I’ll be honest: my experience with the Warhammer 40,000 universe is exceptionally limited. In fact, so is my experience with any Warhammer content. Back in 2010, I was introduced to a bit of Warhammer Online and then a couple years ago I tried out Blood Bowl: Legendary Edition, but beyond those things, my knowledge is pretty small. Yet, that doesn’t mean that I’m unwilling to try new games out, so when we received a preview copy of Warhammer 40,000: Regicide, I was curious to see how it was.
Going into it, I was sort of expecting a turn-based strategy campaign of some kind. While that’s not completely inaccurate, the better description of the game is to say that it’s a cross between Battle Chess and a turn-based title like Shining Force. At its core, the game seems like a chess game, but there are a lot more intricacies at play. Yes, the game does feature a “classic” mode that plays just like a chess game, but the other modes combine chess with strategy gameplay, and even though you can capture and instantly kill a piece just as you could under the rules of traditional chess, you also have initiative points to spend on activating skills for your units (pieces), allowing them to kill enemy pieces without always having to capture them.
The game currently has a 10-round campaign mode (Act I), with more planned, but the meat of the experience is likely intended to be the online multiplayer, which should have support for the PC, tablet, and mobile phone versions all at once. That’s probably a good thing, because I finished nearly half the campaign in around 35 minutes or so. Yikes!
The version played here is definitely not without bugs (I had to crash out after a couple missions because even though it counted the mission as finished, it never let me have the option to move to the next one), and it has set resolutions and doesn’t seem to have universal support for stuff beyond 1080p.
The story isn’t that compelling to me and the gameplay, while fun, seems novel at times and that novelty wears off. I’ll gladly give the game another look if some of my friends end up picking it up after it launches on August 26 so we can try the online content, but right now, my initial reaction is that it’s a GOOD game, but not a great one.
Warhammer 40,000: Regicide is in Steam Early Access right now and can be purchased for $13.99 USD. The game officially launches into retail mode on August 26, 2015.