I was on the fence about Astral chain from the day the first trailer came out to a good few hours into my game. It all felt a little too generic, almost a paint-by-numbers action game. I shouldn’t have worried as much as this is one of the most original titles to come from PlatinumGames, the developer behind the Bayonetta series, in recent years.

In a future where the world is under constant attack from beings that exist on another plane of existence, you play as an officer in a special force that deals with this threat. The gimmick of the game is that you can tame these creatures to become legions to use in battle. Encounters are played out as you control both your character and the Legion at the same time to deal with waves of mobs and bigger, more challenging enemies. Aside from combat, you’ll use your legion(s) to solve crimes and traverse environments.

Astral chain it sticks to a cycle of detective work, platforming puzzles and combat – a little too narrowly, if I’m being critical – with the game divided into cases that serve as chapters. The story starts out well enough, but quickly becomes a mish-mash of various anime tropes, including twists and arcs ripped straight from some very famous shows and movies. However, the minute-by-minute gameplay is enough to keep you engaged through the roughly 20-hour main campaign and into the fairly substantial end-game content.

It does Astral chain reach the heights of Nier: Automata? No, not at all, but its battles and environments can often surpass this game, which overall is probably my favorite of this generation. Often available for under $50 these days, it’s well worth your time.