Astral Chain Review Roundup: Here's What Critics Are Saying
What do reviewers think about the stylish new Switch exclusive?
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This week is packed with big releases, but for Switch owners, the most notable is Astral Chain, a brand-new exclusive from Bayonetta developer Platinum Games. Directed by Takahisa Taura, the lead designer on Nier: Automata, Astral Chain is a frenetic action game featuring a unique combat system and plenty of Platinum's trademark flair.
Astral Chain puts players in the role of a rookie officer tasked with defending the city from Chimeras--monstrous creatures that have begun invading from another dimension. To stop the monsters, you'll team up with various living weapons known as Legions and unleash stylish tandem attacks.
Astral Chain arrives on Switch on August 30, and Walmart is offering a launch day discount on the game. Ahead of its release, many outlets have begun sharing their Astral Chain reviews. We've rounded up some excerpts below to give you an idea of what critics have to say about Platinum's new title. For a wider look at Astral Chain's critical reception, be sure to visit GameSpot sister site Metacritic.
- Game: Astral Chain
- Developer: Platinum Games
- Platform: Nintendo Switch
- Release date: August 30
- Price: $60 USD / £50
GameSpot -- 8/10
"Astral Chain's shortcomings don't overshadow what it does best. It's an incredible execution of a fresh take on Platinum Games' foundation, standing among the stylish-action greats. And its own anime-inspired swagger makes fights all the more exhilarating. You'll come to appreciate the calmer moments in between that add variety and offer a second to relax before jumping back into the superb combat. After 40 hours with Astral Chain, I'm still eager to take on the tougher challenges, and I'll be grinning from ear to ear as I hit all the right moves, one after the other, while watching it all unfold." -- Michael Higham [Full review]
IGN -- 9/10
"Astral Chain is another excellent game from Platinum, and one of the best action games of this generation. Period. Fighting off alien invaders with a Legion robot by your side proves to be even more fun than it looks, which is saying a lot. Even outside of combat, the world and its characters brim with life--other than the main protagonist, that is. Excellent pacing artfully balances tense action with enticing exploration to create a deeply satisfying and charmingly quirky ride." -- Steven Petite [Full review]
Eurogamer -- Essential
"Astral Chain's action is some of the very finest I've come across, all delivered with a seamless quality that often leaves you breathless. Platinum never loses its lustre, goes the motto that sits proudly in the entry lobby of the studio's Osaka headquarters, though some might have thought the studio has dulled in recent years. Astral Chain is having absolutely none of that, and it shines brighter than anything in the studio's past. It's an absolute dream of a game." -- Martin Robinson [Full review]
US Gamer -- 4/5
"Astral Chain is the directorial debut of Nier Automata designer Takahisa Taura, and it proves that he's a creator worth paying attention to. Part melodramatic anime, part overly complicated Tamagotchi, it's an eminently playable action role-playing game that delivers the pleasure of good teamwork in a way few single-player games accomplish. Building on action design ideas seeded in Nier, Astral Chain encourages you to bond with your beloved pet cybermonster both on and off the battlefield. Then, it teaches you how to fight as one." -- Julie Muncy [Full review]
EGM -- 4/5
"Astral Chain is loud, brash, exciting, and, in the end, a warning about the dangers of unquestioned loyalty. Its hyperkinetic action sequences and colorful characters might make the game seem like it isn’t interested in offering more than intricately designed fights and a straightforward genre story, but stick around for its entirety and its cast of 2070s police officers show themselves to be more than just cartoon cut-outs of sci-fi cops." -- Reid McCarter [Full review]
Game Informer -- 9/10
"I had a blast playing Astral Chain and didn't want it to end. Platinum has created a wonderful new universe for players to dive into that I could see extending into anime, movies, and hopefully sequels. The dual-character gameplay is also brilliantly devised, and although not as difficult as Platinum Games' other titles, creates a duet that makes you feel like a powerful, unstoppable force. The story may be the weakest part of the experience, given just how much it changes trajectory, but it has some legitimately great moments, and a big twist I didn't see coming. All told, this is one hell of a game." -- Andrew Reiner [Full review]
Destructoid -- 9/10
"Whatever criticism you can throw at Astral Chain, you can’t say it isn't unique. In the first few hours, I was all over the place when it came to an assessment, as it can take some time to really turn it up. But when it does it just clicks, and I don't want to stop playing it." -- Chris Carter [Full review]