Warhammer: Mark of Chaos PC Game Overview
My Visit To Games Workshop HQ a few months back left me with a teenaged pleasure more persistent than I’d have liked. I daresay it’s this thrill that has dogged my attempts to find a sensible world-shaping career and finds me writing about videogames as a 32-year-old. But sitting here now, I can not say I’d feel happier without it Richer, better-dressed, yes. More capable of handling myself in diplomatic situations, certainly. But happier? My defiant laugh fades into a thousand-yard stare.
The first moments of Mark Of Chaos brought back that surge. The movie that kicks it all off sets the tone. Yes, it is an RTS, but placing my units onto the desk, 1 imply map, meticulously facing them exactly the ideal way and getting ready to begin the battle, I detected with a clench that Mark Of Chaos feels much truer to its table-based roots than that noteworthy Warhammer 40K strategy game, Dawn Of War. No source management.
No base-building, also you can’t top up your components throughout a situation – you choose your army before the conflict begins and direct them to death or success and the next camp, where you are able to reconstruct your troops before packing them off again without so much as a thank you.
Isn’t She Lovely?
Developers Black Hole haven’t been slaves to the tabletop formula, even however -there is a semi-traditional RPG component with heroes, skill trees, inventories and dressing up. For an easy comparison, saying Rome: Total War will create a mental image worth a couple of hundred words. The game seems lovely, with a satisfying zoom (useful for taking screenshots) and good, intuitive controls. With countless troops on-screen at the later levels, we’ll just wait to see how smoothly the older woman runs, and whether you’ll need a troll of a PC to deal with the action. In addition to the human Empire as well as the Chaos hordes, you are able to play as the moon worshipping sub-subculture of cheese-addicted Skaven or amuse the aspirations of the pompous, isolationist self-regarding High Elves. Well, we say isolationist; there’s the traditional loose alliance involving the the High Elves, then People and Dwarves, but you know that it wouldn’t continue if there is nothing else to fight.
If you’re breathlessly protesting the lack of orcs, dwarves, snotlings and the oft-neglected vampires because list, don’t worry; they are all there because dogs of war, the mercenary units available to compensate to your army’s deficiencies.
Games Workshop are around for games programmers interpreting the Warhammer universes away from their dice-rolling origins, and Dawn Of War was an superb take on the futuristic Warhammer licence that provided the gameplay roots for its more excellent Business Of Heroes. The apple’s fallen somewhat closer to the tree with Mark Of Chaos, however when your tree is Warhammer, that’s no bad thing.
Why Are They Scottish? Dwarves, that’s. I have often wondered who it was originally decreed these stunted beardy hedonists must speak with a Glaswegian twang? Same goes for elves -pompous, meticulously spoken, stupid feather caps; and also what about people -unreliable weak-minded fools who unwittingly find themselves as the only race capable of having a darkness that threatens to enslave the entire world.
As you have probably already guessed -and if you are a Warhammer fan, you will already understand – Mark Of Chaos is an RTS that indulges these fantasy mainstays in a universe where humankind, elves and dwarfs have to hold back the tide of the rampaging Hordes Of Chaos -or gigantic, gravelly-voiced poor individuals with big axes for the uninitiated.
Despite its somewhat predictable premise, Mark Of Chaos proves itself to be quite a profound and persuasive romp through a world ravaged by war, perfectly complemented by an superb plot and 2 semi open-ended campaigns using rolling resources and offering both discretionary and story-essential assignments. Thus, we’re off to a pretty good start. That is always nice.
War’s A Brewin’
Mark Of Chaos strikes off only months after Emperor Magnus’s success from the Hordes, plopping you in the conflict-ravaged Warhammer universe and instantly immersing you in a world where diametrically opposed factions attempt to cleave each other into submission.
