Codex Gamicus

Astral Chain (アストラルチェイン Asutoraru Chein?) is an action game developed by PlatinumGames for the Nintendo Switch, released on August 30, 2019. Taking place in the near-future, the game follows two rookie cops as they deal with invading beings from another dimension.


Astral Chain is an action game with elements of hack & slash gameplay. The player takes the role of an officer in the "Neuron" task force. Gameplay revolves around usage of the Legions, familiar variants of the Chimera enemies encountered throughout the story. The Legion is connected to the player via the titular "astral chain", and serve a range of functions to the player. Throughout the course of the story, the player gains access to a total of five Legions, each of which comes with unique abilities during and outside of combat. Legions can only be summoned for a limited time, with the limit being displayed in the UI.

The player character is purposefully silent and given a limited personality and a great deal of cosmetic freedom, in order to accommodate for customization.



Astral Chain takes place in 2078. A parallel dimension, referred to as the "Astral Plane", has begun to cross over following a meteorite strike, bringing with it corruptive "Red Matter" (which mutates humans into "aberrations" with prolonged exposure) and "Chimeras", destructive monsters invisible to the naked eye. With 90% of the Earth rendered uninhabitable, the remnants of humanity have taken refuge in "the Ark", a megacity built on a artificial island. To combat the chimera threat, the ARI (Aegis Research Institute) has developed a method of controlling Chimeras, turning them into familiars called "Legions". Working in tandem with the Ark's police force, the "Neuron" Task Force is created, with members given Legions in order to fight and sense the Chimeras.

The player assumes the role of one of two twins (one male and one female), both of whom are rookie cops in Neuron: the player's character is given a custom identity, while the other twin is named "Akira Howard" (regardless of which gender they are). Other members of Neuron include Maximilian "Max" Howard, their adoptive father and Neuron captain; fellow field operatives Alicia Lopez and Jin Wong; dispatcher and former newscaster Olive Espinosa; Dr. Yoseph Calvert, Neuron's commander and head of research at ARI; Brenda Moreno, an ARI researcher and Neuron's on-board medic; and Harold "Hal" Clark, a reclusive hacker who interacts solely via a mobile drone.


While responding to an Aberration attack, the Player and Akira are attacked by Chimeras. The twins are rescued by Max, Jin and Alicia, and are assigned Legions by Yoseph, allowing them to fight against the Chimeras. The twins are formally accepted into Neuron, but their first investigation goes awry when the Player is pulled into the Astral Plane. Akira, Max, Alicia, and Jin manage to reach them, but the corrupting events of the Astral Plane, combined with a Chimera attack, cause all five of Neuron's Legions to break free. The Player is the only one able to recapture their Legion, and Max remains in the Astral Plane to ensure the other members escape. Soon after, the Legion production facility is attacked, halting Legion production and leaving the Player with the only remaining Legion.

As the Player takes on missions across the Ark, they encounter and recapture the rogue Legions. Around this time, Neuron learns of Jena Anderson, a long-missing ARI researcher suspected of causing the attack on the Legion facility. Neuron tracks Jena to an abandoned mall, but are attacked by Jena's chimeric creations, and Akira is critically wounded by Jena herself before she escapes. The Player finds her later in the Astral Plane, where Jena shares with them the nature of the realm. Revealing her knowledge of Akira and the Player's past, Jena encourages them to investigate Zone 09, a section of the Ark quarantined following a massive chimeric outbreak twenty years prior, where the Player and Akira were born.

Language Support[]

Console Language Support
Platform Interface Full Audio Subtitles
Nintendo Switch EnglishJapaneseGermanItalianFrenchSpanishRussian EnglishJapanese EnglishJapaneseGermanItalianFrenchSpanishRussian


Astral Chain has received a score of 37/40 from Famitsu.[1]


  1. "Famitsu review scores (8/20/19)" (August 21, 2019). Retrieved on August 24, 2019