Astral Chain has a release date, as revealed during Nintendo’s E3 2019 press briefing. The upcoming action game by PlatinumGames is coming out on August 30, 2019 for the Switch. Considering the game was only announced a few months ago, this is a great turnaround rate for a release.
The trailer features lots of fast-paced hacking and slashing, which is to be expected from the developer behind Bayonetta and Nier: Automata. Also to be expected: protagonists with moral crises, explosions, and cool things happening if you dodge at the right second.
The game is set in a futuristic world being invaded by beings known as the “Chimera”. The only way to defeat them is to capture them with a cool blue chain, which turns them into a “legion” which can fight alongside you. The chain may or may not be astral, the trailer doesn’t specify.
Nintendo also put out a playthrough of the opening tutorial section of Astral Chain with director Takahisa Taura, who was also a designer on Nier: Automata. From this demo, the game looks to share the gameplay variety that Automata has, with on-rails shooting sections to compliment the melee combat. But similar to Bayonetta, players will receive a grade at the end of every mission, which can be repeated later, so it might share the crushing difficulty that series is known for.
Interestingly, there also appears to be Batman: Arkham-style holographic detective sections, involving looking for clues and using your Legion to eavesdrop on conversations. There’s a lot going on.
Since Nintendo is publishing Astral Chain, it will most likely be a Switch exclusive. This might be disappointing to owners of other consoles, but Astral Chain seems like an exciting new title by a developer who has a track record for making games with complicated, deeply customisable combat systems and gorgeous art design. From a first impression, Astral Chain might follow suit.