Batora: Lost Haven PC Preview

Batora: Lost Haven utilizes constant stance switching to enhance quick action.

By Fragnarok, Posted 25 Feb 2022

Batora: Lost Haven is an adventure game developed Stormid Games and published by Team17. Earth has been ravaged by some kind of unknown disaster. Around the same time, the main character Avaril and her companion Mila have found themselves on the planet Gryja (via in medias res). Avaril is caught up by the enigmatic and powerful sage Batora, who explains that the former now possess the power of the Sun and Moon. With them, Avaril must put a stop to the long war between Gryja’s Builders and Destroyers factions.

Batora: Lost Haven, PC, Preview, Gameplay, Screenshots, Stormid Games, Team17

Combat in Batora: Lost Haven consists of switching between Sun and Moon powers quickly to defeat enemies and keep Avaril safe. Sun (orange) deals with physical melee attacks, while Moon (purple) attacks with ranged mental damage. Different enemies are color-coded with orange and purple respectively, indicating their attack types and what they are weak to. While it is possible to kill enemies with the opposite element, attacks will be greatly reduced.

Avaril is under the same conditions as the foes, and has two separate life bars to represent her physical and mental stamina; she will perish if either bat is depleted. This makes it important to switch between Sun and Moon modes to not only attack but reduce the harm of enemy attacks. Additionally, Sun dodges attacks via quick movement while moon uses are more instantaneous teleport.

Batora: Lost Haven, PC, Preview, Gameplay, Screenshots, Stormid Games, Team17

Switching between modes isn’t just for combat, as certain abilities will also allow Avaril to cross terrain safely, quickly, or in some cases are needed move at all. This means that eventually there will be a constant dance between switching to the right mode during exploration, and then even more once enemies and bosses ambush. Some of the stronger enemies have both physical and mental stances and attacks, requiring constant switching of Sun to Moon and back. 

Moving Avaril is done via the standard WASD keys, paired with left mouse clicks to target enemies. The right mouse can also be used to move to specific locations, space to use a dodge move, and mouse wheel to switch between Sun and Moon. The Q key will unleash a special move that will go on cooldown for a few seconds. Sun’s default special is a wide slash attack, while Moon will unleash a tornado that engulfs the first target it hits. There are additional moves that Avaril can eventually learn.

Batora: Lost Haven, PC, Preview, Gameplay, Screenshots, Stormid Games, Team17

While the gameplay is a very interesting idea, the controls are a bit too loose and finicky. Mouse sensitivity is much too high, making it very easy to overshoot targets. Players would need to manually make adjustments in Windows to compensate, then readjust again after exiting Bartoa: Lost Haven. There are also no direct camera controls, with the screen turning and zooming automatically depending on the fight and exploration. There are also currently no options to rebind keys or customize the experience.

Bartoa: Lost Haven is unfortunately filled with lots of graphical bugs. On both the highest and lowest settings there was frequent screen tearing, texture pop-in, and even sudden black screens. While errors quickly disappeared as quickly as they appeared, they were consistent enough to be unpleasant. However, these were only visual and did not stop progression or require any reloading.

Batora: Lost Haven, PC, Preview, Gameplay, Screenshots, Stormid Games, Team17

The in medias res approach is a bit jarring, as none of the characters are properly introduced. Avaril, Mila, Sun, Moon, and Batora aren’t given established personalities or clear backstories yet are treated as if players should already have deep attachments. This will hopefully be adjusted for the full game, with some kind of early introduction while the Earth is still whole. Additionally, the current voice acting ranges from average to poor and may be worth another pass or new talent.

There are at least large teases that the game will go somewhere beyond Gryja, as it is just one of the four elemental planets mentioned by Batora. These other worlds will likely be a host of new enemies, gameplay, and plot. New zones being placed either before or after Gryja will give more opportunities to flesh out the characters, and onboard players to Batora: Lost Haven’s gameplay concepts in a smooth way.

Batora: Lost Haven, PC, Preview, Gameplay, Screenshots, Stormid Games, Team17

A free demo for Batora: Lost Haven is available on Steam and is worth checking out for the gameplay. The retail release is still slated for 2022, but no month or even quarter has been announced. However, until there are improvements to the story, quality of life, options, and bugs it is still far too early to know if the full game will be a good purchase.

Kurtis Seid, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC
Publisher(s): Team17
Developer(s): Stormid Games
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Space, Alien, Magic, Hack And Slash
Release Date: 2022

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