Tuesday, 20 October 2015

First Impressions: Total War Warhammer

One of the games that I got a chance to play at EGX was Total War Warhammer. After having played Total War Arena earlier in the day and being slightly familiar with the Warhammer lore (I'm more of 40k fan but, anyways), I knew a bit more of what to expect (and the tutorial helped quite a bit as well). What followed was 17 minutes of flanking, charging and retreating. It was brilliant.

The demo placed me as the dwarfs defending their home/mine/hole-in-ground, against the ravenous hordes of the Orcs and Goblins. I had an army of varied units that ranged from flamethrowers to giant cannons to axe wielding barbarians and, later, steampunk helicopters (Gyrocopters) as well as a hero unit (a big dwarf on a bigger chair) which all had their strengths and weaknesses. These units all felt helpful and were fun to use to lay waste to the hordes (and I expect mastering their various benefits would be an interesting challenge in itself). As well as normal units, you are also given various lore specific power ups such as bombs and power rings - however I didn't use these as... I didn't notice them to the end. The enemy had an army of goblins, strike units in the form of boars, a sorcerer and a giant spider. My mission, as far as I could tell, was to destroy them all.

At the beginning of the game, I had a tightly disciplined line of warriors which could handle any attack with stoic determination. However, as the game progressed the enemies arrived from, literally, all angles, with my army being slowly disintegrated into various mismatched groups. This is where the strategy came in as, not only did you have to press forward to make sure that you finished off the enemy but you also had to reinforce your own units so as to stop them dying or retreating. And, like I said, reinforcements, be them your own (in the form of the Gyrocopters) or the enemy's (mainly the enemy's, I must admit) come from all angles (including behind you) and, so, you have to be one step ahead all the time.

The graphics are detailed and the animations are good, if a bit beta-ish (as to be expected, of course). The music was brilliant, especially thanks to the, frankly amazing, headphones I was using and the atmosphere was great as well.

Overall, Total War Warhammer will appear to fans of Total War, Warhammer, RTS' or the fantasy genre as a whole and is a brilliant game in its own right. I look forward to rejoining the battle for the Old World in the future!

Goodbye for now, Harry

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