|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA Mythic||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 18, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: Unlimited||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
You can probably head over to the World of Warcraft forums right now and notice people complaining about the lack of objectivity in PvP gameplay. Instead of random encounters with no real rewards or consequences, players these days strive to be able to make an impact within the world. This is where Warhammer's Campaign comes into play. Once you have accomplished enough within the three earlier mentioned battle types, you will have the chance to organize a group raid on a particular city. The defenders will have a chance to make a stand, as well as have support from some of the A.I. If you can lead a successful attack, there will be opportunities to seize particular structures, treasures, and even have the option to hold the leader of that city hostage. What is impressive about this game type is that it truly gives players a chance to engage in meaningful combat, and while there are consequences for death and failure, the rewards more than make up for it.
That doesn't mean that there isn't room for you fans of PvE play as well. For those that wish not to actively take part in the RvR system, there are some quests throughout the landscape to participate in. Towards the end of the game, higher level players will be able to take part in challenging boss fights and tricky dungeons, which test both reflex and wit. Though not much information has been divulged in this category, it would be nice to see computer A.I. that can be beaten through skill, not the traditional gear and level build up which is all too common these days. Yes, I'm talking to you Blizzard. Regardless, according to the developers, there will be plenty to do on both fronts. And with the amount of depth placed into RvR, I feel that even people who regularly despise competition will enjoy the facets being offered.
They say that a solid presentation is half the battle, and Warhammer Online is truly trying to convey a more realistic tone to the MMORPG world. After plenty of sessions with the cartoon themed visuals of World of Warcraft and Maple Story, Warhammer is definitely a sight for sore eyes. Taking a nod from recent releases Tabula Rosa and Lord of the Rings Online, Warhammer brings both a darker tone and presentation that is more reminiscent of classic fantasy stories. Characters are well proportioned, with plenty of facial features and fluid movement. Particle effects are impressive and even sections of the landscape look to be alterable for a short time during combat. No information has been revealed about the finalized soundtrack, but if it is anywhere near as good as how the graphics look, then I think players have nothing to worry about
Ten years ago Dark Age of Camelot was a breakthrough in player vs. player combat within an MMORPG with the introduction of its RvR setup. Now, nearly a decade later, Mythic looks to bring the same magic back with Warhammer Online. With little else on the horizon other than the myth that is Darkfall, Warhammer is the most anticipated MMORPG of the year, with over 500,000 people signed up for the upcoming beta. There promises to be a lot to do, from crafting and questing to exploration and combat, and you would have to be a complete hater of the genre to not want to give this one a shot. Will it drop World of Warcraft from its deserved throne? Probably not, but it will definitely attract the competitive crowd who are looking for more of that "hardcore edge" to their gameplay. No release date has been solidified, but look for it to arrive sometime this summer. In the meantime, there's always World of Warcraft; I know some of you haven't gotten to level 70 yet.
CCC Freelance Writer