Mordheim: City of the Damned is a newly released game based on Games Workshop’s tabletop game of Mordheim released in 1999, centred around the Warhammer fantasy lore. In this adaptation the game is a tactical turn based RPG where you as the player take control of a Warband from a selection of four factions. Mordheim: City of the Damned combines it’s RPG elements with fast-paced combat and character customisation.
Now then, as this is a Warhammer game we cant expect a certain element of grit and dark fantasy in a twisted world filled with strange and interesting lore surrounding brutal and visceral conflict. The story for Mordheim so far, a prophetic twin tailed comet said to be the hammer of Sigmar (a god in Warhammer lore) has plummeted into the city of Mordheim, turning the city into a battlefield between rival warbands fighting for glory and the valuable Wyrdstone fragments that are scattered around.
The game features four different factions each with their own stylistic designs. Firstly, ‘The Sister’s of Sigmar’, a holy order who are seeking to stop the Wyrdstones from corrupting the rest of humanity, they will destroy anyone in the way of their holy mission. Secondly, ‘The Cult of the Possessed’, a group of worshippers to the ruinous powers of Chaos, they’re the mutated and the corrupted remnants of Mordheim. Next, Mercenaries from the Empire, the source of order for the Warhammer universe to try to claim the valuable Wyrdstones. Lastly, ‘The Skaven’ a race of rat like creatures, the Skaven seek to collect the Wyrdstones known to them as Warpstones which are used in their weapons and devious schemes against humanity.
Mordheim requires the player to devise their strategy to annihilate their opponents and complete their objective. If you fail in your strategy then the few units you have could get injured or even worse you could have a unit get killed, as soon as a unit is killed it cannot come back, giving you a sense of dread and putting weight into your actions. You have to analyse the map and what you have so that you lose the least amount of units and do the most amount of damage to your enemies.
This game is exceptionally tactical, ambushing, sniping and guarding routes that enemies may take to beat your enemies. Using different stances to best your enemies then you can have your units hide round a corner and jump out for a surprise attack from where their line-of-sight cannot see. The player can have a ranged unit go in to overwatch stance, a mode where they will shoot at an enemy in their sight. Requiring the player to adapt to their surroundings and hide within their environment to best the opposing team.
Upon starting a campaign in Mordheim, the player must choose the characters in their warband, having an array of different types of characters each being able to use different weapons, abilities and specialised skills to their use. From this you can go to the in-game store and buy different weapons, armours or accessories to add a personal fling to your warband (I had an army of heavily armoured Skaven, far more powerful than I expected), furthermore you can customise their colours and stylistic choices so your warband could look like an organised group of mercenaries, or you could go crazy and have them look like a selection of Skittles.
The combat is turn-based with each member of your teams and the enemy team having a certain amount of action points which can be upgraded as your warband levels up. These action points can be spent of moving your units, attacking, reloading or taking different stances such as dodge or parry. This to me adds on to the strategy and planning aspect of the game, for you as the player the game forces you to learn your environment and to adapt to the enemies you could be fighting very quickly. For example, if the enemy has a lot of ranged units you have to counter it by engaging them in close combat so their range capabilities are useless.
The general look and graphics of the game are actually quite nice, looking classic to fantasy Warhammer style, by this I mean the graphical style of the game is dark fantasy. The city of Mordheim is broken and in ruins from the meteor falling and the prevailing face-off between the different factions. The look of the game is what I would expect a Warhammer world to be like, with rubble laying everywhere and creatures hiding round corners ready to gut your favourite character as soon as they turn around (not salty at all…). Featuring sequences of eerie sounds to go along with the player exploring the map.
This is a great game for fans and non-fans of Warhammer alike, especially good for fans of strategic turn-based RPG’s. It explained the amounts of Warhammer lore that keeps the game interesting and not boring and at an understandable rate.
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