The Warhammer license is passed around like a lucky bag in a convivial group of friends. Of mostly less good titles to strategy pearls like Total War Warhammer the franchise has a lot to offer. This time it’s the turn of the developers at Gasket Games. They are based on the world or the age of Sigmar. This is intended as a continuation of the classic Warhammer fantasy and deals with new factions and conflicts. But the unique Warhammer charm together with its admiration for the overpowering, disgusting factions and exaggerated military behavior should not be missing here either. As the leader of one of the three factions Stormcast, Eternals, Nighthaunt and Maggotkin, you can assemble your own small troop to complete the campaign, which is carried out in turn-based battles.
If you win a level, you penetrate further into the territory of the enemy faction and have to improve your squad until the final battle to face the growing threat. You can choose yourself which path you take on the way to the final boss. Before you decide on a path, however, you can get information in advance about counter-types, the type of mission and what rewards you will get if you succeed. If you fail to defeat the enemy units or if your hero dies, you have to start all over again.
But let’s go into a little more detail. For your first attempt, as Freya Skyhelm, you have to take the lead over a group of Stormcast Eternals before you can start the Nighthaunt or Maggotkin campaign. Freya were forged by Sigmar, a god, to stop the armies of Chaos. Every beginning is difficult and failure is part of this game too. You may not be able to manage the campaign right away. If your hero dies, you can have him forged again and start all over again.
Your units and heroes gain experience and equipment in combat. You do not want to do without these, because in order to get to the final battle, you will have to face increasingly stronger opponents. Equipment is divided into different degrees of rarity and can only be created by the appropriate units. But not only better equipment, but also new units can be earned. So you can put together a team according to your ideas and strategies. Which units and equipment you get is left to chance and you will be surprised anew after every fight. Once your units have gained enough experience, you can give them talents. These bring, for example, more health or other passive bonuses. You can also design your units cosmetically according to your preferences. You can customize the colors of your squad and fight for new outfits.
Fight until the doctor comes
The combat system works pretty well. You choose a unit and, depending on the number of movement points, may move it in the direction of your opponent. You place units in strategically advantageous positions. Your armed forces and those of your opponent have their specific strengths and weaknesses and accordingly want to be played optimally. After a few rounds, effective combinations emerge and the handling and experimentation with different units brings the necessary depth of play into the tactical battles.
Similar to Hearthstone, units cannot be placed anywhere. Again, you can only play those units whose costs correspond to your current mana. It would be ridiculous if you let your fastest horse out of the stable at the beginning or if you shot all your powder. As the number of rounds increases, you can command better units on the field. But it is also important to bring weaker units with you so that your hero is not left alone. Also, the better your units get, the more expensive they are. Unless you choose a unit talent that lowers costs. There is also aether that you use to use abilities.
The political groups also bring variety. So you try to spread the seeds of corruption over the battlefield with the Maggotkin in order to receive bonuses for your units and for the opposing penalties. As Stormcast Eternals, you can improve the armor of your units through cohesion
and as a Nighthaunt you teach your opponents to fear. The factions and all units differ significantly and each offer the player a completely different experience.
There is also variety in the different types of missions. The game has a lot to offer, from simple goals like “defeat the generic army” to more complex tasks like “destroy the crystal so that the protection of the opponent is reduced”. This prevents the fights from becoming monotonous too quickly. Some tasks are also really tricky. In order not to spoil you, we don’t want to reveal what these tasks look like.
The cage door opens slowly and there it shows the second face
But now we come to the things that we didn’t like at all. Unfortunately there are a few of them. What bothered us very quickly and had a really negative impact on the actually amusing fights is the inability to accelerate the fight. In addition, there was extensive lag. Sometimes it was so bad that you could make yourself a coffee in the meantime. If you combine the frustration of the slow gameplay with the frequent crashes, you have to watch cute cat videos first to lower your pulse.
And we actually wanted to like the game. The interesting combat system and the Warhammer Fantasy setting with appealing character models and the great dubbing should be able to inspire. But the technical problems of the game ruin the whole experience and you get the feeling that Warhammer Age of Sigmar Storm Ground is an unfinished product. If the developers had taken more time, the game could have turned into a worthy Warhammer offshoot. Pity! So Warhammer Age of Sigmar is only a mediocre game, which without the necessary improvements should be quickly forgotten.
But hopefully the developers take the mixed criticism to heart, revise the numerous technical problems and also provide more content for the future. Then Storm Ground can become what fans of the franchise have hoped for.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar Storm Ground was released on May 27th for PC and consoles.
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