The Chant

The Chant Review

Since the inception of publishers Prime Matter last year, they have been churning out some real quality games. This time they bring you The Chant, the debut offering from a small development team in Vancouver known as Brass Token. The team is made up of veteran AAA developers, some of whom have worked on top games such as Bully and Max Payne 3.

An Ethereal, Psychological, and Spiritual Nightmare

In keeping with the spooky theme of Halloween, The Chant was released on November 3rd and promises to be a supernatural story-driven game with some interesting mechanics. You can pick it up now on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, and PC.

The Chant

Come to a spiritual retreat they said. It’ll be relaxing they said. The one in The Chant is anything but relaxing…as we found out. So, get the smudging sticks out, cleanse the room, grab a cup of herbal tea and take a look at what we thought about the PlayStation 5 release.

Mind – Body – Spirit

Sometimes teenage trauma can have a real nasty way of estranging you from your friends. In The Chant, you take on the role of Jess who is invited by her friend Kim to an island spiritual retreat to try and come to terms with their ordeal and put it behind them. With your apprehensions in tow, you arrive on the island and all looks calm and serene. Just as you would expect from such a place. There is a small Geodome at the centre of it all surrounded by a few buildings. After introducing yourself to the other cult…ahem, Prismic Science members, it doesn’t take long before the game ramps it up.

As night draws in, the followers…ahem, members gather together in the Geodome. They begin The Chant, led by weird, Jesus-looking dude Tyler, and all psychedelic hell breaks loose.

The Chant

Facing Your Demons

As you battle through the game, not only will you face supernatural creatures of The Gloom, but you will be wrestling with your own mind. Thankfully there are ways of stemming panic attacks by eating various flora and not hanging around in the dark for too long. Resources to maintain your psyche and craft weapons seem scarce, but there always seems to be just about enough.

Enemies in the game are really quite abominably imaginative combining a humanoid stature with plants. Fights with them are never too difficult and they will only appear in The Gloom. The Gloom is a mysterious coloured fog, one for each of the crystals in the 6 locations you will visit on the island. Your arsenal consists of sage smudging sticks, a bundle of sticks on fire, salt, and various oils that you can use as traps or disorientate your enemies.

Its combat, while unique does not feel ultimately rewarding. You can only carry three weapons at a time, which is fair enough considering you are just running around in a robe. Your weapons do degrade a little after each time you land an attack so that’s something to be mindful of. You are able to use the unique powers of each crystal you carry which can sometimes be quite a boon. Some of these include slowing down or screaming in your enemy’s face. Handy if you need a few extra seconds to craft something. Your primary means of defence are a dodge and a double-dodge.

The Chant

The puzzles in the game aren’t laborious at all. While imaginative, you’re not going to waste any IQ on them. Exploration is fairly linear with a few open areas with a few opportunities to discover some lore. Scattered around are various reels that can be played on a projector to give you a little more insight into Prismic Science. There are also a few opportunities for dialogue choices as well, adding a sprinkling of light RPG elements to it. While these do not affect how your game plays, they will affect how it ends. It’s all about focussing your XP into either mind, body, or spirit. That will determine your ending.

Looks Can be Deceiving

This game can frustratingly blow hot and cold with its visual fidelity. There are some flashes of brilliance with the character models, but other times they can be left looking a little bit wooden, It’s the same for the environments too. Usually, a wide open space with lots to look at will look great, but not so great in more enclosed spaces. That’s not to say it looks bad, that’s not the case at all. There are just some minor inconsistencies. Some of the spectral visual effects are a congenial playground of colour though, very well done. Below are two examples of how good this game can look.

1852460778526 screenshotUrl

185246099bd28 screenshotUrl

Coming in at just under seven hours, this felt just about the right length. The Chant, as a game, knows what it is, and it knows it doesn’t need filler content for the sake of longevity. There are three endings that are hinged on how you develop your XP in mind, body, and spirit. But, you will have to play it all again as there is no chapter select. And no,  scum saving won’t work either.

The Verdict

I have to applaud Brass Token, because, for a first game, The Chant is not too shabby at all. It plays with some interesting themes combining spirituality as a way of managing mental health. It isn’t overly challenging but at the same time, it’s weird enough that you just want to keep going a little longer. Sure there is a little bit of work to do but for a first effort, bravo. I look forward to what more Brass Token can deliver.

The Chant gets a very respectable 7/10 from me!

We received a code from in order to review this

We Score This Game

rating score: 7

Very Good!

You Might Also Like

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x