Astral Chain by Platinum Games (Bayonetta, Nier: Automata) - Switch Exclusive

If I were to take a poll that asked me to select my most anticipated game of 2019, I would answer Astral Chain. This game is coming out on August 30, 2019. In a mere three weeks, I’ll be able to conduct police work from the end of a chain.

Official Site:

This is a game being developed by PlatinumGames, the masters of button-mashy action games like Bayonetta, Nier: Automata, Transformers Devastation, and the WiiU masterpiece, The Wonderful 101. Wikipedia identifies the dream team working on this project this way:

Astral Chain is directed by Takahisa Taura who was previously lead game designer for Nier: Automata, under supervision by Devil May Cry and Bayonetta series creator Hideki Kamiya. The game features character designs from manga artist Masakazu Katsura.

Because my favorite games from the last several years almost always seem to include these type of genre titles from PlatinumGames, I’ve already pre-ordered this sucker.

Here’s an official trailer:

And here’s a much longer “action trailer” that explains how the combat system works in this game:

Here are some pictures you can hide on your phone to keep your significant others from getting jealous:

And here’s an official wall of text full of bullet points:

Humanity’s last chance against an interdimensional invasion is a special living weapon called the Legion. As a rookie officer in the elite police task force Neuron, you and your Legion will work together to solve cases and save humankind.

The ASTRAL CHAIN game gives you full control over two characters at once for thrilling Synergetic Action, courtesy of PlatinumGames. Alternate between several Legion types and skills to save the world your way.

ASTRAL CHAIN features character designs by the acclaimed manga artist Masakazu Katsura (ZETMAN, Video Girl Ai), and marks the directorial debut of PlatinumGames’ Takahisa Taura (designer of NieR:Automata). Hideki Kamiya, director of the Bayonetta game and writer/supervisor of the Bayonetta 2 game, provides supervision.


  • Players can control the protagonist and a special weapon called a Legion simultaneously, building stylish combos by using both characters in tandem
  • There are multiple Legions in the game, each with different combat styles and abilities. Players can even strategically change between Legions at will during real-time battles
  • This apocalyptic setting is full of intricate details and interesting characters, including citizens and suspects you can interact with in the city, others in the special police task force, and your twin sibling
  • Use the abilities of the Legion not only in battle but also for investigating cases and solving environmental puzzles
  • Uncover the secrets of the alternate dimension called the Astral Plane, where the mysterious invaders originate
  • ASTRAL CHAIN is directed by Takahisa Taura, known for his work as the game designer on NieR:Automata , and supervised by Hideki Kamiya, creator of the Bayonetta series

I might buy a Switch early just to play this, rather than waiting for Bayonetta 3.

I’m a bit worried about the dual control scheme where you move your Legion at the same time. This never seems to work well.

I’ll wait for reviews.

That’s a fantastic intro post to get the ball rolling on discussion and generating excitement. Great job @kerzain!

Man, this looks like it could be really cool, I don’t have time for it but I’m keeping an eye on the thread for sure for now.

I’m excited for this, although I’ll probably be sorta rubbish at it. I can muddle through most character action games, but I think controlling the Legion might be a step too far for me.

The guys on Watch Out For Fireballs noted that Platinum kind of makes a single game series called “Platinum Game”, and every game they release is essentially just another sequel in that series, so each one builds on all the previous Stylish Character Action games, so eventually I’m expecting one of these games to just become too complex for me.

When they announced it, I joked that it would be a stealth Nier prequel, or maybe another alternate timeline, ala Drakengard. I’m going to maintain that that is the case, even when it’s clear that it’s not.

Yeah, the gameplay looks really cool, but I’m not sure how well we’d be able to actually control the characters, and the camera, at the same time.

ALso, I don’t know why, but for some reason this game reminds me of Jet Force Gemini.

To answer that specific question, they said you hold the ZL button and use the right stick to move the other character.

I’m less worried about the camera. That’s always a challenge in action games but I have confidence in Platinum for that one.