Using just two campaigns on offer, you may opt to direct either the Empire or the Hordes Of Chaos to glory. Playing since the Empire sees you assuming the mantle of Stefan von Kessel, a commander in the Empire’s military, branded with the Mark Of Chaos as a kid due to his daddy and grandpappy’s dabblings with the dark side. As the campaign progresses, you will discover the truth behind your family’s past, one that will ultimately forge your destiny -and that of your people – and also see you uniting with (and controlling ) both elves and dwarves.
If that is all sounding a bit too namby-pamby and you fancy ripping out a few entrails while sacking villages rather, then you’ll most likely be wanting to head straight for the Hordes Of Chaos (backed up by the Greenskins and the Skaven) campaign, a rampaging romp of destruction and death that sees you trying to wipe from the Empire and then put in yourself as the new champion of the Chaos gods.
A Brand New Chapter
Whichever side you end up opting for, the effort’s format remains unchanged. Divided into chapters, each section presents you with a map dotted with cities, caves and enemy strongholds, which must be free from the foe.
Though Mark Of Chaos never quite manages to hit the same ethereal heights as Big Huge Game’s closet timeless, and though the campaign map is so ugly the likes of Medieval II would just ask out it as part of a pig-orientated dare, there is still a game of genuine intelligence available here, an RTS bristling with ideas and hours of slaughtering amusement.
Think About It
Though your military’s starting position often proves unimportant to a level’s outcome, the same certainly can not be said for the strategies that you employ through skirmishes. Forced to think tactically at every turn, there’s a real sense of strategy from the moment that you advance to the minute the last foe falls.
Missile troops are mortal when glancing down volleys on your own foes, but leave them isolated and they’ll be flanked quicker than Daniel O’Donnell in an elderly people’s home. Maybe faster. What’s more, with the game happily shying away in the build-and-rush mechanic employed by so many modern-day RTS games – instead opting for a more old fashioned, rolling resource model, which sees you keeping your armies from 1 battle to another -you can’t just send your troops into a mass brawl and hope for the best.
Implementing height benefit, line of sight, flanking manoeuvres and joint arms are skills you will need to call upon if you’re to drift away grasping victory on your blood-caked fist.
You will develop genuine attachments for your regiments as they survive to fight another day alongside you. In fact, ignore that last one. Maybe from the expansion pack, eh?
Watch Your Head
Preserving your troops does not only entail preventing the enemy from cleaving them up, as your guys may take damage from your weapons. Pounding massed enemy ranks with roaring cannons may be a devastating strategy, but fail to cancel their attack orders in time and they’ll do as much damage to your forces as they engage the enemy.
There is also an superb morale system – that sees decimated regiments turn and run for their own lives – that additional swells the game’s strategic center and several elite missions that allow you to work in unison with an Al ally. All of that means it doesn’t require a level-99 mage with +100 Intelligence along with an amulet of Perspicacity to operate out that Mark Of Chaos is an RTS brimming with strategic substance and brutal, unforgiving realism.
So why should you buy it? Well, for starters, it faithfully and competently milks the Warhammer licence such as an ambidextrous farmhand, giving a fun and winding story of conquest and salvation.
What is more, despite its shortfalls, it’s really a damn nice RTS and although not quite fit to frequent the hangouts of the upper echelons of the genre, it’s still more tlian warrants a very long, hard starefollowed by a thoughtful exclamation of excitement and a rifle through the wallet for a cluster of crispy notes.
Sure, we have seen much of this kind of thing Iwfore – in certain cases done it if you are pleased to dismiss its smattering of shortcomings and sit loading times which may be measured in ice ages instead of in seconds, then you’ll discover tint Mark Of Chaos is more than worthy of championing. Or as Glaswegian-twang. Ng dwarven friends might say:”Och aye, it’s grand, laddie,” or any such cliched,
racially stereotypical bollocks.
