Menu Close

Batora: Lost Haven Preview Impressions

Batora: Lost Haven is an in-development aRPG by Stormind Games and published by Team17. Set for release some time in Autumn 2022 (Spring for us in ANZ) on all platforms, I’ve played a number of demos of this game with the most recent being the biggest gameplay preview yet, allowing us to see lands we haven’t seen before. Each new preview has had vast improvements upon the last, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a new introduction sequence added to the game though I can’t give details at this time. The gameplay is unique where main character Avril gains both physical and mental powers that alter the attacks she does. It means each combat encounter is fluid, dynamic and never simple.

Avril’s home planet has been decimated and she lost everything that mattered to her. Gifted with extraordinary and other-worldly powers, it’s now up to Avril to save her planet and the entire universe. Played like a hack and slash action RPG with puzzles, Avril has two health bars – one is orange and one purple, matching the mental powers she obtains. Orange is your physical power that wield melee-based attacks and the purple is your mind power with ranged attacks. If just one of the bars is depleted, Avril will die and you will respawn at a previous checkpoint.

When you come across monsters, they will be coloured orange or purple, corresponding with the mental powers you have. Orange attacks will do high damage to orange monsters, and similar with purple attacks. You can do damage to the opposite nature colour however it’s very small and you are better off targeting your attacks. Often you will be fighting with multiples of both colours, so the combat gets quite dynamic as you dodge and jump around trying to get the best angle of attack and switching between the two power types. When you fight lesser bosses, their health bar will be split orange and purple, so you must deplete both of its health bars to defeat it.

New to this gameplay preview was the ability to press Ctrl which gave you a damage boost for a short time which was very handy in sticky situations. Throughout Batora: Lost Haven, you are faced with a choice of how to progress the story. Your choice will determine whether you make defender or conqueror choices, and it will affect your karma. You’ll earn karma points, karma rune points and unique runes that you can add to Avril’s build to gain bonuses. You can also purchase runes from vendors once you progress the story a little, but you will need to level up and earn karma rune points depending on the rune type. Also some runes require higher karma points, so you can plan your character progression.

As you progress the story more you will come across puzzle zones that require completing to collect specific items. In these puzzle areas, you will need to switch between physical and mind planes to activate switches to raise/lower walls, move floating platforms or manipulate a large ball that can activate weight-based switches. The puzzles start off simple and build to get quite challenging where you need to use logic and think a few moves ahead. They are quite clever and there’s a good sense of accomplishment when you figure them out. The puzzles are also a good break between combat sequences.

In previous demos, you fought against the first major boss and the fight is great fun, having to switch between nature powers as well as dodge traps and holes in the floor. When his health depletes by a third, he will enter a downed phase where you need to keep damaging them and get his health down to the next third. If you don’t do enough damage in the time given, he will heal that third of health. However once you have defeated the boss, the previous demo’s usually ended shortly after.

Finally though this new gameplay preview sees us go beyond this first boss, progressing the story further onto new planet locations. We also got to learn two new skills (Solar Wind and Psychic Distortion) which got me eager to eventually unlock more skills with the game’s full release. I can’t tell you anything about the story beyond previous demos, however it was really cool to experience new locations and biomes for the first time.

Batora: Lost Haven has a tonne of potential and I loved how we switch powers during each combat encounter. The puzzles were a good change of pace with a decent difficulty curve to solving them. I liked that there are choices that affect how the story progresses and your relationship with the races you meet, meaning there’s replay value here. I’m very much looking forward to full version of the game and finally seeing Avril’s story through to completion.

This gameplay preview was provided by Team17 and Batora: Lost Haven will release some time in Autumn 2022 (Spring for us in ANZ) on PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch.


Related Posts