By: Ted Chow
With the arrival of a great new year and an exciting list of titles coming out in 2015, I am ready to start my quest to tackle all these new games. Warhammer Quest is one such game, and it is a series that I have followed since the table-top miniatures. Going in I wasn’t expecting too much from this title as the premise and setting isn’t as grand as the 40k universe. However, there are some qualities that make Warhammer Quest fall in line with an offering of old-school, top-down gameplay with a Dungeons and Dragons vibe.
Booting the game for the first time, you’re brought to a tutorial mini story to showcase a lot of the overall controls and game mechanics. And for the most part the game does an adequate job to welcoming new players in, though there isn’t much complexity to the overall schematics. Like an old-school dungeon crawler, the game focuses on you controlling a party in tactical turn-based action. Panning across your “dungeon board” is the extent of your interaction and for the most part is fluid albeit unintuitive.
The overall graphics are a bit of a mix bag as the in-dungeon 3D experience feels rather lackluster, but the overall conceptual art, backdrops, world map and storybook town animations add some charm to the general aesthetic. If the game wanted to convey a sense of the old RPG days it delivers on that front, just don’t expect to compare the graphics to any AAA titles. The sound is probably the best aspect of the game as the epic orchestral score gives the necessary tension to the grim atmosphere that is Warhammer.
As the name implies, Warhammer Quest is a game where you will venture with a maximum party of four to take on a number of quests given to you by scripted events or random points of interest on the world map. Much of the game will center on the dungeon experience and trying to overcome the challenges that each dungeon provides around every corner.
Proper party management and planning may be needed to tackle different dungeons as your party will offer various strengths based on its composition. If you chose to up the difficulty, permanent death is also a factor that must be considered and helps to increase the tension of your decisions versus playing on casual difficulty.
Akin to Dungeons and Dragons, you will manage character inventories, conduct behind the scene roll saves and hoard a ton of epic loot. All the unnecessary loot that you collect can be sold in various towns that you visit.
What equipment you do keep will be of the utmost value to you in the dungeons as purchasing equipment and usable items is expensive. The game does offer micro transactions to buy in-game gold with real currency, but I tend to steer clear of the mobile-like transactions that are becoming the norm — of course, that’s your prerogative, and it is available so you can do what you please to tailor to your best play experience.
The towns offer a variety of options, from selling your items to upgrading your party members. Within each town the markets will also vary in the goods sold, and it is wise to browse your options. A training ground is available for leveling up your characters as is a temple to bless your members with buffs for upcoming dungeons. The buffs may be inconsequential for the low difficulty setting, but they’re absolutely crucial for hardcore mode.
Aside from these game interactions, there is a good deal of lore and thought put into the characters you bring into your party as well as flavor text for spells and special abilities. With no real multiplayer or co-op available, though, it is a one-man dungeon crawling experience.
Going into the game I kept my expectations low as to not get disappointed. I love the Warhammer and Warhammer 40k licenses from Games Workshop, but the games can vary in quality. This one doesn’t hit the mark with me on a personal level, but there were some interesting tidbits throughout my experience. If you are looking for a dungeon crawler with turn-based, table-top style game mechanics, than Warhammer Quest can provide that for you — as long as you manage your expectations.