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Warhammer: Mark Of Chaos Review

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An addition to the combat strategy catalogue that is engaging despite obvious flaws.

★★★★

For fans of the classic Warhammer board games, this barbarous burst of real-time strategy is like a dream come true; unlike other RTS titles, Mark Of Chaos focuses squarely on its epic skirmishes, letting players loose in a series of battlefields rather than expecting you to worry about harvesting crops or other tedious resource management. Moreover, MOC also pays homage to its dice-rolling heritage by allowing players to customise their digital armies – just as tabletop commanders can paint and collect miniatures – and the battles also feature the best heroes and villains from the Warhammer universe, from the High Elves and human Empire fighters to the evil Chaos hordes and Skaven.

However, for devotees of the Total War series and RTS games in general, Mark Of Chaos is peppered with frustrating flaws. Unlike the sumptuous Medieval II: Total War, MOC’s presentation is lazy and outdated, from the excruciating plot that spectacularly fails to wind players into the experience, to the overly tame battles that aren’t as brutal or gory as you’d expect from a Warhammer game. The fact that off-screen units can come under attack without you knowing also makes for unnecessary stressful campaigns, and the jerkily animated warriors don’t sit well with the beautifully-realised environments you’re scrapping in.

But while RTS snobs will turn their nose up at MOC’s shortcomings, the game’s engaging multiplayer modes and hero units that can bring the battles to a stop as two super-powered units slug it out are tremendous fun, making Warhammer a thrilling alternative to more established strategy titles.

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