With only two weeks left to wait for release, Kotaku talks a bit about the non-combat activities that players get to look forward to in Astral Chain.

What I love best about the quirky new action adventure is the puzzle solving, world-building, and general goofing around that occurs between battles.

The article above delves into each of the non-combat activities players will get to take part in between beat-downs:

  • Investigation

Investigating is a major component of Astral Chain missions. The player canvases the area of an incident, gathering keyword clues by questioning witnesses, police officers, and analyzing evidence.

While the odd random encounter can occur during an investigation, mostly these investigation segments are made up of casual puzzle solving and information gathering. Solving the problem correctly awarded me with a new clue, which was integral in completing my investigation. I could do this all day long.

  • Exploration

Legions aren’t just fighting partners. They are always connected to your protagonist, by way of the titular astral chain. That chain connection can help both the cop and their tamed biological weapon in traversing run-down towns and the twisted geography of the chimeric realm, home of our alien enemies.

  • Bumming Around Headquarters

Neuron HQ is a four-story complex that’s packed with things to see and do instead of heading upstairs to the helipad or downstairs to the motor pool to deploy on a remote mission. It’s where players can save their game, customize their Legion, read through the game’s database, and check in with its cast of entertaining characters.

  • Photography

Love, love, love a game that gives me a camera to play with. Early on in my first playthrough, my pink-haired police person earned such a device to aid her not only in documenting her adventures, but also to help her get to know her peers. Taking a photograph of a named character in Astral Chain unlocks their database entry in the game’s computer, offering bits of backstory that really help round out the cast.

  • Fashion

I have barely scratched the surface of Astral Chain’s in-game character customization options, but I am overjoyed that they exist. By visiting her locker, located across the hallway from the headquarter’s command hub (fitting for such an important feature), the player character can alter her hair style and color and put together an ensemble from cosmetic items collected during gameplay.

Several other details are starting to emerge as well.

Here’s the opening theme song, called “Savior” (It’s cool, but I still prefer Bayonetta 2’s awesome track: Tomorrow is Mine):

Some off-screen handheld gameplay:

And five minutes of combat gameplay and a very early boss fight:

Part of the reason I’m interested in this is because it gives me vague Binary Domain vibes, which is a game I inexplicably stan* for.

* as the kids say

Four days till the game comes out and reviews are starting to hit the streets today.

It also got the highest “Essential” rating on Eurogamer.

It’s a shame this is a Switch exclusive. But on the other hand, it gives me another reason to get a Switch (or Switch 2) eventually.

Man, those reviews make this really sound up my alley. An accessible Platinum game, with crazy scifi world exploration?

Prequel jokes aside, Nier Automata was never super demanding as an action game, and it sounds like this is more along those lines, but not quite as RPG. Which is fine with me.

Platinum. Excellent reviews. I have to dig around in the couch cushions this week.

it’s the most fun I’ve had with one of Platinum’s titles since Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Heck, it might even be Platinum’s best game yet.

I’m not saying Eurogamer is over-selling this, but best Platinum game yet? I hope they’re right.

If I had a Switch, I’d be all over this. I hope it shows up on the PC one day…

It’s Nintendo published, so that seems unlikely.

Well, Lego City Undercover was too and it found its way. I don’t think we’ll see any “prime” Nintendo games on the PC, but secondary franchises are a possibility.

This seems Nintendo published in a way that LEGO City Undercover was not. That was more of a timed exclusive kind of thing, and it was designed for 3DS and Wii U using the two screens so it needed a big rewrite to go onto the other machines. They still haven’t let Bayonetta 2 and Wonderful 101 appear anywhere else.

Also, if it’s really this good, it will help them sell consoles, so letting it go elsewhere isn’t really an option.

I’m going to be all over this. The art style looks really slick.

I was secretly hoping this was going to be a dud, because I don’t have the time nor the money!

Huh. From the trailers and such I thought this was purely a character action combat type game, but it seems to be much broader in scope. My interest level has gone up dramatically, given that I bounced off previous Platinum games.