Welcome everyone to 2023. I hope you had a wonderful send-off for 2022. I sure did, especially when it came to the games I played, in particular the title I am discussing in this review. Chained Echoes is a phenomenal RPG that I didn’t see coming.
I’ve reported on it, I’ve seen the trailer and honestly, I did not know what I was getting myself into. Chained Echoes is a tactical RPG that blends, perfectly I might add, elements of steampunk, fantasy and drama that I would compare to some of the most engaging fantasy epics I’ve had the pleasure to read.
Building your heroes in a terrifying world
In Chained Echoes, you play as several warriors that are trying to survive in a world in the grip of a 150-year-old war. Each of them has various skills that they unlock throughout the course of the game. The interesting dynamic shift is that unlike most games you don’t earn experience points to level up. You instead earn ‘Grimoire Shards’ to learn skills, both passive and active. You then spend skill points earned through battles to level up your skills. It is imperative you do this as the difficulty of this game is gradual but intense.
You will be surprised how you can be soundly defeated by a simple mob of supposed weak enemies. The main reason for this is a fascinating game mechanic known as the ‘Overdrive Gauge’. With this gauge, you can either command the battle or be crushed under the pressure. Basically, you have to ensure that you stay within a certain area of your HUD. If you are in this spot you deal more damage and suffer less damage.
Your abilities as well as your enemies’ abilities move the cursor and should it move into the danger zone you suffer more damage and deal less damage. It’s a dangerous game of tightrope and you can fall to your doom easily. There are also mechanical suits of armour that you can utilise in battle which have their own stylised version of the ‘Overdrive Gauge’ system. You can upgrade them and kit them out in a similar style to a pilot with their Gundam (there’s even a suit of armour that looks like Barbatos).
A memorable world that I’d return to again and again
Like others of its ilk, Chained Echoes is a world littered with bizarre and brilliant characters and so many of them have stories for you to become a part of. The sidequests within this game are brilliant. They are brimming with character and are highly addictive.
Where Chained Echoes shines though is in its story. Perhaps the most spectacular and compelling story of 2022. It is an epic in every meaning of the world. What starts out with the climax of an age-long war turns into a battle between mortals and the gods that play with them.
It may not have been on your Christmas list but I’m here to tell you it should be a part of your January Sales list. You will not be disappointed.