Chained Echoes (review)

Jan 9, 2023

2022 was a year filled with games. 2022 was also filled with many great RPGs. Games like Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Live a Live, Elden Ring, and even Horizon Forbidden West, gave us hundreds of hours of gameplay. What if I told you there was an RPG that came out and you probably missed it? What if I told you this RPG is an indie title that rivals the RPGs that I just mentioned? Chained Echoes was released at the end of 2022. And it’s one of the best games that you probably haven’t played but you should definitely do. 

Chained Echoes is an RPG that starts like your typical RPG. You are thrown into a world that’s ravaged by war. It’s up to you and your rag-tag group to go on adventures and try and bring peace to this world. For full disclosure, I have not been able to beat this game. I was not expecting such a meaty game but here we are. The story and characters in this game are very interesting. Every character is incredibly written and I’m intrigued to see where they go and where this story will conclude. The meat and potatoes of the game are its gameplay and systems. 

Creative Combat

Chained Echoes is a turn-based game that has excellent combat. The game starts by throwing you into a mech. It introduces the combat with that mech but after that initial battle your mech is stripped from you. Then you have to learn to fight without it. The skills you relied on during the very short time you spent on your mech are useless. Now you have to depend on your new group and new skills to survive. The combat is driven by an overdrive bar. The key to this overdrive bar is that you have to stay in an overcharge state. During the overcharge state, your skills and attacks do more damage but there is a catch.

Each turn you take could send you into an overheat state, where you are most vulnerable. You can bring down the overcharge by defending or using the type of skill the overcharge bar is asking you to use. This mechanic made every fight interesting. You have to pay attention to your attacks, your enemies, and the bar. The gameplay style is very reminiscent of games like Octopath or Final Fantasy. If you have played those and like them you’ll feel right at home. In Chained Echoes, you can upgrade, change your party, customize your weapons, and craft. Heck you can do anything and everything a full-price AAA RPG offers and it’s amazing! I could spend all day naming all the different systems in this game, this game is that deep. 

One of the best in 2022

The game is not only great to play but it’s also very pretty to look at. The pixel art style is gorgeous and every character and enemy is interesting. I feel like I’m always encountering new enemy styles. This art style is accompanied by a great soundtrack. Together it makes the presentation of Chained Echoes one of the best in 2022. 

My only gripe with the game is that I wish the game gave better directions when it came to its quests. I can’t tell you how many times I had to look up a guide online or walkthrough to know where I had to go or what I had to do. Although, I did not mind. I was still discovering new things and fighting new enemies. Unfortunately, after a while of being lost, I became slightly annoyed. 

Chained Echoes Recommendation

Chained Echoes does so many things right with its story, gameplay, and presentation that it’s hard not to recommend. This is an RPG that rewards your time with excellent writing and excellent combat! This game has tons of systems that will keep you enthralled for hours and it’s only $25! I’ll finish by saying this, Chained Echoes is one of my favorite games of 2022 hands down. I hope you play it to experience what I’m experiencing! 

Score: 9.0