewalk, as long as you don't become overwhelmed by 30+ cultists or daemons attacking you simultaneously, along with elites. You need to spend gold or fragments to revive on the spot or restart from the beginning of the current dungeon if you perish. As you increase the difficulty, the percentage of loot quality, extra gold/fragments, and experience bonus also increase, providing a risk vs. reward factor. Once you unlock the chaos difficulties, that's where the game's cooperative nature truly shines. Fragments drop almost as frequently as gold, and are used to bless items, providing further stat bonuses, depending upon what colors are used. For example, a stack of green fragments can add a plus to your maximum health, while blue fragments add armor bonuses.
Loading times are virtually non-existent, thanks to the power of the PlayStation 5. At most, you'll be waiting three seconds for dungeons to load, but moving between zones within a dungeon is instantaneous. The three narrative activity cards are designed to let you quickly pick off exactly where you left off in the narrative, regardless of what campaign or chapter you are currently playing, loading directly into the game with your previously last used character. Additional ones unlock as you unlock each mode meant for end-game content.
The DualSense controller's adaptive triggers provide an enjoyable sensation for the two skills tied to the left and right trigger. When on cooldown, both triggers provide resistance, making it much harder to squeeze. As soon as the skills can be activated, the resistance is removed, and you can easily use your skills. It's a small touch, and although it's not as satisfying as the haptics from Astro's Playroom, it is appreciated and hasn't gone unnoticed. The game's visuals look incredibly sharp, running at 60 frames per second, even at 4K.
Warhammer Chaosbane Slayer Edition is the definitive action RPG experience on PlayStation 5, with plenty of narrative content, loot grinding, and dungeon crawling. The game looks stunning, especially at 4K resolution, and runs incredibly well on a PS5 with minimal loading. The adaptive triggers are a nice touch but don't take full advantage of the DualSense functionality. Currently, there aren't any upgradable paths for those that previously owned the game to the PS5 Slayer Edition besides spending $60 to repurchase.Note: Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition was reviewed on PlayStation 5. A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher/developer.