I like zombies, I like chainsaws, I like aliens that come to destroy the planet and I also like many other things that you find in your classic horror/sci-fi films, unlike the rubbish you find in many modern ones. I mean what happened to the time when Vampires were evil and scary, not in love with a human and fighting a Werewolf for her heart. Alas while cinema may be ruined to an extent, recent games such as Dying Light have shown that for now at least the gaming world is safe from these poncy modernised “monsters”. So if you are like me and enjoy slicing things up with chainsaws, spraying bullets into psychotic cult members and trying to survive zombie ambushes well we may just have the game for you. Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of the Night is a bit of a strange concept really; essentially it is a single player board game that works a little like a text based adventure with RPG and strategy elements, I like to think of it as a Dungeons and Dragons that you can play on your own. Some may even recognise Chainsaw Warrior from Game Workshop’s classic board game, I shamefully had never heard of it before I was thrown this to review but I like what Auroch Digital have done as I’m all for redesigning a game so I can play it in the comfort of my own bed on my laptop.
The story follows a former special forces soldier who has been cybernetically modified to undertake the most dangerous covert missions. Dropped deep in the Aztec jungle you are tasked with saving the world from a strange evil that threatens to wipe out the planet in just one hour. Facing everything from evil crocodiles, to moon cultists and venomous zombies you’ll have to work your way through the jungle to ancient Aztec temples in order to prevent the end of the world. You face overwhelming odds but it can be done, as long as you have luck on your side.
The game starts by randomly creating you a character sheet which generates stats for you such as how much damage you can take and how quickly you can react to the goings on around you. For example as you make your way through the jungle which is done by selecting cards, you may stumble across a trap which can drop you into a pit of zombies. If you have decent reflexes then you have a better chance of avoiding the drop, but for those who are less cat like it is more difficult to evade. The way that it calculates your chances is like a typical RPG board game, by the roll of some dice; get below a certain score and you’re safe, but fail and it could be bye bye. I understand that to keep the game true to its roots and because it ain’t really a board game without dice, but I am not completely a fan of this because I start to get the feeling I had when I was like six years old and I lost at a game, I felt the game was cheating at times. Now I know it is probably randomly generated, but at times it just seems as if everything is going a little too well, then as you get toward the end, your luck runs out and constantly you’re failing to roll the numbers you need to defeat the bigger enemies.
Before you start though you’ll be able to select an abundance of weapons and items to help you on your quest; there’s everything from guns to armour, and net traps to targeting systems. Now you have to be careful what you choose as you only have so many, plus you are limited on ammo when it comes to your guns so keep that in mind when using the tools at your disposal. Luckily most enemies can be killed with your chainsaw pretty easily, so you can conserve ammo, but should you need it and run out you can get yourself into a real pickle. For example, certain enemies can only be killed by heavy or special weapons such as the laser lance or flamethrower. Now if you foolishly use them like I did to get rid of some of the smaller boss type enemies then you’re going to be dead meat when it comes to fending off the bigger baddies. Luckily though, when working your way through the card decks you can stumble across supply drops which allow you to pick up additional items and swap weapons for something with more ammunition.
Overall there are three decks to work through within the one hour period you have, each with a set number of cards which you can get through quickly if you get nice ones which leave you in a clear space with no enemies. However you can also get setbacks and have additional cards added to your deck which is takes up more of your precious time, but every cloud has a silver lining as it also means you could have more of a chance to get air drops. That said there were a couple of bugs in the game when it came to the cards, the first of which was a really minor one. Essentially I got ambushed by a bunch of hungry Jaguars or Leopards, I forget which it was but either way it was a big ferocious cat, and after selecting one of them to attack instead of showing the enemies card the game bugged out and just showed me the image of a jungle card that hadn’t been turned over. Luckily the game allowed me to continue as normal unlike the next bug I came across. I failed to roll the number required to kill the enemy, but instead of automatically continuing as it should the game froze and all I could do was look in my backpack at my items. This was severely frustrating as I then had to start the game again, and on one occasion I had almost completed the game.
In terms of the games graphics it follows a kind of comic book theme, especially through its story telling as the cut scenes are like just reading a comic book. It would have been nice to have a narrator telling the story but unfortunately I was forced into reading words to find out what was actually going on. The playing cards were quite nice as well with the characters well designed, although I think the trap cards could’ve used a bit more imagination. The best part for me though were the animations when attacking the enemies, and the cards shattering into small pieces when they were defeated which I thought was a really nice effect. As it is a basic game based on a classic, I suppose it would’ve ruined it to go into too much detail with certain aspects, and I guess that’s why there was a lack of narrator as well because if you were playing the original board game then you wouldn’t have had one; at the end of the day it is just like any text based adventure game, it’s all about using your imagination.
So would I recommend this game? Well the simple answer is HELL YEAH! Not only is it graphically nice and fun to play, but considering how cheap the game is, it is extremely varied and with some of the choices you are forced to make and all the obstacles the game throws at you on your adventure, you’ll never play the same game twice. Plus at only an hour long it means you don’t have enough time to get bored of it and it can be played through in its entirety in a short space of time in case you need to be getting off somewhere and only have time for a quick game. It does need some tweaking in parts as there were a few bugs which unfortunately cost me valuable time that I will never get back, but for a game which only takes an hour max to get to the end then it isn’t that bad; it is not like the time I played 4 hours of Grim Fandango and forgot to save it. Definitely worth a purchase.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.