The 21 best Nintendo Switch games in 2024

I was on the fence Astral chain from the release of the first trailer until a good few hours into the game. It all felt a little too generic, almost like a paint-by-numbers action game. I needn’t have worried as it’s one of the more original titles to come from PlatinumGames, creator of the Bayonetta series, in recent years.

You play as a special forces officer dealing with this threat in a future where the world is under constant attack from creatures that exist in another plane of existence. The trick to the game is that you can tame these creatures to become Legions that you use in battle. Encounters battle waves of mobs and bigger, tougher enemies at the same time, controlling both your character and the Legion. As with combat, you’ll use your Legion(s) to solve crimes and traverse environments.

Astral chain closely tied to the loop of detective work, platforming puzzles and combat – a little too closely, if I’m being critical – the game is divided into jobs that serve as chapters. The story starts off well enough, but quickly devolves into a mish-mash of various anime tropes, including twists and arcs cut from several popular shows and movies. However, the minute-by-minute gameplay is enough to get you through 20 hours or more of the main campaign and some pretty substantial end-game content.

It does Astral chain reaches its peak Nier: Automata? No, not at all, but its combat and environments can often surpass that game, which is probably my favorite game of this generation. Often available for under $50 these days, it’s well worth your time.

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