LifeisXbox’s Batora: Lost Haven preview | Two things I really enjoy are moral dilemmas and chocolate. And luckily for me, Batora: Lost Haven has quite a few of the former. Ever since I first ran into the concept in Infamous on the PS3 it’s stuck with me as a way you can meet the writers halfway in how the story will play out if well executed. Think of how the way you played in Dishonored changed the world around Corvo, or how Cole Mcgrath’s powers and relations change depending on his karma status. All actions have consequences. What choices will you make for Avril, and will you be able to live them? Batora: Lost Haven is being developed by Stormind Games and published by Team17.
ℹ️ Previewed on PC | Preview code provided by PR/publisher, this preview is the personal opinion from the writer and is based on an unfinished game.
The duality of Avril
In Batora: Lost Haven you play as Avril, formerly a teen living on the post-apocalyptic earth. Yet through a fated meeting, she was chosen to be the champion of the Sun and the Moon to restore balance to the universe. So with the two back seating deities planted firmly on your shoulders, you set out on your journey across several alien worlds. Now, besides cryptic advice, Sun and Moon also let Avril tap into their respective powers. Sun represents the body, fire and the physical nature of things, allowing you to wield a giant sword with ease. While Moon is of the mental domain, blasting enemies apart from a distance. These polar opposites form the basis of the Batora: Lost Haven’s Polarity switching mechanic you’ll be using all throughout the game. Enemies will generally share one of these natures, meaning you best deal with them in kind. Bosses and minibosses, however, will have both. Just means you have to beat them twice as hard. But combat isn’t the only place your polarity plays a role. As you go through the story you’ll also get to face a number of pocket dimension puzzle courses. From activating switches with the proper nature to materializing the floor you have to walk on and more. Even the choices you make that shape the story will skew you to act more like a defender or a champion, with the former often leading to puzzles and the latter to combat encounters.
Explore alien worlds
Batora: Lost haven plays from a top-down camera perspective which is what allows for the twin-stick combat mechanics you’ll be working with. From my time I feel like the mind gameplay is already in a more fluid place than the body. I’m sure that when Batora releases these will be perfectly balanced, as all things should be. One thing I feel the top-down camera does somewhat take away from is the very well-done retro sci-fi look. You can zoom the camera in a bit, yet I still feel it doesn’t do the rather detailed hand-painted visuals justice most of the time. Especially since we do get up nice and close during the frequent cutscenes. Which are all voiced might I add. So far every bit main story dialogue was delivered in a very lively manner. From sorrow to snark, I really liked the way the lines were delivered. And the music is right up there with it, providing tracks to really get you into the heat of a fight, or provide the strange ambient sounds you’d expect from alien worlds.
Are you looking for a fun twin-stick game about an interplanetary adventure with a colourful cast and an interesting power system? If so, Batora: Lost Haven might be worth checking out when it releases this autumn. The combat still needed some balancing and the story’s pacing went up and down somewhat, but since I played an in-progress version I’m sure these will be smoothed out by release.
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Hey there. Thomas is the name, Sci-fi, action and (J)RPG’s are the game. I strongly prefer co-op over PVP games. Whenever possible, you may find me run wild at a convention in western Europe. Certified anime enjoyer.