We’ve seen the story of teenagers who gain superpowers and save the world in every form of media. And when they are done right, they can become some of the most popular stories in pop culture. Batora: Lost Haven is another one of these stories, accompanied by fun gameplay, stunning visuals, and fantastic voice acting.
Developed by Stormind Game and published by Team17, Batora: Lost Haven is an upcoming sci-fi action RPG where we follow the story of Avril, who is given new powers by the deities of sun and moon in order to save the earth. I got the chance to play the game’s demo on Steam, and even in the few hours I spent on Batora: Lost Haven, many promising features got me excited about it.
Batora: Lost Haven follows the story of Avril, a 16-year-old girl in a post-apocalyptic world. As she and her best friend Mila are exploring an abandoned city, she hears the strange voices of two deities call to her. The sun and the moon call to Avril to choose her as their champion, so she can save the universe. After a blackout, Avril and Mila are teleported to another planet. Mila is trapped underground, and Avril has to use her new powers to explore the world and save her.
The way Avril learns about her new powers is very appropriate for a teenager. She is really excited about what she can do, she thinks herself invincible, and she seems to have a lot of fun running around and fighting monsters. Her teenage behavior and energy is infectious, and feels realistic in the circumstances. Like other teenager superhero stories such as Spider-Man, there’s a level of relatability in her character, and we feel connected to her from the very beginning.
One of the main features of Batora: Lost Haven that significantly stands out is the voice acting. From the main character to the NPCs and aliens that we meet in our journey, the voice acting is impeccable. It especially shines through the banter between Avril and Mila and gives their friendship a unique chemistry.
There are moments in the story when Avril has to make some hard choices, and these are amazing character moments with continuous consequences for the rest of the game. As a teenager with superpowers, every enemy that she defeats only inflates her ego, but it’s the difficult decisions that challenge her on a human level, and seeing her go through them is one of the best parts of Batora: Lost Haven‘s story.
Batora: Lost Haven tells an engaging story, but it gets even better when you combine it with the gameplay. The game’s combat feels like most ARPGs; fast, challenging, and addictive. But we don’t have the unlimited customizations and loots that these games have. Instead, we have two stances correlating to the deities who gave us the powers, and a few abilities become available with each stance. In the beginning, the combat seems just like dashing around and hitting enemies, but as we progress through the game, we will be in fights where we have to switch and combo between different abilities of each stance.
While the gameplay is a simplified version of classic ARPGs, the skill ceiling and difficulty of combat can still be very high. In the final boss fight on the first planet that we visited, I was finally able to appreciate the combat’s intricacies. I think I died in that fight more than five times, and on each try, I learned something new until I finally defeated the boss.
We also face increasingly more difficult puzzles in Batora: Lost Haven. The puzzles combine creative designs with combat abilities to create unique sections that don’t feel disconnected from the rest of the game and the story. Avril even gets to choose in certain moments whether she wants to fight the enemies head-on or try her mental prowess with some puzzle challenges.
The visual design of Batora: Lost Haven looks stunning. The art and character designs look beautiful, visual effects look distinctive (which is crucial in the harder combat encounters) and the UI is informative and clean. I especially loved the dialogue overlays and the way characters change posture and expression during the conversation.
Overall, Batora: Lost Haven is looking very promising. With an engaging story, relatable characters, high-quality voice acting, challenging combat, and beautiful visuals, Batora: Lost Haven can be a very enjoyable experience when it releases in Fall.
Nima previewed Batora: Lost Haven on Steam with a code provided by the publisher. The game will be available in the Fall of 2022, also on Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series x.