Batora Lost Haven Review – Girl Power in SciFi Space Action Adventure

In the Batora Lost Haven Review / Test you can Find out Everything About the New, Exciting Sci-Fi Adventure with Isometric Action Combat and a Lot of Story

Batora Lost Haven Review
Girl Power in SciFi 
Space Action Adventure Test
Batora Lost Haven Review
Girl Power in SciFi
Space Action Adventure Test

In the action-adventure game Batora Lost Haven, we travel through a post-apocalyptic science fiction world with the heroine Avril, saving the Earth by traveling through space and restoring the balance in the galaxy. The sun and moon stand by our side and lend us their powers to cast powerful melee fire attacks or mighty ranged mental spells.

The story-driven ARPG Batora is an indie game with a release date of Oct 20th, 2022, for Xbox, PlayStation PS4 / PS5, and for PC on Steam, a Nintendo version is also planned. In the Batora review PC gameplay is shown in German, RPG mixed with hack and slash, female protagonist, and all from an indie dev team.

German Version:

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Batora Lost Haven Review Video

The video and the podcast post about the review will follow in the coming days. Unfortunately, I currently have COVID and my voice is wholly destroyed, thus recording a voice-over is impossible.

Batora Lost Haven Review – Intro

The game is developed by Stormind Games and published by Team17. The Batora release date is October 20th, 2022 for Xbox and Playstation, as well as for PC on Steam. A Nintendo Switch version is also planned.

Hi there, this is the Zap. In this Batora – Lost Haven review, you’ll get a sneak peek at the new action-adventure game with a mix of story, combat, and puzzles. I’ll tell you how it plays, what’s in it, and at the end, you’ll get a rating from me. But most of all, I want to give you all the info so you can decide for yourself if you might enjoy Batora.

There are already two games from Stormind, Remothered: Tormented Fathers and Broken Porcelain. I received a free trial key, my thanks for that. However, this should have no bearing on my review, as I always test all games with the thought in the back of my mind, how would I feel if I had paid full price.


Batora Gameplay – Story and Characters

Batora Lost Haven Review
Story and Chars
Batora Lost Haven Review
Story and Chars

In Batora we play the young woman Avril, who lives in London on a post-apocalyptic Earth. The world has been almost completely destroyed by unknown events, and in Avril’s dreams, two voices, calling themselves the Sun and the Moon, speak of her being the chosen one who has to save the galaxy.

Together with her friend Mira, who doubts Avril’s sanity but is still loyal to her, she seeks out a place on the London Underground that the voices have named as a meeting place. And suddenly they are both thrown into an alien world, and Avril is given a sword and special skills by the sun and moon, as well as a mission, to first restore the disturbed balance on this strange planet and later save the entire galaxy.


Batora Lost Haven Test – Game Type – Action-Adventure

Batora Lost Haven Test
Game Type Action-Adventure
Batora Lost Haven Test
Game Type Action-Adventure

We control Avril with a gamepad or WASD and mouse from an isometric view from above. We travel through mostly rather moderately complex areas, which are often bordered by gates or other barriers, which we then have to unlock through puzzles or certain quests.

The quests take place in cutscenes and conversations, in which we often have to make decisions, some of which also have an actual impact on the development of the story. Here, in addition to different paths in the story, there is also a karma system that can have an impact on our character.

Our heroine has two conditions, based on her allies the sun and the moon. In sun mode we can distribute physical attacks in melee and in moon mode, we shoot with mental ranged attacks. We can switch between the two states at any time. Both types gradually get several skills of their own, and we even have extra life bars for each alignment. In addition, there is a dodge jump, which we need very often, and there are smaller combos that increase damage or trigger special attacks.

When we walk through the more cavernous corridors while exploring, we are frequently attacked by different kinds of alien monsters. The enemies also have lunar and solar alignments. We should attack them with the appropriate attack type, so moon with moon and sun enemies with sun attacks. In addition, there are hybrid monsters that perform both kinds of attacks and also have two life bars on them.

In the boss fights, there is also always a moon side and a sun side of the main opponents, which come up with completely different skills and behaviors. This system provides a lot of variety in combat, and in the big fights you have to switch constantly, and always choose the right alignment at the right moment, otherwise, you’ll quickly get more of a beating than our Avril can handle.

Another very important game element is extensive puzzle passages. Here we activate switches, turn platforms and gates, use our mental abilities to move balls through mazes like Indiana Jones to push down platforms, and much more. These puzzles aren’t super hard, but I had a few times to think about them a bit. In addition, we sometimes get the choice of whether we want to solve a quest with combat, or by solving puzzles.

In later sections, we are then also often together with our friend Mila or other companions on the road. And even if they are fighting along, we have to watch out for them and defend them. Because not only if we collapse there is a Game Over screen, but, also if a companion goes down, the fight is immediately over.


