Mordheim has been available on Steam for some time now, but those who choose to play on PS4 have to wait no longer – It’s just been released and we’ve had the chance to try it out.
Mordheim was a very popular tabletop skirmish game years back before it was discontinued, but as with most Games Workshop games, it was never forgotten by its fans. Now this new digital version is here we can see if it lives up to its elder tabletop heritage.
In Mordheim, you lead a gang and fight for control of the streets in a city of the same name. A selection of races are available, and in our time playing the game we primarily played as the race of rat-men known as Skaven. The player has a reasonable amount of choice when it comes to customising the look of your gang members, a nice touch allowing you to feel more connected with your warriors – A detail which makes one key feature of the game that much more personal: Permanent Damage.
In the ongoing campaign mode, you earn gold and build up your gang. With each skirmish, you develop and shape your warriors to your needs, but you have to be careful: These are not disposable assets. If your warrior is killed in battle it’ll not only cost you gold to fix them up again but they’ll also potentially be damaged permanently, something which can leave your most powerful warrior practically useless. As such it makes actual strategy a major consideration if you just throw your warriors forward blindly, you’ll inevitably lose worse and worse each time. The Warband management system is nicely done and satisfying too, with ongoing aims and achievements available giving you something more to work towards than just building your gang.
The battle system is turn based which helps keep it true to its tabletop roots. The only minor annoyance came from having to confirm everything you want to do, but it’s understandable why it’s there. At its heart, it’s a steady paced game that encourages patience as you consider strategies and secondary objectives, but it doesn’t feel overly slow and the reward for your patience is a very satisfying experience.
The basics can be grasped very quickly, but it’ll take many hours of playtime to master it all. Fortunately, there’s a wide variety of tutorials to help out with understanding it all! This learning curve combined with the long-term development makes it a rewarding game to play and encourages you to keep playing. And if you need a break from the campaign and just want to have a worry-free skirmish there’s a quick play option too.
Online play is available too and if you’re brave you can play the full risk version of the game with perma-damage enabled. Fortunately, there’s a low-risk option too for those not yet ready to risk their favourite gang members just yet!
Overall Mordheim is very visually attractive and feels like a plausible place (within the Warhammer old world anyway!) with an abundance of details to draw you into the game even more. The audio is nicely done adding to the atmosphere of the game, another nice touch being the spoken text which brings yet more life to Mordheim.
All in all the porting has been done extremely well, with no issues noticed during the time spent playing Mordheim: It feels like a game directly developed as a PlayStation 4 game in its own right as opposed to a PC game that’s been cheaply converted onto console as some do, far too often.
Mordheim is an excellent game that is highly rewarding and will leave you wanting to play for hours – Even if you’re not versed in the history of the Warhammer world. If you’re looking for something different to the current onslaught on First Person Shooters, this should be one of your first ports of call.