From the creators of Misplaced games are coming Batora: Lost Haven, an isometric action RPG developed by the Italian studio Stormind Games and published by Team17. This title plays like a hack ‘n slash action game with well-animated cartoon visuals appearing in all the levels. The story takes place over the course of four different planets. Each has varying biomes and aesthetics, and is home to many intriguing enemies and friendly inhabitants that populate each world.
The game follows the story of Avril, the lone survivor of her family. Dealing with themes of sacrifice and genocide, players will follow Avril as she is bequeathed a destiny by the gods of the sun and moon. Bathora: Lost Haven is full of moral choices along the way. Avril gains weapons and monster-fighting abilities, all in the name of establishing the character’s lost sanctuary (as the title suggests.) To get started on a planet-traversing, fateful journey, players may find the following beginner’s tips helpful.
7/7 Uses runes
Bathora: Lost Haven doesn’t have the most complex equipment and leveling system when it comes to action RPGs; However, the system they use can make a difference to how Avril plays. Runes are the main equipment in the game and can boost Avril’s stats or unlock new abilities depending on what the player uses.
Upon leveling up, Avril will gain access to a morale point system, which is a point pool that dictates how many runes can be awarded. Each rune has a different point value, so the amount of runes a player can equip depends on the total cost of the rune. Runes are unlocked through two main ways, either through buy them from merchants or as rewards for moral choices which the player creates during key narrative scenes.
6/7 Binary choices lead to moral adaptation
There is a running theme throughout the game that players will encounter in each chapter. As a choice-based narrative game, there are two main directions the player can go: conqueror or defender. This choice affects which powers or routes the players can follow.
In contrast to games such as Mass effect or Infamous: Second Sonswhere these choices dictate whether the protagonist is good or evil, Bathora: Lost Haven works in the same way as Marvel’s Midnight Suns. The player’s moral choices lean them toward aggressive or defensive playstyles and powers.
5/7 Orange vs. Purple fighting styles
Avril fits the theme of binary choice, and has access to two unique and distinct abilities when she enters combat (given to her by the Sun and Moon at the start of the player’s journey). Each form has a distinct color palette and optional weapon. The physical form is orange and focuses exclusively on melee weapons and attacks. On the other side, the mental form is purple and acts as a long range mage, shoot shots from a distance.
The colors act as a visual cue for the player when switching weapons, but they also have an integrated game mechanic. Enemies also appear according to the same two different colors. To maximize damage, players will want to switch forms accordingly to take opponents down as quickly as possible.
4/7 Color-coded puzzles
There are many puzzles in the game; however, they are rudimentary, mainly orbiting around the themes of color and shapeshifting as well. They often require players to do so activate colored switches to make a platform move, or change colors to make moving platforms appear or move in the opposite direction.
Later in the game, the puzzles become a bit more complex, with platforms that require the player to be in a certain shape to land on them to progress. However, players should be fine with platforming and puzzle games as long as they remember the color coordination motifs.
3/7 Adapt the boss’s techniques
The bosses in the game are a sum of all the other parts such as combat and puzzles. Often multi-stage fights with lots of health bars, these bosses boast the same kind of dichotomous powers as Avril. They are able to switch between purple and orange at will and then their attacks as well.
Players need to note the color switches, and make sure they change form to match, as the boss fight can become a chore (and dangerous) if players don’t reflexively change when needed. Swapping is the key to damaging the boss as much as possible, and reducing the amount of damage taken from their attacks.
2/7 Don’t overuse abilities with cooldowns
Avril will eventually gain access to powerful abilities that can help take down enemies with large health pools, from a spinning melee attack to an area skill that produces a column of purple energy. These skills, when used correctly and against the enemy of the correct color, can destroy health bars.
On the other hand, Dodge appears as a skill in this game that also has a cooldown timer. It is important that players do not spam the doge button, instead dodging Avril from enemies. Dodging too many times can cause players to find themselves in a tight spot and take avoidable damage.
1/7 Replay to find all the endings
Stormind Games developed many endings for Bathora: Lost Haven. Players discover each ending through the karma system and the choices they make throughout the game. Players are encouraged to play multiple times to discover and complete all endings.
The game has an approximate running time of 8 hours, which allows for multiple playthroughs so people can find the true ending and find out if Avril ever finds her Lost Haven.
Batora: Lost Sanctuary is out now Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X and PC.
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