Batora: Lost Haven is a choice-driven isometric action adventure with RPG elements and a unique duality system that affects combat, story, dialogues, puzzles, and endings. The game was developed by Stormind Games and published by Team17 on October 20, 2022 for PC, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch. The game is inspired by the literary work “Batora – Il Risveglio” written by Annika Morris and published by Casta Editore.
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The game follows the story of Avril, a 16-year-old girl who lives on Earth in the year 2051. Avril is a talented racer who loves to drive her hoverbike with her friends. She never thought she’d have to step up and be a hero, but after a mysterious and devastating event, her world was flipped upside down. With her homeworld on the brink of destruction, Avril has been gifted extraordinary powers and will have to journey across the universe to uncover ancient secrets and save what she loves.
The game features a branching narrative with multiple endings, depending on the choices you make throughout the game. Your decisions will affect not only the fate of the universe and those who inhabit it, but also your own personality and relationships. You will have to balance your physical and mental states, as well as your moral values, as you explore different planets and encounter various characters and factions.
The game combines action, exploration, puzzles, and RPG elements in an isometric perspective. The core gameplay mechanic is the duality system, which allows you to switch between two modes: physical and mental. Each mode has its own advantages and disadvantages in combat, puzzle-solving, and dialogue.
In physical mode, you can use your sword to deal melee damage and perform combos. You can also use your shield to block incoming attacks and reflect projectiles. In mental mode, you can use your mind powers to manipulate objects, enemies, and the environment. You can also use your telekinesis to throw objects or enemies at each other, or levitate yourself to reach higher places.
You can switch between modes at any time with a simple button press, but you have to be careful not to deplete your energy bars. Each mode has its own energy bar that drains when you use its abilities or take damage from the opposite mode. If one of your energy bars reaches zero, you will enter a critical state that makes you vulnerable and unable to switch modes until you recover.
The game also features a skill tree system that lets you customize your abilities and playstyle. You can unlock new skills and upgrades for both modes by spending skill points that you earn by leveling up or completing quests. You can also find or craft items and equipment that can enhance your stats or grant you special effects.
The game offers a variety of challenges and activities across different planets. You can explore diverse environments that range from lush forests to barren deserts, from futuristic cities to ancient ruins. You can also interact with various NPCs that can offer you quests, information, or trade. Some NPCs may become your allies or enemies depending on your choices and actions.
The game also features several boss battles that test your skills and strategy. Each boss has its own unique abilities and patterns that require you to use both modes effectively. Some bosses may also have different phases or forms that change their behavior or appearance.
Graphics and Sound
The game has a colorful and vibrant art style that creates a contrast between the dark and grim story and the bright and lively visuals. The game uses Unreal Engine 4 to create detailed environments and characters with dynamic lighting and shadows. The game also features a comic book-like aesthetic with cel-shaded graphics and comic panels that appear during cutscenes or dialogues.
The game has an original soundtrack composed by Alessandro Monopoli that blends orchestral, electronic, and ethnic music styles. The music adapts to the mood and situation of each scene, creating an immersive atmosphere. The game also features voice acting for the main characters and some NPCs, with different languages available such as English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese-Brazilian, Russian, Turkish.
The game received generally favorable reviews from critics and players alike. The game currently has a Metascore of 76/100 on Xbox Series X, 75/100 on PC, 74/100 on PlayStation 5, 73/100 on PlayStation 4, 72/100 on Nintendo Switch, based on Metacritic’s aggregation of reviews from various sources. The game also has an average user score of 7.3/10 on Xbox Series X, 7.2/10 on PC, 7.1/10 on PlayStation 5, 7.0/10 on PlayStation 4, 6.9/10 on Nintendo Switch, based on Metacritic’s aggregation of ratings from users who played the game.
The game was praised for its unique and innovative duality system, its engaging and choice-driven story, its colorful and varied graphics, its atmospheric and adaptive soundtrack, and its replay value with multiple endings. The game was criticized for its repetitive and monotonous combat, its lack of depth and variety in puzzles, its technical issues and bugs, and its short length and low difficulty.
Batora: Lost Haven is a game that offers a fresh and original take on the action adventure genre with its duality system that affects every aspect of the game. The game delivers a compelling and emotional story that makes you question the meaning of sacrifice and free will. The game also features a beautiful and diverse world that invites you to explore and discover its secrets. The game is not without flaws, however, as it suffers from some gameplay and technical issues that may hamper your enjoyment. Nevertheless, the game is a worthwhile experience that deserves your attention and appreciation.