From the outside, Chainsaw Warrior seems like a great game – A DnD inspired zombie survival game? Sign me up! It’s execution, though, is what ultimately lets this game down.
As far as I understand, the original Chainsaw Warrior was a board game from the 1980s, which saw the player exploring a zombie infested city in 60 minutes – this aspect is brought over into the original game, sadly though, many other aspects are also brought over.
There is next to no gameplay in Chainsaw Warrior at all, the entire game revolves around random dice rolls that determine your character’s stats, abilities and events in battle – this is a fairly normal aspect of most DnD campaigns, however the greatest difference (and one that sets Chainsaw Warrior back a ton) is that in DnD the player often has decisions to make, whereas in Chainsaw Warrior, as soon as your initial stats have been rolled the game is reduced to a repetitive cycle of: Flip a card, roll a dice, no zombie? Move on, flip a card, a zombie! Roll a dice, move on and so on. The lack of defining choices in a DnD inspired game is a huge hinderance on the replayability and enjoyment of this game.
Compare it to Hand Of Fate, a similarly DnD inspired fantasy game – Hand Of Fate excels because it has decisions that the player needs to make: do you want to fight these bandits or pay them off? There is still a great deal of RNG involved in the game, but the ability to make decisions makes the game feel more enjoyable.
While it’s story is very clunky and exposition is handled poorly, the comic book feel to the cutscenes is well drawn and the narration is fairly well done. The story itself is fairly farfetched, which would be okay, if the game didn’t take itself so seriously – if Chainsaw Warrior was more self-aware then the farfetched story wouldn’t seem so out of place and odd.
Overall, I can’t recommend Chainsaw Warrior – it’s gameplay (or what little it has) is repetitive and entirely based on RNG and, honestly, there are better made DnD games in existence, ones with a better story and better gameplay