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Hello Bandits. Courtesy of Focus we’ve been taking a look at the latest Games Workshop offering, the turn based Table-Top-RPG-em-up, Mordheim City of the Damned
We’ve just finished a campaign of Pathfinder ourselves here in the Pixel Bandits offices, so we have been really looking forward to what Mordheim had to offer. It pulls through a lot from the Warhammer universe and it does stick pretty solidly to the source material, especially in terms of stat-heavy combat which you can keep a close eye on, with a lot of information on screen most of the time.
There are some let downs with City of the Damned. The graphics themselves, while not vital of course, are more last gen than current and the camerawork can often leave you looking (or trying to) through solid walls or stairs as the camera auto tracks enemies or your attacks. The loading times also let the title down, with some being upwards of a minute to a minute and a half of waiting. There is a lot of story to read while you’re there but it’s certainly not a title for the impatient among us.
Set in the crippled city, you have a choice of 5 warbands to control (though one of those is DLC) and the game mainly revolves around you taking to the streets to wipe out rival warbands and pick up Wyrdstone. You’ll need to manage your troops as you go forward and it’s a nice touch that if your members are injured or you’ve not paid them for their services, they’ll likely be unable or refusing to fight for you.
The main issue we’ve come across is that put simply, it’s not easy to get into. Those who have played the classic tabletop version will be a little better in tune of course, as well as anybody who knows why a Ranger should have good Dex, and a Bard good Charisma. For those who don’t dabble within the cut throat world of pen and paper roleplay, you’ll have to pay strict attention, and bear in mind it is NOT going to be easy.
The Run Down
Graphics: 5/10: The visuals within Mordheim are certainly the first thing which let it down for us. While of course graphics are not the be all and end all for games (we’re still playing the original rainbow 6) Mordheim seems very Last Gen to us and the camera work can really break immersion at times as walls or stairs block the tracked camera
Story: 4/10: We really expected a little more story within Mordheim, and with it coming from such a wonderfully detailed universe we feel a little let down. There is a little story here of course, and the warband leveling and management is a very nice touch, but the randomised campaign missions, while enjoyable, aren’t really different enough from each other to warrant any marks here
Sound: 6/10:the in game effects and music are decent, and the kind of thing we expected, however the messages on success or failure of your missions repeat themselves from day one, and again break your immersion quite a lot
Replayability: 7/10: There is an online skirmish mode here where you can go up against friends or the general public, and with the random missions and customization opportunity for your warband it does receive some positive marks here
Satisfaction: 6/10: We’ve found that while Pathfinder or D&D lovers such as ourselves will get a lot more out of Mordheim, the broken immersion coupled with the wealth of statistics and management required could very well make it quite hard to get into. Of course without the stats and knowledge required, Warhammer fans themselves would be put out here, so at this point it’s really a case of not being able to please all of the people all of the time. For Pen and Paper RPG fans, this can certainly scratch an itch. If you play Xcom in the hardest difficulties and fancy a new challenge, it might be worth a look, but otherwise take a look at Vermintide instead