Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Warhammer 40,000: Regicide (PC) Review

I recently covered a preview of Warhammer 40,000 (commonly called 40K in the fandom): Regicide after getting a review key from the publisher, and finally put some more time into the full release of the game.  All three acts of the campaign are available now, and it is effectively a story mode for the game, following the Space Marines as they battle the Orks.  The battles and kill animations are pretty bloody and savage, which fits in really well with the war-torn universe.

Campaign battles are small scale strategy maps where a small group of the Space Marines fight a small group of Orks.  The characters you have move like chess pieces.  You can attack enemies and have different abilities, like taking cover and throwing grenades.  There are pieces of cover around the field that can obstruct your line of sight and movement.  The stages are fairly small and over pretty quick, but there are a lot of them to do in the campaign.  Each stage also has secondary objectives that you can complete for extra experience and Requisition.  These are used to purchase skills for your loadout in the other modes, as well as a few unlockable skins for both sides.

The other modes available are Multiplayer and Skirmish, which are basically the same.  Multiplayer is against another person online while Skirmish is against either the AI or another person in the same room (couch versus).  In both of these modes, you can choose to do either Regicide or Classic.  Classic is straight-up chess, but with kill animations.  The animations are different depending on which unit kills which, and can be entertaining to watch.  As mentioned before, it is very reminiscent of Battle Chess from back in the 90s, which is a good thing.

Regicide is a mix of chess with the attacks and abilities your pieces get in campaign.  You both start with a normal chess array of pieces, and can still kill opposing pieces as you would in chess, or by shooting them enough.  You also get skulls each turn that represent action points.  Each action (like attacking, using an ability, etc.) will take a set amount.  It's a pretty cool mode that mixes pure chess with some of the strategy element found in the campaign mode.

Since the game is based off of chess, if you know how to play that, you can do pretty well.  There is a tutorial mode that will teach you how the different pieces move and how to play each mode, which should be helpful for anyone to be able to play.  There is also an armory that allows you to pick a skin for each side, and even set a few different loadouts against both Marines and Orks.  As mentioned earlier, you can purchase most of these with skill points gained from leveling up and Requisition.

I like the old Battle Chess game and I love Warhammer 40k.  So, it stands to reason that I would like Regicide, and I do.  I'm not sure how much I'll play it, since I'm not great at chess, but I do like all the modes offered.  My son likes chess, so I would let him play the classic mode if there was a way to turn off or lessen the gore.  Maybe I'll try turning off the kill cam and see how that changes it.  The only real complaint I have with the game is that you can only be (genetically modified) humans and Orks.  As a fan of the Eldar, I would always love to see them get some recognition in any Warhammer 40k games.  Even so, the game is pretty fun for fans of Warhammer 40k or Battle Chess, as long as you don't mind your pieces blowing each other's brains out.

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