However, 1 accusation that you couldn’t put at its door was too little admiration for its tabletop origins – of all the games so far, Mark Of Chaos seems to tip most hats towards the universe’s hobbyist core. We spoke to Black Hole Entertainment’s creative director Istvan Zsuffa and mature project director Gabor Illes concerning the process that took them out of having a scant acquaintance with the Warhammer universe to getting completely immersed in the damn heart of it all…
Hungary For Blood:
Illes:”Warhammer is not that popular in Hungary, therefore just a few people had played with the Warhammer tabletop game prior to beginning work on Mark Of Chaos. However, most of us knew about the Warhammer world in another way. After that, we started to find out more about the Warhammer universe and our artists spent a great deal of time with Warhammer artwork and played with the miniatures too.”
Warlock Of Tabletop Mountain:
Illes:”The men at Games Workshop told me they did not need to make a computer version of the tabletop game, since they just needed us to earn a good computer game by using their world. But we wanted to utilize as much of this origin of the Warhammer game as we could. Painting the miniatures and making the different armies is a lot of fun and what exactly the tabletop game is about. Reproducing that fun was our objective.” Zsuffa:”Games Workshop actually feels their universe is real, and that they’re only dealing with just one possible interpretation of that world. They just said we needed to come up with another possible interpretation of the world. We did not need to use the principles they have in their manuals, we only had to make sure the characters and historic stuff were true to their world.”
Licence To Kill Everything:
Illes:”Namco purchased the licence from Games Workshop, so we werent included in that part of getting the licence. However, Games Workshop came to Hungary when Namco told them that Black Hole Entertainment was making the match. The producers came to make sure we had the experience and the understanding of the Warhammer universe to make the game. As 1 said, we had any experience of the Warhammer world, but by now Games Workshop came to see us we knew virtually everything about it.
Games Workshop HQ:
Zsuffa:”The organization is very different to any other we’ve ever seen. As we said before, the world is completely real to the people at Games Workshop. They talk about the history including its real, they know each and every aspect of it – it’s a excellent place. We saw the memorial (where each Warhammer figure is professionally painted in glass cases) and we met some great guys. We also visited Bugman’s pub, the dwarven pub in the Nottingham offices. It was a really interesting experience – it sounds like I’m only being polite, but I’m not. The only thing we had problems with was the enormous quantity of beer they could drink. Well, it wasnt a problem, but we were surprised that there are individuals in the world who can drink that much…”
Zsuffa:”It was quite easy to make a match within this world, since Games Workshop is really receptive. We could create our own stories and characters, we can change the world; the center world of the Warhammer world – particularly the older fantasy universe – is very flexible with its own facts. We could even change the world maps – to not make considerable adjustments, but in their own entire world slight changes are OK. The only bottleneck was that the time demanded. We just had 18 months to make the sport, which is really short for a game of this sort.” Illes:”When we say they were open, we mean that they had been amenable to discussion. We needed to get approval for every single facet still, and there was a complex approval process – each character had to be approved by Games Workshop.”
Zsuffa:”We all know there’s an expansion pack planned, but we do not know yet if we’ll be working on it Of course, we’d expect to have the ability to work on the package. For example, four armies is sufficient to get a normal PC game, but the Warhammer world has more. We’d definitely want to add three or two more armies, as a minimum.” Illes:”We also wanted to make the match more damn. We wanted to implement decapitations and put real gore on the battle. We wanted a great deal of blood, together with body parts falling away. However, due to the short development time, we did not have a chance to do this. As it is a mature game, we would be able to do whatever we needed to do with much more hours .”
Qo Dawn Of War:
Illes:”We wanted to create a totally different match to Relic. Dawn Of War turned into a base-building match, and all of the older Warhammer fans we spoke with told us that they would not want to find another base-building game. Fantasy Warhammer is totally different, it isn’t about that. It is about enormous armies fighting on an open battle, so that is why we chose to make it this way. It wasnt a simple decision for us, because Armies Of Exigo was a base-building sport and that’s yvhere our experience is. We needed to write a lot of new code and a lot of new Al, but I think that it was all worth it.”