Platinum Games. The Guns-for-Hire Game Developers who have been in the industry for decades. They've had a hand in amazing successes like Nier: Automata, and are also the ones behind some of the biggest flops such as The Wonderful 101 (though that was undeserved). But, through it all, they've always maintained their reputation as the forefront company to hire in order to make an action-packed, combat-heavy, totally bombastic title. Astral Chain is their newest release and it truly is a celebration of everything they've made previously. And, like their other games, it has tons of hidden depth. So, let's go over some of the biggest things players seem to be missing when it comes to this new world of Chimera's and Neuron Agents.
Disclaimer: This list is both for those who have and haven't played the game, we know a couple of these are shown to the player, but we just want more people to buy Astral Chain okay?!
10 Break All Those Juicy Crates Without Anyone Knowing
Funnily enough, if anyone reading this is a fan of Jojo's Bizzare Adventure, they'll probably feel some deja vu when we talk about certain elements of Astral Chain. For example, Legions are just Stands. They're invisible to everyone except other Chimeras and the Neuron Officer controlling them. This is important because, like other Platinum games, the player gets a ranking depending on how well they do in combat. But, since they're a police officer, they get deductions for breaking stuff in the environment, since its public property. But, if the player uses their Legion to break stuff specifically, they won't get deductions since all normal people will see is a box randomly exploding! That's some real neat immersion detail right there.
9 Use The Chain In All Kinds Of Ways
Players will notice that it takes a bit of time to fully get behind the odd combat style of Astral Chain. That's because technically, the player is controlling two characters at once, with a literal chain connecting the two. Well, one of the quickest ways to get comfortable with the combat is to recognize how useful said chain is. There are multiple chain abilities that make everything easier, such as chain pulls, dashes, pushes, binds, and more. Basically, the Legion is a weapon, the player is another weapon, and the chain is one more weapon that makes the other two even better.
8 Stun Enemies In Multiple Ways
Speaking of the chain, otherwise known as the Legatus, there is one particular ability that's incredibly useful in fights, Chain Bind. This is a basic skill thats usable from the get-go and it stuns the enemy for a short amount of time. All the player has to do is send the Legion around the enemy, as if they were wrapping it up with the chain. Now, be aware, this has diminishing returns. But, the Beast Legion has an ability called Howl and that also stuns enemies very briefly. This, on the other hand, can be used infinitely. Both of these are skills used in story missions, so they're not hard to miss, but they weren't seen much in the advertising leading up to the release of the game.
7 Ride To Safety On The Beast Legion Anytime
And while we're on the topic of the Beast Legion, this games version of Bladewolf, there's one more thing it can do that is a pretty rare commodity for a Platinum Game. This little police pupper is a get-out-of-danger-free card! Basically, whenever the player rides it, they auto-dodge any attack and are essentially invincible. Mechanics like this are what action games need if they want good sales! Small gestures that make harder action games like this immensely more approachable for the general audience. It's especially useful when a fight is a bit overwhelming or the player desperately needs to heal. If that's the case, the answer is simple, just hop on the trusty Copper Canine and run to safety!
6 Summon Two Legions At Once With Hit Rush
Don't sleep on Hit Rush. Seriously, don't. This ability is insane as it basically allows the user to summon two Legions at once. For those unaware, the Hit Rush skill basically "un-chains" a Legion for a brief amount of them, allowing them to do an auto-combo against the targeted enemy. But, if the player sends them out with Hit Rush then summons another Legion, they can use two at once! Just don't use Hit Rush again until the first Legion disappears, otherwise, they'll cancel each other out. Ignoring that this basically adds twice the combat potential, allowing for some insane Legion combo's!
5 Tank Hits For Free With Blue Shield
There are only two abilities we're going to talk about in here, mostly because part of the fun of a Platinum title is discovering just how deceptively deep the combat is. But, in the early game, the Beast Legion's Howl and the Axe Legion's Blue Shield are tantamount. This Blue Shield Ability is essentially a way to tank damage while still pulling off combos. Basically, three blue shields (hence the name) pop up around the player and they act as counters. The player can take three hits without suffering any knockback, interruption, or damage. And, for anyone familiar with these types of games, that's an insane ability for maximizing rankings and efficiently clearing out enemies.
4 Perform Awesome Synchronized Attacks
Sync Attacks are crucial in Astral Chain, seriously they are. The player is invincible while the 1-2 second animation plays, they have different benefits depending on the Legion, and they absolutely tear through enemies. But how does one perform a Sync Attack? Basically they're combo enders. Do the standard player combo, and at the end of it, the Legatus (the thing on the player's wrist) will flash blue. Press ZL as soon as it flashes and it's a simple as that! Sync Attacks have a much lower skill ceiling than some of the other moves in Astral Chain, and players will notice that they're pulling them off with 100% accuracy quite quickly thanks to muscle memory.
3 Call The Legion With Perfect Timing To Parry And Sync Attack
The Perfect Call function in Astral Chain, much like everything else, takes some practice. Basically, it requires the player to get into the habit of un-summoning their Legions whenever they aren't using them. This is because the Perfect Call is only achievable by calling the Legion right as an enemy attack is about to hit the player. If pulled off correctly, it works as an even better parry, and some Legions even get a free Sync Attack directly after. This is definitely a high-caliber of skill when it comes to Astral Chain, but with simple practice, anyone can nail these pretty consistently. Just think of it like the parrying system from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
2 Find Secret Encounters And Merchants
There are a lot of secrets, collectibles, and things to do in the Case Files within Astral Chain. In fact, those who like to 100% games will be replaying the same missions at least a few times. And that's not a bad thing! The combat never gets old and there's always more to find. And not just collectibles either, there's a reoccurring merchant and group of people called the Hidden Hermits. As far as we're aware, they appear in 6 different areas throughout the game. This group of full-body weirdo's at first sell some sweet items and cosmetics, but eventually, the player will end up fighting them, making for a truly individual experience.
1 See The World Through The Lens Of Augmented Reality
Oh hey and lastly, Astral Chain has a Detective Mode like Arham Asylum. Well, not fully. Honestly, it's more like the visor scanning from the Metroid Prime games. It's called the IRIS and it's an augmented-reality system that can be turned off and on with the "+" button, and its main function is to give some lord, help clean up the collectibles, and assist in solving cases. But, what players don't know, is that it also shows enemy health, and that applies to bosses. So, if a boss seems to be tanking all the hits but doesn't seem to be going down, simply check during a free moment with IRIS! Some peace of mind and a useful mechanic all-in-one!