Batora Gameplay – Roleplay and RPG Systems

Roleplay and RPG Systems
Roleplay and RPG Systems

We get experience with fighting, discoveries, and quests. Through this, we rise in levels, which automatically increases our stats a little. Unfortunately, it is not possible here for us to distribute stats ourselves, or learn other skills. We get improvements but have no choice in the matter whatsoever. This disappointingly lowers the role-playing portion in this area to an absolute minimum.

At least we can find or buy runes that we can then build onto our weapon. And this gives us at least some ability to customize our heroine to our play style. But since these runes mainly include more damage, more HP, crit chance, and things like that, the selection here is also very small. Later on, there are slightly more powerful runes, but they didn’t really strike me as crucial. Besides the runes, there is no further choice in equipment or other points, skills, or values.

Thus, I’m sorry to say that marketing the game as a “role-playing game” is rather improper and even a bit misleading. In this area, there is almost nothing to decide, no real possibilities to choose different paths, skill sets, equipment, or anything like that. Wasted potential, more on that in a moment in the Opinion and Conclusion section.


Batora Lost Haven – Gameplay Screenshots – InGame Pictures

Click or tap on the image for a larger view.
In the enlarged view, you can scroll right and left on the edges

Tech, Graphics, Sound, Engine, Translation

Tech, Graphics, Sound, Engine, Translation
Tech, Graphics, Sound, Engine, Translation

Batora is developed with Unreal Engine 4. And because of that, there are some really fancy cutscenes and also in conversations and in the fights against bosses, the game makes good use of some of these capabilities. In normal gameplay, however, the extensive capabilities of the modern graphics engine are unfortunately often not fully used. During my testing time, the game did not crash once and did not cause any other problems, so technically Batora is in good shape.

The settings and options screen is a bit scarce. Neither is there a difficulty level to choose from, nor any other gameplay settings. In the graphics area, however, the game does offer some options to adapt the game to weaker hardware, as well as to current graphics cards with ray tracing and DLSS if needed. Unfortunately, no FSR is provided.

The game’s controls are primarily designed for the gamepad. You can play Batora with a mouse and keyboard without any problems, but it often confused me that for certain functions buttons were shown again and again, with areas that looked like click buttons, but when you tried to click there with the mouse nothing happened. It is somewhat incomprehensible to me why this was not offered both at the same time.

The soundtrack is rather mediocre. Combat sounds are present, but not too varied. Ambient sounds are heard less often and when they are, they didn’t really excite me. What I did like was the English voice output. The voice artists who lend their voices to the characters did a solid job here.

The game’s text is offered in 13 languages, but the dubbing is exclusively in English. Sometimes the subtitles differ a bit from the dubbing, but it’s not really dramatic.


Batora Lost Haven Review
How well does Batora run on Steamdeck
Batora Lost Haven Review
How well does Batora run on Steamdeck

How well does Batora run on Steamdeck?

The game is fundamentally very well-prepared for the Steam deck. A control scheme specially prepared for the new console is offered, and everything can be operated well with the sticks and the existing buttons. As good as always, the required buttons are displayed directly at the functions, which is an exemplary well implementation.

The performance on the deck is decent and makes for good playability. With the default setting, the battery would last about 3-4 hours. However, if you throttle the graphics a bit via Steamdeck options, you can easily get 4-5 hours of battery life out of there with Batora, without compromising your gaming experience.


Batora Lost Haven Test – Opinion and Conclusion

Batora Lost Haven Test
Opinion and Conclusion
Batora Lost Haven Test
Opinion and Conclusion

My biggest problem with Batora is the camera controls. Neither can you move the camera angle freely, nor zoom smoothly. Only switching between two fixed zoom levels is possible, but that’s more like “camera far away” and “camera very far away”.

And in the dungeon passages, especially when you have to run down, this “very far” is still somehow too little for my feeling. There you run mostly into the unknown and can not see well where the character is heading. Sometimes there are then automatic adjustments of the distance, which are mostly helpful, but sometimes they are not.

Here the developers could have gotten a lot more out of the engine. The gameplay feels so, with this fixed camera, unfortunately, a bit stiff in some passages. And sometimes it even gets frustrating when you run into enemies you couldn’t see, or in boss fights once again the controls don’t respond fluidly, or enemies run out of the screen, and then you’re attacked from offscreen.

Graphically, Batora is often really pretty, and then again it has passages where it tends more toward “mediocre”. The game offers a very unique style, which is also used consistently. So the developers can really do great things graphically, but somehow they didn’t implement this well throughout.

Some textures unfortunately look a bit boring and muddy. And many details of the models for characters and monsters become clear only in cutscenes. Because in the normal game, the camera is just so far away, so the details are often lost here. But it is a graphically good average to a little above and altogether this is already on a good level. But still, there would simply be more in it, Stormind regrettably gives away some points here.

