The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos Chicken Edition is ready to go on PlayStation 5 along with the latest DLC. Check our The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos Chicken Edition review!
I have been on a tactical RPG kick lately. I’ve gotten a chance to review Phoenix Point: Behemoth Edition, have played some X-Com and Fort Triumph, and now I’m playing The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos Chicken Edition for this review! Whilst the game may have more letters in its name than I had Christmas presents, it does have more than one trick up its sleeves to help it stand out from the crowd. But, do any of them work in its favor?
The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos Chicken Edition from Dear Villagers is the latest game from French developer Artefact Studios, and it is based on a series of D&D-inspired audio plays by John Lang. You play a group of inept, inexperienced, and self-aware adventurers with such imaginative names as “The Ranger,” “The Elf,” and so on. After arriving at the titular dungeon, the team is tricked into taking hold of the cursed amulet of chaos and must then try to dispel the curse.
There is a lot to like here and a lot to dislike. For example, if you have an intense dislike for games that have no respect for the fourth wall as a concept, then The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos Chicken Edition may not be for you because every other line of dialog or flavor text is either a bad pun, a reference, a swear word or a bunch of nonsense, and your party members, they… NEVER. STOP. TALKING. In short, the humor is not the best, and all it does is distract from a story that mostly has potential. In fairness, it is based on a comedy audio show, so it is expected that the humor might try to carry over, but ultimately, this is a video game first and foremost, so how well does it fair?
Visually speaking, the game is surprisingly good. The dungeon is greatly detailed, multi-layered, and free-roaming. There are puzzles to be solved, side quests to complete, and secrets to be found. The only problem is the wealth of graphical hitches that occur every few minutes. Any item that emits light, such as braziers or fireplaces, has a tendency to shoot a ton of light across the screen. Whilst this is most certainly not game-breaking, it is something to consider. In terms of audio, the game is mostly good with a wide and varied cast of characters and good voice work and audio design across the board, as long as you are willing to overlook one or two odd deliveries. The music is fitting for the setting and works well to accompany the action being portrayed. Where the game excels in its design is the ability to switch between multiple language options for the dialogue and the subtitles at the drop of a hat. The French option that I tried was also delivered with reasonably high quality. As I do not speak German, I am unable to gauge the quality of the voice work, but it is always welcomed to have multiple voices and subtitle options in a game and to be able to switch between the combinations seamlessly.
Gameplay-wise, this is an isometric dungeon crawler with turn-based combat. Though the Ranger is the defacto leader of the group, you are free to change which of the eight characters you control by pressing the L2/R2 buttons. It should be noted that save for the thief who can detect and disable traps within the dungeon, there are no benefits to controlling any of the other characters. Specific quests and interactable objects are not dependent on you being in control of the appropriate characters unless you are looking for traps.
At the start of combat, enemy units scatter themselves onto the arena, which is usually a seamless transition from the dungeon crawling phase into the combat phase. Your team is given a box to place your characters as a starting point, and you can shuffle your players about within your space as you deem necessary. Placement is very important. At the top of the screen, you are able to see the turn order of each combatant and can plan your strategy accordingly. You must plan every step carefully because it’s very easy for the game to pull the rug from under you at any time.
Each round, every character is given two action points, one for movement and one for action. You are not required to use either of them when the opportunity is presented, but do note that by forfeiting one or the other, the opportunity to use them at all is gone completely for that round. If for some reason, you opt to skip both your movement and your action, you might get a chance to use that character again after everyone else has had their turn for the round, so it is seldom an attractive option.
Depending on which of the four difficulties you choose to play in, you may find yourself constantly on the back foot as the combat can turn against you due to contrivances. As is normal for turn-based RPGs, choosing to attack opponents either from the side or from the rear can increase the probability of an attack hitting or increasing damage output. The game is aware of this fact and implements this by giving you previews for hit chance and damage potential before you confirm an action. Do be aware that sometimes even when I had a 100% hit chance, my characters would miss.
One particular instance comes to mind where I had managed to line up my team perfectly, set up the right amount of overwatch, and needed my witch to cast one of her spells that would set off the chain reaction of attacks I had meticulously set up, only for my attack to backfire, leaving my characters open to a wealth of counter attackers, making what was set to be a one-round rout of my opponents turn into a desperate, mad dash to stay alive.
However, the combat does have some plus points. Along with critical failures, the combat does take other inspirations from D&D. For example, If an opponent is standing face to face with you and chooses to disengage, that is, run away without incapacitating their opponent in one way or another, or choose to run across the vicinity of an alert opponent, said opponent is free to make an attack of opportunity. Like in Fort Triumph, some characters can unlock abilities that can force opponents to move against their will, leaving them wide open to combo attacks. Just like in D&D, the characters you play can be customized ability-wise to make them feel unique.
It does feel like there is a lot to dislike about this game, but it is safe to say that the positives do outweigh the negatives. It is just that the negatives, as few as they are, do stand out. In addition to the main game, the Chicken Edition does come with an extra story DLC: The Ruins of Limis. Whilst the game allows you and encourages you to import your save from your main game once you get to chapter nine, the game is more than happy to let you play the DLC as a standalone experience with a prebuilt team. In addition to that, there is a second DLC now available for purchase called Splat Jaypak’s Arenas, which is available for $7.99
The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos Chicken Edition makes for a good option on PlayStation 5 with a lot of content to play and plenty of trophies to unlock that encourage multiple playthroughs. As there is a lot to explore here, things to do, and different abilities, combinations, and tactics to try out, The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos Chicken Edition is a great option for tactical RPG fans. Add the Splat Jaypak Arenas DLC for $7.99 with 15 new battles to take on, and there are dozens of hours of content to enjoy on PlayStation 5.
This The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos Chicken Edition review is based on a Playstation 5 code provided by Dear Villagers.