Warhammer 40,000: Glory in Death

Wydawca: THQ. | Producent: Razorback Developments | Premiera: 6 kwietnia 2006 | PEGI: ? | ESRB: Teen | Gracze: 1-2

Recenzja arhn.eu

Oficjalne screenshoty

Opis z oficjalnej strony gry

The future is a brutal nightmare. The universe is a dark place, and death is present in its every corner. War is spread across the galaxy, as the battle for survival rages on. Handheld gaming is about to see something new, as Warhammer 40,000 brings all out war to the N-Gage!

Choose your side, and fight for the survival of your race in a turn based war game of legendary proportions. Fight with the Imperium’s Space Marines to guard mankind’s last hope, or reign as the diabolic forces that worship Chaos. Join the mystical Eldar in their woven scheme to bind together the fragile existence of their once mighty race, or lead the Orks in bringing slaughter and mayhem to every corner of the cosmos. Show no mercy, take no prisoners. War is your only source of honour...

The depths of the Warhammer 40,000 Universe hold danger for all living creatures, and the future of your people is in your hands. Can you survive the war long enough to discover the secret of Lya’bru?


Wywiad z Jasonem Blundellem, producentem Nokii z n-gage.com

Think Warhammer 40,000 and you think armies of fantastically detailed, beautifully-painted Citadel miniatures waging war on a tabletop battlefield.

For the uninitiated, Warhammer 40,000 is a vast, vivid gaming universe set in a far future where mankind has spread across the galaxy, clashing with the forces of Chaos, the unruly Orks, and the enigmatic Eldar. For converts, it's just about the best wargaming experience there is.

Now, it's coming to the N-Gage platform as Warhammer 40,000: Glory In Death, and the way this version captures the essence of the original and squeezes it all onto a 32 MB card is nothing short of impressive.

For Nokia's producer, Jason Blundell, the challenge was clear: "How do we take this universe with all its detail, and put it into a mobile game? What struck me was that we could bury the detail very easily and abstract it away from the player." And so British developer Razorback has translated the tabletop action into a few, deceptively simple screens.

Battles are handled from an endearing top down view, with maps ranging in size from a compact 16x16 right up to a massive 24x32 squares. "Small maps let you get into the battle very quickly -- in the first two moves you're already in shooting range," explains Blundell, "but you've also got bigger maps for tactical movement around buildings." They look great too, like a comic book vision of the gothic original, with character artwork by 2000 AD alumnus, Mike McMahon.

On the maps, the dinky but deadly forced-perspective troops take up one square. The ratios for movement and firing ranges for the various units are all based on the original, as are all the stats lurking behind the game. "We've done a pseudo-tabletop conversion," explains Blundell, "The reason being that Games Workshop has done this for a very long time and we'd be foolish to tamper with such a well-designed system. They (Games Workshop) have statistics aplenty showing that 'X' unit can move a specific number of centimeters -- hence, we have tried to preserve the same ratios so that the overall balancing is consistent."

This straightforward system works brilliantly, giving Warhammer 40000 veterans something they can instantly recognize, whilst offering new gamers an easily understandable way into the world. As dice and tape measures have no place here, when you select a unit with the cursor all the squares to which it can move or fire at are highlighted. This takes any terrain or other modifiers into account, leaving the gamer free to get on with the battle.

"What I want to be able to do is give it to somebody with no real instructions and for them to be able to play it straight away," says Blundell. However, for anyone craving stats, a button press brings up a unit's information screen, where all the underlying numbers can be referenced and tactics adjusted accordingly.

When one unit fires on another -- or better still, gets stuck into hand-to-hand melee combat -- the game switches to a much closer, side-on view to show the results. It's here that all the glorious detail of those Citadel miniatures is captured -- Space Marines open fire with Bolters, Eldar let loose with Shuriken Cannon and you don't even want to know what a Bloodthirster does when it's up close and personal. Delightfully, sometimes disgustingly-animated -- each unit has three different death animations -- these brutal firefights and fisticuffs really feel like Warhammer 40000 in your hands and are a vicious, visceral reward for all that tactical maneuvering.

Of course, one of the most striking things about the tabletop game is the wide range of units available and here Warhammer 40000: Glory In Death doesn't disappoint. There are four different races to choose from -- Space Marines, Orks, Eldar and Chaos -- and there are a further four choices within each race. So, Space Marines can select a chapter, such as Blood Angels or Space Wolves and Ork players can opt for different clans.

Forces are split into five categories -- HQ units, Elites, Fast Attack, Heavy Support and Troops -- in which tabletop veterans will find many familiar units. Space Marines can call on Land Raiders, Dreadnoughts, Bike Squadrons and the like, whilst a Chaos player can unleash Flesh Hounds, a Possessed Squad, even Defilers. Armies are organized on a token system, with the more powerful units costing more. So, for the price of the Farseer, a potent Eldar psychic unit, a player could flood the battlefield with cheap Ork Boyz. Alternative weapons offer even more scope to customize your troops.

Bringing all this together are four single player campaigns, with around 60 missions between them. "Story was something we always felt very passionate about and something Games Workshop was very keen on," says Blundell. "The idea is that we have four races and there's one storyline for all of them, which moves across and connects at different points. So you can pick the Space Marines and play them all the way through and you will get the Marines' point of view of what's happened. You then can play the Eldar and suddenly you will realize what was influencing the Space Marine story. And only when you play all four will you understand what's truly happened. It's that kind of Tarantino thing."

As well as spinning a compelling yarn, it's a clever way to economize on game memory -- vital to ensure a satisfying range of units -- as the missions for the four races inventively re-use certain maps. "You might be performing an Ambush mission when you're first there," explains Blundell, "but as a different race you might be performing a rear guard as your troops escape." Other operations include rescues, assassinations and cleansing, all adding to that variety essential to the Warhammer 40000 world.

There's life beyond the campaign, though, with a random battle mode for solo gamers to pitch themselves against a doughty AI, and support for multiplayer too. Gamers will be able to go head-to-head or team up against an AI opponent via Bluetooth, as well challenge players around the world through N-Gage Arena, where extra units will be unlocked by winning battles. There'll even be a hot seat mode, where gamers can fight on the same N-Gage. "You can save your armies onto the N-Gage as well," adds Blundell. But the thing that will really give Warhammer 40000: Glory In Death its longevity is the sheer number of ways you can play it.

Want to build an army of foot soldiers to overrun the enemy? You can. Want to combine fast-attacking shock troops with heavy support? No problem. Care to master the psychic tricks of the Eldar? It's all there. For Blundell, this will be one of the title's biggest strengths: "It gives people the chance to see the kind of variety that the tabletop game has created, and it gives us all of this lovely content to dip into."

So, Warhammer 40000 on the N-Gage platform will be a thrilling reality. Intuitive enough for newcomers to pick up and play, but with the depth and gaming pedigree that Games Workshop regulars will expect, it taps into the tabletop game's DNA and delivers it to a mobile phone. "We wanted to make it so you could experience the Warhammer 40000 universe anywhere," states Blundell. Pretty soon, we'll be able to.