A worthwhile buy for devotees of the 2D ARPG platform
Chasm, PC, 8/10
Chasm's proposition is an interesting and admirable one; it aims to deliver an endless Metroidvania-esque experience that angles towards gaming's white whale of 'infinite replayability'.
Procedurally-generated random dungeons connect pre-baked rooms in an exquisitely crafted 2D RPG-platformer that, like many other procedurally-generated games, ultimately sacrifices quality in the name of uniqueness.
As with so many ideas that look amazing on paper, it is in the execution that cracks begin to appear and the original concept starts to fray around the edges.
The main issue with Chasm is that, while the map is indeed randomized on each playthrough, it doesn't feel like it really matters in the grand scale of the game. The fact that you don't even get a new map until you have already played through the entirety of the 8-or-so hours of the playthrough compounds this fact even further.
That being said, the way the world is put together is impressive for one that is generated by formulaic means.
The construction of the map never feels unpolished, though it does tend to lead to repetitive and uninspiring corridors that feel distinctively artificial in a way that the hallmarks of not having a dedicated level designer are evident.
Beyond the procedurally-generated map layouts, Chasm is actually a rather fun game.
Thankfully, it isn't yet another rogue-like dungeon-crawler and instead borrows heavily from modern RPG elements, breathing fresh life into what could have been yet another instalment into a tired aesthetic.
Chasm's plot is rather run-of-the-mill but charming nonetheless. You are a night in training who has been tasked with rescuing citizens of a kidnapped town by venturing into the mines below.
The deeper you venture into the mines and the storyline, more townsfolk will appear in the town above, manning shops and petitioning you to find specific items from the mines.
Chasm is absolutely a fun and worthwhile experience that is slightly tarnished by an ill-conceived system of procedural map generation. A worthwhile buy for the dedicated 2D ARPG platformer devotee.