With games like Bayonetta, Transformers: Devastation, Vanquish, and Nier: Automata, PlatinumGames have positioned themselves as one of the world’s premier developers of action games. Their newest title Astral Chain for the Nintendo Switch is already considered to be one of the best exclusives on the console.
What has always made PlatinumGames’ titles so great is their accessibility. They have always been easy to pick up and play, giving a sense of escapism helping the player feel like they’re taking part in action anime. This power fantasy extends to Astral Chain too, however, there are some things the game expects the players to discover for themselves. While this is a good thing, here are some tips players will definitely wish they knew before they started.
10 Keep An Eye On The Legion’s Energy Meter
With the chaos that can ensue on screen, it is very easy to get lost in the heat of battle. However, the player needs to keep an eye on said heat, especially the Legion’s energy meter. Overusing the Legion in battle will result in it overheating and withdrawing from the battle for a significant amount of time during its cool down.
This can be remedied by recalling the Legion once in a while to recharge or by using energy power-ups. In addition, the Legion’s energy meter can be extended in the Legatus.
9 Upgrade The Legion
One of the most important things players should do is upgrading their Legion as often as possible through the Ability Code System which functions similarly to the Nier: Automata’s “Chip” system. Here the player can build a stronger legion by boosting critical hit damage, chain length, and more.
The Legion’s skill trees can be accessed through the pause menu and can be upgraded using the Gene Codes that are earned from completed missions. Players can assign their Legion with two unique moves and bonuses that can provide special buffs which will help during combat.
8 Explore As Much As Possible
Astral Chain’s anime-style cyberpunk setting isn’t quite the open-world game that other titles in a similar setting use like Deus Ex series is or CD Projekt Red’s upcoming Cyberpunk 2077. However, there is a lot of freedom to explore and discover new items.
Taking time to explore the city – also known as The Ark – in between the main story missions will open up optional side quests and investigations. Additionally, these side stories will help reveal more about the game’s world and characters as well as counting towards your overall performance grade for extra points.
7 Preparation Is Key To Success
Being the kind of exciting action game Astral Chain is, it can very tempting to just rush out and get straight back into the combat. However, preparation is paramount for success especially if you’re expecting to have any success dealing with the later levels and more difficult bosses.
It is advisable to pay a visit to the Technical Crew to upgrade the Legatus and X-Baton for extra damage. In addition, one should use the infirmary in the Special Ops Bureau as much as possible to stock up on combat and health items.
6 Make Use Of The Iris
One of the most important and useful tools in Astral Chain the IRIS. It functions like an augmented reality lens that can scan and highlight past events, hidden items, Red Matter, and areas of importance which reveal important objectives.
Completing these objectives will result in a better score for your end of mission report. In addition, the IRIS is very useful against enemies as it can reveal their remaining health bar. To access the IRIS just simply press the + button.
5 Use The Sync Attacks
The Sync Attack looks like a tag team move with the player character and Legion working together as one. It is an important move in Astral Chain and will deal a significant amount of damage turning the tide of battle in their favor. In addition, landing a successful Sync Attack will grant the player attack and health bonuses.
The player can work towards getting Sync Attack opportunities by making the perfect dodge and landing successful X-Baton combos. The Sync Attack is triggered by pressing ZL or ZR when the character turns blue.
4 Remember To Manually Claim Rewards
As the player progresses through the game completing main missions and side quests they will earn rewards and material codes by completing their orders. However, these rewards will need to be claimed manually via the pause menu screen by selecting the ‘Status’ option followed by selecting ‘Orders’.
Finally, to filter all of the unclaimed rewards the player will need to click the R3 by pressing the right analog stick inwards. This is useful because there will be a range of useful upgrades and power-ups and materials that will be available from the top of the menu.
3 Save The Cats
In true superhero fashion, the player will have the opportunity to save a stray cat in every chapter. Once saved the cats will be adopted and take residence at the safehouse. Once back at the safehouse the player can feed the cats if they have cat food in their inventory for a reward.
To find the cats one has to listen for the meows and use the IRIS. There are 15 cats to find in total with four to unlock in the epilogue alone. Beyond rewards, there's no real narrative reason for saving them but the developers Platinum Games clearly have a thing for cats.
2 Upgrade The Axe Legion
The Axe Legion is one of the most useful defensive tools in-game but it isn’t obtained until late in the game’s campaign. However, couldn’t arrive a better time because as with all action titles especially those developed by Platinum Games the challenge increases as the game progresses.
Once the Axe Legion is available, the player should work on upgrading its skill tree to obtain the Blue Shield skill. This will grant the player with a protective shield for three enemy hits proving useful when the odds are stacked against them.
1 The Hit Rush
The Hit Rush ability can be obtained during the early stages of the game and will prove to be one of the most useful methods of attack in several encounters. Hit Rush allows the player to unchain their Legion and summon another into battle for a briefly for extra damage.
Using this ability will also count toward the player’s style points and proves particularly useful against multiple enemies. This is especially so when fighting a large boss that’s accompanied by groups of smaller Chimera.