Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground
Gasket Games/Focus Home Interactive
Games Workshop’s Warhammer, specifically its Old World setting, has been loved by its fans for many years. But the venerable miniature wargame that has always headlined the franchise, Warhammer Fantasy Battle, was comepletely upended back in 2015 when the company decided to reboot the entire setting.
What sprang up from the ashes was a new series—Warhammer Age of Sigmar. Instead of the more traditional feel of Tolkeinian trappings mixed with medieval aesthetics, Age of Sigmar seemed like something a little more original and multidementional.
Strangely, there hasn’t been much in terms of a video game presence for the Age of Sigmar setting, besides Warhammer Underworld: Online (which I also enjoy immensely). However, game developer Gasket Games has partnered up with veteran game publishers Focus Home Interactive, and recently released their answer to the franchise’s rather barren digital battlefield. Enter: Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground.
This new setting can be a little jarring to pick up since there is so much previous lore integrated into it. Thankfully, Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground comes with several single-player campaigns that allow you take control of the game’s three starting factions, the noble Stormcast Eternals, the grotesque Maggotkin of Nurgle, and the undead legions of the Nighthaunt. Each of these factions represent the three major super-factions of the tabletop Age of Sigmar game—Order, Chaos, and Death respectively, and you get to learn more about the setting’s background lore.
One of the things that I noticed right away is the game’s gorgeous graphics. Each unit looks splendid— packed with high levels of detail and an adherence to the game’s tabletop aesthetics. Similarly, all of the weapon effects, movement animations, and special abilities such as spells, talents, etc. are spectacular to behold—this is probably the best-looking Age of Sigmar game out there right now.
Another thing that I like about Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground is that each of the factions seem pretty well balanced against one another. Battles play out across hex-based battlefields that are dotted with various obstacles. This is a deep strategy game, so you’ll want to anticipate enemy movements and accomplish objectives, all while also capturing treasure nodes.
The game has a chess-like feel to it but sacrificing or losing a unit type was never an easy moment. In fact, there is a rogue-lite element to the gameplay because if you lose your main hero character, your current run will be over. However, any treasure, upgrades, and experience you’ve gained will persist. Personally, I like this mechanic as it makes me pay close attention to my main hero instead of throwing him into the fray with reckless abandon.
Although I really enjoy the single-player content, the campaign seems like an extended training ground for the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. This mode has an entirely separate character progression tree featuring literally hundreds of weapons, armor, character, and ability unlocks.
For many Warhammer fans, one of the pleasures of the tabletop experience lies in meticulously painting its miniatures. This is emulated by the ability to customize and digitally paint one’s army of units and heroes. It’s great fun but unfortunately, this isn’t part of the single-player campaign, at least not at this point in time.
Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground’s maps aren’t as expansive as I thought they would be, but that’s fine because it allows folks to engage their enemies much faster. The lush color palate of the units means that everything is easily identifyable at a glance. The game’s UI is also well thought out and logically ordered.
As it stands, Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground is a great start to a possible juggernaught of a PC game franchise. It has lushious graphics, slick production values, and lots of opportunity for advanced strategies and tactics. Lets hope that it gets some new factions in the future.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground has some great graphics so you’ll need a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. Therefore, you may just want to invest in a superior gaming rig:
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