Chaos Reborn

Julian Gollop's devious turn-based classic receives a worthy update.


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Chaos Reborn review

"GL, HF." As our own Rich Stanton once observed, only in StarCraft 2 would you need to remind players to have fun at the start of a video game multiplayer match. With Chaos Reborn, it's sort of the other way round: fun is pretty much guaranteed, but so is luck - good and bad luck, promoted to a position of supreme, and supremely mischievous, importance. It works, too. Chaos Reborn is strategy at its leanest - wizard versus wizard, racing around an arena, conjuring beasts and flinging spells in a swift battle to the death - but the role of luck, or, more specifically, RNG, ensures that every encounter is surprising, and often humbling.

I have a theory about this, actually, and it's worth getting it out of the way upfront. The theory concerns Chaos Reborn's community, which is atypically lovely. I'm not saying that most online games gather toxicity around them as a matter of course, but few, I suspect, are quite as friendly and inviting as this one is. This could be because the community's fairly small (I generally get a game within a minute or two of entering matchmaking, but there's rarely more than 10 matches going on at any time). Or It could be because everyone playing is a refugee from the old days of the glorious Spectrum version of Chaos, so it's all fellow travellers and aging friends. In truth, though, I have a feeling it's something to do with the game itself - with what happens on the field. In Chaos (and this is as true for the original as it is for the latest version) you can get almost everything right, and your opponent can get almost everything wrong, and yet there's still that matter of luck to contend with.

For a tactical game, this should be awful - and yet! And yet.

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When the man that made XCOM asks you to fund a Kickstarter campaign, you listen. It's been more than a year and a half since Julian Gollop raised $210,854 to remake Chaos: The Battle of Wizards and from the time I've spent with the game in Early Access, I'd say he's done a pretty fine job. It's now almost time to see the full release, with version 1.0 planned for the 26th October.

In her infinite wisdom, Cher once sang, "If I could turn back time, if I could find a way." Really makes you think. Mind you, the cruel and inexorable march of time is good for some things, like bringing us this bunch of video game remakes that, in one way or another, managed to surpass their progenitors. Who would have guessed back in 1998 that the one thing missing from Half Life was Paul and Barry Chuckle? Technically that's two things, but you get my meaning.

It's quite the wonderful time to be around and playing games if you're a child of the 80s, with icons such as Elite being reborn and re-imagined for us on our super-powerful PCs that we do all our spreadsheets on. Chaos, Julian Gollop's turn-based classic from 1985, is next up, having hit early access last week. We'll have some impressions for you tomorrow morning, but in the meantime Mr. Gollop will be joining Ian Higton for a stream of the game from 3pm GMT today. Exciting stuff!

Chaos Reborn is a case study in how to revive a classic

Julian Gollop's wizard battling strategy game returns in fine style.

I love Chaos. It's the greatest game ever made. If you scroll down to my little author bio at the bottom of this feature, you'll see that this is a line I've been peddling for quite some time.

Chaos Reborn launches on Steam Early Access next week

Chaos Reborn launches on Steam Early Access next week

Gameplay video shows off new graphics.

Chaos Reborn, the new game from X-COM creator Julian Gollop, launches on Steam as an Early Access title for PC, Mac, and Linux on Tuesday, 9th December priced 14.99 / $19.99.

Chaos Reborn is the follow-up to Gollop's cult classic 1985 ZX Spectrum strategy title Chaos: The Battle of Wizards, which pre-dates the influential and much-loved UFO: Enemy Unknown.

It's a turn-based strategy role-playing game in which players control a wizard who casts spells to summon creatures, among other things, in a last wizard standing multiplayer battle arena.

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Original X-COM creator's Chaos Reborn launches on Kickstarter

Chaos Reborn, the new turn-based strategy game from the creator of the original X-COM, has launched on Kickstarter.

There, British designer Julian Gollop is asking for $180,000 to turn his prototype, which he has been working on with a small team in his home of Sofia, Bulgaria, into a full release by May 2015 on PC, Mac and Linux.

Chaos Reborn is the follow up to Gollop's cult classic 1985 ZX Spectrum strategy title Chaos: The Battle of Wizards, which pre-dated UFO: Enemy Unknown.

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XCOM creator Julian Gollop announces Chaos Reborn

XCOM creator Julian Gollop announces Chaos Reborn

A crowdfunded Chaos: The Battle of Wizards reboot.

Julian Gollop is best known as the creator of XCOM and now he's returning to his classics with a planned update of his 1985 ZX Spectrum strategy game, Chaos: The Battle of Wizards, entitled Chaos Reborn.

The original Chaos: Battle of Wizards was simply about a spellcasting fellow locked in an arena with other wizards and forced to fight to the death until only one person remained. "In my 30 years of game development, after many critically acclaimed projects, I think the original Chaos stands out as a game with unrealised potential," said Gallop on his Prefundia page. "I have spent the last year working on Chaos Reborn, writing the game design, creating a playable prototype and building my team."

This Chaos reboot is a turn-based strategy affair with RPG elements. It will contain a single-player campaign through the "Realms of Chaos," a co-op option for said campaign, and two-to-six player competitive multiplayer in various arenas. Both the single-player and multiplayer stages will be procedurally generated and the game will feature hundreds of types of equipment, 64 spells, and robust character customisation.

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