Mordheim: City of the Damned is the type of game I tend to not be good at. While playing it tends to punish me for being too impulsive, and I’ve not got the patience to handle the resources that I need to control. When it plays so well though, it’s also a game that keeps on dragging me back.
Based on Game Workshop’s cult tabletop game of the same name, Mordheim is set in a decimated city (perfect for the battles that take place). You must choose a warband to take part in deadly skirmishes, fighting to the death not only to take down your enemy but to hunt down the precious resources strewn around the city.
A turn-based tactical game, you have the choice of four warbands – Sisters of Sigmar, The Cult of the Possessed, Skaven and the Mercenaries from the Empire. Choosing your troops, you can select fighters who can use range attacks or are stronger at melee, but the balance must be right. The fun for the game comes from getting that strategy right where you’ve managed to work as a team and not get yourself cornered and defeated.
When it comes to resources, gold of course is important. This can be built up by pillaging and looting the maps the game takes place on. These resources can then be sold on the black market, which also makes requests of you that need to be met within a certain time limit or it is game over. While this may seem complicated at times the game handles this well, making show you know just what to do.
Once you’ve managed to handle the resources, the depth of gameplay in battle becomes apparent, and this is not just on the map itself. During battle you will inevitably lose one of your fighters and they will leave the battlefield. Once the battle is over, and even if the battle is lost or won you’ll then have to deal with injuries. The good aspect of this is the fact that your “dead” players will not be lost but just injured. You’ll receive information about how many days it will take for them to heal, and you’ll also have to pay for the upkeep of the team, including healing them. They must be paid or they will refuse to fight.
Battles take place in either skirmishes or through story missions. Skirmishes can either be done against the CPU or against online opponents. The online mode can be hard to get into at times because of overpowered opponents, though there are checks in the matchmaking to try to balance it out. There is an obvious need for this to be re-balanced though, which may come in future patches.
The game itself runs fairly well when in team management or in the battles itself, but where it does annoy to a point is in loading times. The loading screen can sit there for a minute or more as the map loads in, which is a surprise as it doesn’t feel that power-hungry, and the graphics aren’t overly system demanding. This again may be something that can be improved in future patches.
Loading times aside Mordheim: City of the Damned is a fun game, even for beginners. At first it is punishing in the challenge you face, but once you learn what to expect from the game it gets its hook into you and keeps you heading into the city for one last battle to prove your worth. A must try for those who want to get into the world of Warhammer, Mordheim: City of the Damned is surprisingly a lot of fun.
Mordheim: City of the Damned is available on PC now.