Out of this world.
Every now and then a game comes along that takes you completely by surprise and gives new depth to a console.
Astral Chain on Nintendo Switch is one of those games.
This is an action-adventure game that redefines the genre for all the right reasons.
You play an officer from the “Neuron” special police task force and it is your mission to solve cases in The Ark - the world you inhabit.
By exploring The Ark and speaking to its various characters you gather evidence and clues through puzzles which then act as leads in your investigations.
There is not an ounce of grind during a lengthy and beautifully-crafted campaign which will have you gripped from start to finish.Damien Lucas, gaming columnist
You access the “Astral Plane” which is an interdimensional area where you will face hazardous terrain, solve puzzles and take on enemies.
As a Neuron officer you can summon a tethered familiar known as a “Legion”, bound by a chain - hence the game’s name.
Legions come in different forms with a range of abilities that are used for puzzle solving and combat.
Cases are accessed via Neuron headquarters, the central hub of the game and it is here that you can also save your progress or customise your character and interact with other Neuron officers. You can also stock up on items from vendors which you can use in combat and to recover health out in the field.
Set in the year 2078 and with humanity is on the brink of extinction in the man-made Ark mega-city, your job is to salvage what remains of the population and save them from the interdimensional species the Chimeras.
At first AC’s slick Manga/Anime style will be what catches your eye. Indeed watching someone else play is just as satisfying as playing yourself.
The combat system is so smooth and intuitive that it makes for a superb gaming experience with lots of variety and different options to utilise.
There is not an ounce of grind during a lengthy and beautifully-crafted campaign which will have you gripped from start to finish.
Astral Chain is so stylish it feels like the dawn of a brilliant new franchise with graphics, gameplay and music that will surely see this flourish into a cult classic.
The story does occasionally suffer from being a touch cheesy which jars with the supreme coolness of the overall experience.
And I found playing AC in handheld mode a bit of a struggle with some of the movement proving frustrating - but that may just be me! - so I stuck to big screen which is undoubtedly the best way to play and appreciate this absolute platinum coated gem of a game from PlatinumGames.