E3 2019: Creating Bonds and Destroying Aliens in Astral Chain

Platinum Games is well renowned for creating some of the best action titles of the past decade, including Bayonetta, Vanquish, Nier: Automata and more. While not all of their titles have been critical and fan successes, the ones that have often stand tall when discussing some of the best games of their release year, making each upcoming title from the Japanese developer an exciting prospect. While the teams at Platinum are also hard at work on Bayonetta 3 and Babylon’s Fall, their next title has seen a pretty short time between reveal and release, with Astral Chain being revealed back in February’s Nintendo Direct and already planning a release this August.

In Astral Chain, you play as a fully customizable cop with an AI-controlled twin of the opposite gender or a co-op partner. In this world, mysterious enemies known as the Chimera have arrived through an astral plane, and it’s up to the player to investigate this mystery and the effects its having on the surrounding environment. These investigations are conducted through direct confrontations with citizens as well as stealthy camera hacking and exploration. Players will be offered dialogue choices to help them discover clues and evidence, while completing side missions such as recycling and rescuing cats can help increase your reputation and leave the world in a better state. There will be multiple locations to explore, with JC Rodrigo from Nintendo Treehouse not going so far as to call the game an open-world experience, but claiming that there would be plenty to see and do for those willing to explore.

Of course, it would be hard to discuss a new Platinum game without going deep into the combat, which takes place entirely on the aforementioned astral planes. The game is described as featuring “synergetic action”, with the combat primarily focusing on a transformable weapon, which can switch between a close-range baton, medium-range sword and long-range gun, as well as a chain, which adds some interesting new elements to the combat. At any point, the player can call in one of several Legions, an other-worldly partner who, in addition to having their own weapons and combos the player can call upon, can grab the other end of the chain and tie down enemies for quick stuns or longer periods of inactivity. New Legions will gradually be unlocked and can be called in simultaneously, such as one ranged and one melee to fully control the battlefield. These combat sequences offer mods that can be equipped to improve health and attack abilities, and feature brief puzzle sequences utilizing the powers of your Legions. After the battles are finished, a ranking and material code to upgrade your character is bestowed.

Astral Chain is looking to be another promising partnership between Nintendo and Platinum Games, primarily thanks to chaotic, multi-character combat that the studio has become well-known for. Astral Chain is set to launch on Switch on August 30.