This year has been full of hits and misses in the RPG world. We’ve seen some great titles as well as some not-so-great ones. However, if you thought that 2022 was finished with its plethora of surprises: you’d be mistaken! Chained Echoes is here and it most definitely packs an unforgettable punch. Developer Matthias Linda brings players a classic, charming tale full of exciting gameplay and colorful environments that acts as an honest ode to retro RPGs! If RPGs are your cup of tea, then you won’t want to miss out on this Chained Echoes Review!
This Chained Echoes review may contain spoilers.
Story – Classic and Fun
The story found in Chained Echoes very noticeably takes inspiration from classic RPGs. At the very same time, Chained Echoes is full of unique events and witty interactions that keep it feeling new and fresh. The story picks up much sooner than expected, considering some RPGs fall victim to slow beginnings that require some patience. The story overall is very charming, while also refusing to fear becoming too dark or tense at times. Chained Echoes possesses a story full of lovable tropes that is willing to take risks in order to provide a unique experience!
Each main character plays a key role in the story and they all have their own reasons for becoming involved in the plot. There is also a clear effort to elaborate on their backstories and personalities. These main cast of characters are not optional and will join your party regardless of what you do. However, there are also a handful of optional characters to choose from, which is a great addition to the game. These characters are all extremely unique, fun, and make the game much more interesting. On the down side of that, they are not explored in as much depth as the main cast of characters.
Gameplay – Simple Yet Exhilarating
What is an RPG without some thrilling gameplay mechanics? Every RPG fan knows that gameplay is key to making or breaking a role-playing experience. And, in this case, Matthias Linda is most definitely aware of this. The battle system in Chained Echoes is absolutely outstanding, as the mechanics are simple yet extremely effective. There is an overdrive mechanic that can allow your party to deal additional damage and temporarily obtain crucial buffs. However, there is also the potential to overheat, which can instead hand enemies a temporary advantage in battle. This part of the system is extremely innovative and fun!
There is also a great crafting system, a nice arrangement of combat abilities that can be upgraded with skill points, and a level of strategy and skill needed that makes planning ahead and customizing your party a crucial part of the gameplay. To top it all off, the environments make exploration intriguing and there are many quality of life choices that have been made to truly emphasize all of the best parts of Chained Echoes.
Graphics and Sound – Colorful and Detailed
Lastly, the graphics in Chained Echoes are nothing less than amazing and the soundtrack is full of nostalgia. The environments are versatile and colorful, and the same can honestly be said about the character designs as well. There is a certain level of detail in everything that truly shows how much love was put into this game! Both the design and soundtrack in this game share many similarities to Chrono Trigger. Again, you can see the clear inspiration taken form the classics, yet Chained Echoes does a phenomenal job of using that inspiration to become its own entity rather than some blatant copy-cat.
Chained Echoes was reviewed on PC with a key provided by PR Hound.