A Sci-fi boardgame adaptation with card driven encounters.02. SETTING:
Chainsaw Warrior is based on the Games Workshop boardgame of the same name first released in the eighties. It is set in a future version of New York, in the year 2032 which is under invasion from evil, otherworldy forces.03. STORY/BACKGROUND:
A mysterious portal has appeared in the heart of the city from which deadly minions pour forth commanded by a dark malevolent force that calls itself Darkness. After several failed counter-attacks to liberate the city a retired, almost forgotten war hero is called upon, to mount one last desperate attempt to thwart the evil that is about to consume the city and send it to the otherside of the portal. As the player you take on the role of this soldier, armed to the teeth with the best gear science can offer. With only an hour left before New York disappears forever, you face the toughest challenge of your glorious career. Will you defeat Darkness in time?04. GAME MODES:
As per the original boardgame; only one game mode - singleplayer.05. GAMEPLAY:
Gameplay relies heavily on a combination of revealing consecutive cards and then choosing from a few key actions from the options that present themselves and/or rolling dice to determine the outcome of said actions. Including combat, evading, discovering equipment, using items and avoiding/disarming traps. The games begins with the creation of a character by rolling the core stats, special abilities & starting equipment including: Melee weapons, firearms, heavy weapons, devices, clothing and special items.
Once the player is ready they must reach and kill Darkness within an hour of game time. Movement is abstracted with the turn of a card representing progress made towards your goal is located. Every card and each action costs 30 seconds in time. There are two decks of fifty-four cards, each deck representing a day and night cycle. Cards consist of encounters with enemies, traps and obstacles designed to slow progress, discarded equipment and special transit cards.06. MECHANICS:
There are no complicated mechanics. A combination of dice rolls and modifiers are used to deterime character stats, combat and action successes or fails. Different cards are used to represent encounters and other events. They split into four main types: transit, enemies, inventory and traps. The final boss is Darkness and has a special card.
Equipment has a huge impact on success or failure. Melee combat takes a weapon's modifier adds it to hand-to-hand skill and the roll of a dice, compared to the enemy's skill and dice roll. Firearms require a certain roll equal to or less to a particular enemy from dice rolls and the marksmanship modifer. Devices allow you to perform certain actions or provide modifiers and nulify penalties in combat or in a given situation like if it night. Firearms are also limited by the amount of ammo in the magazines.
If an enemy is encountered on any card the player can choose to shoot in the first turn of combat or engage in melee combat and thereafter remain in melee combat or attempt a special action. Combat is determined with one or two dice rolls. If the player loses a combat turn they take damage and lose 30 seconds. If they win the enemy is killed. In the event of a draw the player may be able to choose a special action such as: fleeing, taking a lucky shot or hiding. Players are defeated by: dying in combat, by radiation or venom, running out of time or facing Darkness without a special weapon. Additional actions such as fleeing combat, hiding from enemies, taking a lucky shot can be made if the player is injured during a combat turn.
There are several types of common enemies including: zombies and rat-packs with different combat stats. Chaos agents are varied come with special abilites such as; forcing the player to drop equipment or the ability to KO the player and losing them a large amount of valuable time. Mutants, Slime and the Meat Machine are tougher, rarer enemies that are particular difficult to kill and in turn can hurt or kill the player in quick-time.
There are also around half a dozen different traps which have different effects on play such as: slowing the player down, disabling equipment or hurting the player. All of these can be nulified or disarmed with equipment, devices or weapons if carried. Day & Night is divided when you reach the 30minute mark. During the night time your abilities suffer unless you are equipped with certain items and the enemies become stronger. Fear not though as your character can encounter discarded items during their journey.
Awaiting you is Darkness, the final encounter somewhere in the second deck. This end of game boss is a tough hombre and can only be defeated if equipped with either a Laser Lance or Implosion Vest. The latter resulting in a stalemate. Make no mistake Darkness makes for a worthy opponent and more likely that not you will die, even on Easy difficulty.07. A.I:
Due to the simple yet elegant design no A.I is required. 08. GRAPHICS:
These are minimal 2D art based creations. Nothing amazing but they do the job and immerse you in the game's setting. The cards are well-drawn and a little variation is used to add to the sense of immersion.09. INTERFACE & CONTROLS:
Point and click. Basic interface includes HUD showing player stats, encounter information and dice rolls. Action buttons display according to options available. Placement is pratical and efficient.10. SOUNDTRACK & AUDIO:
A simple repetitive yet catchy tune in a Midi format plays continuously. It oozes atmospehere and captures the ambience of the setting, increasing in tempo as the action increases in pace. Combat has some nice weapon effects.11. VOICE ACTING:
There is none except in the opening cutscenes, unless you count the mocking laughter of Darkness as Voice acting.12. DIFFICULTY:
There are three difficulties: Easy, Normal & Hard. These affect the way in which player stats are determined at the start of the game. Higher stats are more prevelent in Easy mode.13. PLAYTIME:
15-20 hours to complete all achievements. Overall a typical game can take between 1 and 30 minutes depending on how long you manage to survive and reach Darkness.14. PROBLEMS:
No problems other than achievements not working, mostly in the week after they were added. On two occasions. That said the developer fixed them a week or so later.15. ACHIEVEMENTS:
Overall there are no time-consuming or difficult. They mainly consist of complete game at each difficulty level, perform x number of kills or actions, take y amount of damage, defeat Darkness z times. Perhaps the most difficult to discover is the achieve all 9 outcomes.16. DLC:
No DLC. But the game has a spin off - Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of Night.17. APPEAL:
This game will appeal mostly to fans of the original boardgame and casual players, maybe those of you looking for some quick time-killing distraction that you can enjoy and forget.18. ENJOYMENT:
Given the games limited scope, short games and repetitive nature it is very enjoyable in short spurts. Ideal if you're waiting for something quick and need some distraction.19. LONGEVITY/REPLAYABILITY:
The game was designed to be almost infinitely replayable, if rather repetitive.20. VALUE FOR MONEY:
The game is fairly cheap and one that I purchased at full-price. I haven regreted it one bit.VERDICT:
A cheap enjoyable card-driven game. Simple in its execution, elegant in its design, with a good deal of sophistication in its play. If you are a fan of Games Workshop or the original boardgame, or fancy playing numerous short turn-around games then this is a good buy. Its one of my favourite games.