Video games Workshop’s Warhammer Age of Sigmar is a fancy beast. There’s the full-fat tabletop expertise, with dozens of intricate miniatures making warfare on large tabletops. There’s additionally two smaller format experiences, together with Warcry’s skirmish fight and Underworlds’ extra formalized aggressive framework. Now a brand new PC and console online game is on the best way: Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Floor is coming to Nintendo Change, PlayStation 4, Home windows PC, and Xbox One on Might 27.
Polygon had an opportunity to go hands-on with an early model of the sport’s Stormcast Everlasting marketing campaign in April. The ultimate recreation will embody three factions — the Stormcast Eternals, Nighthaunt, and Maggotkin — in addition to a aggressive on-line multiplayer mode. However the base recreation is extra of a story marketing campaign, with summary turn-based motion and a roguelike format. Gamers progress throughout a hex-based map, making ranged and melee assaults and casting spells.
The expertise feels a bit like a mix of all three present tabletop video games. There’s the wealthy physique of lore being drawn from the bottom tabletop recreation; the adaptive, evolving model of narrative play from Warcry; and the taught, nearly Chess-like aggressive really feel of Underworlds. Gasket Video games CEO Jeff Lydell mentioned the purpose all alongside was to make use of the various facets of the Age of Sigmar to make one thing completely new.
The target, Lydell mentioned, is to attract gamers into Video games Workshop’s universe and set them to process unlocking new and thrilling characters inside their recreation.
“We chew by way of the surroundings,” Lydell mentioned. “We take you thru a number of completely different realms from the Age of Sigmar and introduce you to completely different characters that we’ve set in that, and introduce you to completely different characters that we’ve set in that in addition to completely different facets of the lore that you would be able to discover.”
Every of the sport’s models and hero characters is upgradeable, with choices for alternate weapons, armor, and spells. Lydell mentioned that his staff has created greater than 500 completely different unlocks for the sport. Within the single-player marketing campaign that we performed, unlocks carried over from recreation to recreation, lending the expertise a form of Rogue Legacy-style development. Every time I got here again to play one other spherical, I had extra and completely different choices to select from for outfitting my forces.
“Your hero is the anchor hero that continues to progress,” mentioned Ian Christy, design director at Gasket Video games. “It takes a very long time to unlock all of the [upgrade] slots on the hero, however holy moly, are they powerful as soon as they’ve received all these slots unlocked.”
Every time I performed by way of the Storm Forged marketing campaign, unlocks (within the type of in-game playing cards) appeared as loot in a sure hex on the map. A lot as in Firaxis’ reinvention of the XCOM franchise, particularly XCOM 2: Conflict of the Chosen, these loot containers grew to become an non-compulsory goal. The chance was damaging and even killing off a minor unit, however the reward was discovering a robust piece of random gear or, typically, one other unit completely.
One other deal with for followers of the Age of Sigmar is that Gasket Video games isn’t drawing on any present elements of the canon from the Black Library. The developer has been given the purview to discover a brand new a part of the universe, and develop the storyline of the franchise by itself.
“Clearly Video games Workshop has the final say,” mentioned Christy. “We’ve labored carefully [with them] and added to the Black Library. So, slightly than deriving from the prevailing [lore], we’ve tried to construct it out. The gorgeous factor with the Age of Sigmar […] is that there’s a whole lot of open territory to discover.”
When the sport launches later this month, gamers will have the ability to sort out the single-player expertise at their very own tempo or leap proper into the multiplayer recreation and create their very own warbands from scratch. Lydell was fast to notice that there are not any microtransactions inbuilt “for the time being,” however the staff continues to be exploring methods so as to add content material to the $39.99 recreation for devoted followers.
“There’s one thing like 26 factions in [the full-fledged tabletop wargame],” Lydell mentioned. “In the end, our purpose with this was [to] make a extremely good Age of Sigmar recreation, and our long run targets are [to] make as a lot of it as we are able to.”