Wed. May 22nd, 2024

[Review] Chronos: Before the Ashes – Nintendo Switch

By Elly Oak Jan22,2021
Developed By: Gunfire Games
Published By: THQ Nordic
Categories: Action, RPG
Release Date: 12.01.21

Chronos had so much potential, I even was enjoying myself initially in spite of the flaws it had. It didn’t take very long however for me to drop what I was doing though and put the game down for good.

Chronos is an action RPG. I want to say it’s close to a Souls game in style, it’s a bit slow and deliberate, there’s a stamina bar that goes down with defending and dodging. There’s weaker attacks, and strong attacks that can be charged and I mostly used to stagger enemies, most stunlocking them. It’s basic, but it gets the job done. In my time playing, the variety of enemies I saw were nice, you have a lot of melee focused enemies, some fast, some having large clubs, that also act as forms of defense, some use magic, and even a few have canons. I really enjoyed the use of these pathways that have vigils above them that act as codes to chose a path, which even at points is used to change your size. Maybe to get inside of a cabinet to find a key, maybe to fight a giant monster that otherwise would crush you. Stuff like that is really creative and it didn’t feel gimmicky.

As the title implies, time is important to Chronos. There’s time travel, and a key mechanic is your character’s age. The game has levels, which give you points to upgrade your stats like any other RPG, but dying also can be a benefit to you. Each time you die you age a year from 18 on. Every 10 year increment you get passive boost, like more experience, boosts to stats outside of what levels give, increasing dodge radius, it’s really to mold your gameplay style. Weapons you get can mold the style too, with some having more benefit depending on what you level up. Increase agility and swords can get stronger. The younger you are, the more being swift and physical works, but the older you get, the stronger your magic and more useful it becomes.

However…I want to assume every issue I ran into was Switch exclusive, because some were small enough for me to look past, and one in particular was not. The game has a bit of an iffy framerate, no biggy, it still looked decent and I could put up with it. It might have seemed like there was a delay in actions, but it’s most likely that way on purpose. There seems to be a bit of a hitbox issue with me being quite a bit away from an attack and still getting hurt or dying, this is a little less easy to forgive. I got to the game’s first major boss and it seemed to completely crap the bed however. You start the boss and for some reason you cannot move to the right side of the room, at least a third of the room. You just won’t move, almost like there’s an invisible wall. So you can’t roll to the right, just to the left…into the wall, which guarantees you get hit. For some reason, even with full stamina, I couldn’t roll out of the way, getting struck more, or even when rolling back, I’d still get hurt. With how cramped the room is with a third being blocked off, you can get trapped in a corner when you move away to heal. Does the game even have invincibility frames, it doesn’t seem like it. For some reason, the game starts to really chug in the boss fight too, despite being in a tiny room. It’s fine to have a game be hard, when you know things are your fault, but it just seemed like the game broke when I got to this boss fight. Did it want to grind and waste my time?

Unless these issues are ironed out, I cannot recommend this game. There’s jank and then there’s broken. Chronos is broken.

2/5

Buy Now: $29.99

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*Game Download code supplied for review purposes

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