Platinum Games’ chimera crushing hack ‘n slasher is exceeding all expectations; expectations high to begin with thanks to the developer’s outstanding track record.
To elaborate, out of the 50 critical reviews on Metacritic just one – a single, paltry, review – is below 80%. Indeed, critics are almost entirely in agreement that it’s one of Platinum’s finest hours.
Downsides are mostly negligible – a small amount of slowdown when things get hectic, a slight lack of variation within backdrops, and imprecise movement during platforming sections seem to be the only issues reviewers could pinpoint.
It’s most pleasing to hear that it has been designed with replay value in mind – many critics also ended their reviews stating that they’re eager to jump back in, even after clocking up more than 40 hours of play.
We’ve rounded up a smattering of scores below.
10/10 – Nintendo Insider: Astral Chain is yet another addition to the Nintendo Switch library that will be fondly remembered for decades to come. Its yin-yang of chaos and carnage, fused with the calmer subtleties of investigation and exploration makes returning back to the action that little bit more special every time.
9.5 – Nintendo Enthusiast: Astral Chain packs the punch you would expect from Platinum Games while simultaneously going above and beyond in all other areas. It’s great to see Platinum stepping even further out of its shell with expertly crafted titles like NieR: Automataand now Astral Chain. This marks another game in the studio’s catalog that is nothing short of amazing.
9.0 – IGN: Astral Chain is every bit as awesome as it looks in motion, which is to say it’s downright incredible.
9.0 – GameInformer: I had a blast playing Astral Chain and didn’t want it to end. Platinum has created a wonderful new universe for players to dive into that I could see extending into anime, movies, and hopefully sequels. The dual-character gameplay is also brilliantly devised, and although not as difficult as PlatinumGames’ other titles, creates a duet that makes you feel like a powerful, unstoppable force.
9/10 – Nintendo Life: With its amazing visuals, fantastic presentation, varied gameplay and deep, rewarding combat, Astral Chain could well be PlatinumGames’ most accomplished game yet. It mixes detective work with exhilarating battle sequences that are inventive, challenging and – perhaps most importantly – breathtakingly cool.
9.0 – God is a Geek: A brilliant game that’s deep and offers accessibility for people who struggle as well as people who want to master every inch of the combat. In a crowded marketplace, Astral Chain stands out as a unique, interesting game that you’d be foolish to pass up on.
9/10 – The Metro: Another classic action game from Platinum that’s so full of ideas it seems fit to burst and yet everything not only works perfectly but is filled with an infectious sense of goofy fun.
9/10 – Destructoid: Whatever criticism you can throw at Astral Chain, you can’t say it isn’t unique. In the first few hours, I was all over the place when it came to an assessment, as it can take some time to really turn it up. But when it does it just clicks, and I don’t want to stop playing it.
8/10 – GameSpot: Astral Chain’s shortcomings don’t overshadow what it does best. It’s an incredible execution of a fresh take on Platinum Games’ foundation, standing among the stylish-action greats. And its own anime-inspired swagger makes fights all the more exhilarating.
Astral Chain is available on Switch from Friday.