Combat is partially too unbalanced or too random

Generally, some of the fights still seemed a bit badly balanced to me. Obviously, you should use the various skills, shields, combos, and self-heals skillfully. And if you pay attention to all this, you can also take care of yourself quite well. However, if it then happens with the companions in the fight constantly that these stand around bluntly in the middle, and are collecting all area damage from the opponents, and then falling down quickly, it can sometimes become frustrating.

Here, I would have liked companions to just pass out and get dropped as help until after the fight. But having a companion die in combat and then trigger a game over didn’t sit well with me at all. I had some frustrating moments there, which are also very hard to avoid, even when you try to draw the enemies’ aggro on you.

The balancing of some boss fights was still a bit too much on the difficult side for my taste. But in boss fights, I can still understand it best. But when even the “normal” monster groups sometimes knock you off your feet 5-6 times in a row, or constantly kill your companion, then the line between fun, challenge, and frustration is reached more often than is good for the gameplay.

Difficulty level unfortunately not adjustable

Thus, I think the game overall lacks a difficulty slider and more gameplay options to adjust to one’s idea of difficulty and enjoyment. Gamepad acrobats might find themselves challenged, but for players with slightly slower reflexes or even limitations, this could become a problem and a source of frustration.

Great Story – Characters with Personality

I really like the story of the game. There is an interesting mix of post-apocalyptic sci-fi, magic, and alien stories here. The story is roughly based on a book also called Batora, so if you really like the game, you can go deeper here.

You can also tell that the world and characters have a bit more substance to them here than in many other action-adventure games. The main characters have strong personalities and occasionally babble a bit away from the exact main story, and even some of the side characters have fun idiosyncrasies and a few small, but powerful appearances.

The Design – Unfortunately a bit Too Linear

However, I must note that both the level design and the story progression are actually absolutely linear. Apart from a few small roadside stashes, there aren’t many opportunities to take different paths. That’s actually quite a shame because a little more freedom would have added a lot to the game.

For $24.99 or €, Batora offers roughly 15-20 hours of gameplay, depending on combat skill and the number of deaths. Should one skip all dialogues, this can be shortened dramatically. But I really can’t recommend that, because then you would miss about 70 % of the game because Batora is very story-heavy.

Batora is not a real RPG

The replay value is unfortunately limited by the somewhat low role-playing depth and the linear structure. You do have some decisions to make, and there are different endings to the story. I haven’t had a chance to try them all out yet. But I don’t think these have such a strong impact that this alone provides motivation for multiple playthroughs. With a skill tree and more freely distributable stats, the game could have gotten much more depth and fun here. Unfortunately, the developers at Stormind missed an opportunity here to make the game even better.

Batora Lost Haven Review – Rating

When I put into perspective the fun and length of gameplay offered, as well as the original story and special game features, I would like to give Batora Lost Haven a base rating of 85 %.

For the slightly too linear game design and the limited role-playing system, I deduct 3 %. Slight flaws in the balancing of the battles, especially with the companions and the lack of a difficulty slider, deduct another 2 %. With that, Batora Lost Haven gets a final rating of 80 % from me.

For a higher rating, the replay value should have just been better, and fewer frustrating moments while fighting would have really enhanced the experience. With good updates, I think Batora could still pull out 5 % more.

Batora Lost Haven Review
Rating with numbers 80 percent
Batora Lost Haven Review
Rating with numbers 80 percent

Batora Lost Haven

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Batora Lost Haven Review - wilde Frauen-Power im SciFi Weltraum Action-Adventure (Test)
In the Batora Lost Haven Review / Test you can Find out Everything About the New, Exciting Sci-Fi Adventure with Isometric Action Combat and a Lot of Story

The story-driven ARPG Batora is an indie game with a release date of Oct 20th, 2022, for Xbox, PlayStation PS4 / PS5, and for PC on Steam, a Nintendo version is also planned. In the Batora review PC gameplay is shown in German, RPG mixed with hack and slash, female protagonist, and all from an indie dev team.
Graphics
Sound
Technical Realisation
RPG
Story
World-Design
Scope of the Game
Fun pro Price

Summary

When I put into perspective the fun and length of gameplay offered, as well as the original story and special game features, I would like to give Batora Lost Haven a base rating of 85 %.
For the slightly too linear game design and the limited role-playing system, I deduct 3 %. Slight flaws in the balancing of the battles, especially with the companions and the lack of a difficulty slider, deduct another 2 %. With that, Batora Lost Haven gets a final rating of 80 % from me.
For a higher rating, the replay value should have just been better, and fewer frustrating moments while fighting would have really enhanced the experience. With good updates, I think Batora could still pull out 5 % more.

4

Outro

Do you like leading tough women in sci-fi alien worlds through weird stories and tough battles? Or is a lack of roleplaying depth and dying companions a no-go for you? Feel free to write me your opinion in the Community Discord.

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