We didn’t have to wait long for a Warhammer game to arrive on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, did we? After its launch last year, Warhammer: Chaosbane has come barrelling in, planting its flag as the first dungeon crawler for a new generation of home consoles.
The freshly enhanced Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition has been amped up to make the most of Sony and Microsoft’s shiny new hardware while also cramming in the free and paid DLC that has followed in the months since its original launch.
For those completely new to the game, Chaosbane is a top-down action RPG that leans heavily on its frenzied hack n’ slash combat. As one of six classes (including the recently added Witch Hunter) you can roll through dungeons with up to three other players, unlocking new powers and hoarding treasures along the way.
Warhammer Chaosbane PS5 and Xbox Series X|S improvements
Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition lets you do all this in 4K at 60FPS. It certainly runs smoother than its last-gen counterparts, though the difference isn’t night and day. Chaosbane already impressed us with what it could do on PS4 and Xbox One, filling the screen with hordes of enemies, visual effects, and a constant spew of popping damage numbers.
The game’s visual fidelity has also been dialled up though it’s not immediately noticeable. As a dungeon crawler, you haven’t exactly got your nose pressed to the screen, the wider perspective obscuring the finer details found in environments and character models.
On PlayStation 5, developer Eko Software have made some specific enhancements for Sony’s new console. The DualSense controller will let off a satisfying rumble when attacks land, gently massaging your palms as you mow down countless cultists, beastmen and demons. We also get to see those adaptive triggers in action – well, one of them. A bit. While your ultimate power is on cooldown, the R2 button will be harder to push down. It’s a very minor touch, but it’s a nice detail.
Loading times are almost non-existent in Chaosbane Slayer Edition, taking only a couple of seconds to kickstart the campaign. As for some of the PS5’s other features, when hovering over Warhammer: Chaosbane on your PS5 home menu you can dive into the game via three Activity Cards, choosing one of the three current campaigns. When playing, these cards will display your progress through each chapter.
Is there a free next-gen upgrade for Chaosbane owners?
The trailer for Slayer Edition mentions that adventurers can continue their journey as they leap from Xbox One to Xbox Series X|S though this is a feature we haven’t been able to test first-hand.
In the build up to launch, Eko Software and publisher Nacon haven’t been clear in communicating whether current Warhammer: Chaosbane owners on PS4 and Xbox One can upgrade for free on next-gen consoles. We reached out to them directly and they have confirmed that this is a separate paid-for release and not a free upgrade as we’ve seen with other games. They also revealed that there is no cross-play, whether that’s between generations or across the platform divide. So, no cross-play between PlayStation and Xbox, nor cross-play between PS4 and PS5 (the same goes for Xbox One and Series X|S).
With multiple editions and a season pass under its belt, this latest Chaosbane incarnation packs in every bit of the previous content (including the Tomb Kings campaign and Keela) as well as the Witch Hunter (shown in the trailer above). A popular character archetype in the Warhammer universe, this versatile warrior can swap between his blade and dual pistols on the fly, making him one of the quickest, deadliest characters the game has to offer.
It’s a shame that existing owners aren’t able to upgrade for free or even at a discounted price, and the lack of cross-play options seems counterintuitive to Eko’s current-gen ambitions for their game. That said, Warhammer: Chaosbane is still a fun fantasy romp for those craving this kind of RPG on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, even if it is creeping in the shadow of Diablo III.