Review: Chasm (PS4/PSV/PSTV)

Review: Chasm (PS4/PSV/PSTV)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PlayStation Vita
  • PC, Mac, Linux

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro, Vita
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
  • PlayStation TV Compatible Yes
  • Cross-Buy Yes
  • Cross-Save Yes
  • Cross-Play No
  • Cross-Chat No
Title: Chasm
Format: PS4 (535.3 MB) | PSV (65.4 MB)
Release Date: July 31, 2018
Publisher: Bit Kid, Inc.
Developer: Bit Kid, Inc.
Original MSRP: $19.99 (US), €17.99 (EU), £14.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 7
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Chasm features procedurally generated maps so, in theory, you’ll never play the same game twice. I tested out the feature by twice loading a new game and playing through the first area. It felt familiar but made me notice a few small issues. I’ll mention those later.

By methodically following one path and then backtracking to fill in any unexplored branching routes, I soon had the area completely mapped. Aside from a few locations that were inaccessible without a certain tool or ability. This alone took a long time.

After stumbling upon a large Rock Troll and getting my butt handed to me (that expression sounds horrific when you think about it) I had to start over from the last save point I visited, and these are sparsely spread out across the map. Once I made my way back to the beast I soon figured out his attack pattern and dispatched the ugly creature with ease and no loss of health. I also leveled up, which increased my stats and maximum health.

I found a few items in the Mines area that came in handy once equipped. Some better armor and a new weapon made the trek much easier, although I wasn’t a fan of one of the weapons I found later as it had a powerful but very narrow attack, which didn’t help with some enemies that jumped or swooped in from above. I sold it as soon as I got the chance.

Rescuing some of the lost villagers helps in your quest as they serve a purpose. Some have goods to trade, others want to play games. This does mean making my your back to the surface but thankfully you can open up several shortcuts so it doesn’t take ages. Plus, you can always save my progress in the village.

Collecting the Artifacts is key to progression in this game, although some things should have been in any good soldier’s pack before setting off. My character only has himself to blame for the amount of backtracking needed to complete his quest.

I’m happy that I’m quickly able to switch between my throwing weapons with the press of a button, but sad that I have to go into the menus to change my main weapon. Thankfully, one weapon isn’t better than another at dispatching certain enemies, their only differences being the strength, speed, and style of attack. This meant sticking with the whip was an easy decision.

I was very happy to see Chasm is both Cross-Buy and Cross-Save, so you can upload your save to the cloud and take your game on the go. The Vita version is identical but it did crash on a few occasions. This has only been when loading a save game so I’ve never lost any hard work.

Both versions seem to momentarily freeze when a Trophy pops, and while this hasn’t gotten my character into any trouble yet it is a little annoying. Now that I mention the virtual trinkets, as I like to call them, there is a Platinum, which will take some effort to attain. Sadly the game doesn’t feel very exciting and the enemies are generally few and far between.

The controls are quite easy to master and I soon learned the evade dash is invaluable, at least when facing tougher opponents. After leveling up a few times, one or two hits wipes them out before they get a chance to do anything.

Remembering where important rooms are can be confusing. There’s an almost pointless marker dot that can be placed on the spot where the character is, which helps a little bit, but not enough for my liking. I did consider taking a screenshot and printing it out so I could add any points of interest, but that was too much effort and not fun.

Visuals:
Chasm features some great visuals, especially during the first part when I explored a castle and then made my way to a village through a bitterly cold snowstorm. My character made slow progress as the freezing snow whipped across the landscape.

It isn’t just the pretty weather effect I enjoyed, it’s the little things too like the new recruits cleaning the floors of the large castle. A little later on I enjoyed seeing pieces of broken lantern clatter and bounce across the floor after I methodically broke every single one I passed.

I can still remember the first time I saw parallax scrolling in Altered Beast when I was a young boy and being amazed by it. Both film and video games made clever use of the effect to give the feeling of depth and distance to the background. Chasm also uses it well and it helps to make the game feel less claustrophobic and at times, quite beautiful.

I like, in a sadistic kind of way, the painful wince when I strike certain enemies. The bosses look good too but I won’t mention anything more as confronting them was the highlight of this meandering game.

I only wish there was more variety in each area as it can get a little repetitive. I could easily see some gamers growing bored with the same old surroundings as they either backtrack to explore an untrodden path or get killed and have to go through it all again.

Audio:
Chasm has some lovely music and nice sound effects. There isn’t any speech but I wasn’t really expecting any. I just wanted to add some more text to this little section so it didn’t appear to be so pathetic, like the next one.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only and features no online component.

Conclusion:
Chasm might not be perfect but it does a few things well and succeeds in being a fun adventure. The only way to cheat at solving the puzzles is to find someone with the same Seed as your own, which really makes the game feel unique and personal. It doesn’t hide the Seed number and you can share it with friends so you all get the same experience.

The map tiles are quite distinct and can vary the layout in quite different ways with each Seed. However, there isn’t enough diversity in the tiles to keep the game feeling fresh and unique with each playthrough.

Some puzzles and the map almost demand some actual note taking, like in the good old days of gaming where some people would put maps on their walls and scribble notes in the back of the game’s manuals. Yes kids, they actually had those years ago.

As I mentioned before, the levels can be quite sparse and when I did stumble upon an enemy, I’d seen it all before. I wish there was more variety in both the enemies and their attack patterns. It was this and the thought of trudging back through the levels to find something I’d missed that made me stop playing. It was just too dull for my liking.

Score:
6.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Vita’s built-in screen capture feature and the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

PS4 Screens:

PS Vita Screens:

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

If you send a friend request please add ‘PS Nation’ in the subject area.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook