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Mordheim: City of the Damned Hands-On Preview – Tactful Damnation

A really fun title for those who enjoy turn-based tactical RPGs.

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While at the Montreal X Indie Developer Showcase in Manhattan last week, I got to see and play a lot of cool Canadian indie games. The one that stood out to me the most was Mordheim: City of the Damned from Rogue Factor. After the main presentations were over, I got myself a nice Canadian beer and headed over to Mordheim‘s booth where I got to talk to Rogue Factor’s General Manager, Yves Bordeleau about the title and got some hands-on time with it as well.

Mordheim is a turn-based tactical RPG in the vein of Valkyria Chronicles. The game takes place in the Warhammer Universe in the city of Mordheim after a twin tailed comet crashed into it. There are rival warbands which are locked in a heated battle for control over the city and most importantly, for possession of Wyrdstone fragments. Though this game has a story, it’s really about the tactical combat — and I can tell you now that it’s a lot of fun.

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After talking to Yves about the intricacies of Canadian beer, I dived right into the game. I was in an old, medieval style town which had definitely seen its fair share of battles. This being a tactical RPG, your movement area was limited but there was an enemy close by which I positioned myself behind and attacked. I got to place several of the various units in different positions on the map. Melee types I set to attack while archers I set in key overwatch points to attack foes from a distance. After I did my attacks and set up my units it was the enemy’s turn.

Since Morheim is a turn-based game, there wasn’t much I could do during the enemy’s turn. However, those archers that I placed along the map did help out whenever foes came within range. For this demo, I played against the AI, but players can also face off against each other. This type of combat is enjoyable alone, but I can only imagine how much more of a blast it’ll be to play against others.

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One of the things I like about this game is the sense of permanence to it. Units can be killed and if they die, you can’t revive them. The best part is that if your units suffer major wounds they can still be used. I was told that if one in your unit loses a leg, you can still use them but they’ll run around with a peg leg. Also, I was told a story about one such peg leggy character being so strong from having been in so many battles that it didn’t matter how slow he was, he destroyed everyone. This is the sort of stuff that will make players get attached to specific units and it’s fantastic.

Mordheim is also highly customizable which will make it even more personalized for players. You can upgrade units’ equipment and develop their abilities how you see fit. This will make it so your warband is different from others’.

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The environment has both treasures and perils. You can find hidden loot and even take weapons from fallen enemies. There are traps all over the place, so you have to be careful when traversing the levels. The environments can also be used to your advantage as well to shield you from enemies or to put you in a better position to get the drop on them.

I played an extremely early build of the game, but even this version got me excited for the final game and I don’t even own a gaming PC! Player feedback is something that the Rogue Factor team are closely monitoring, and this is something that will make the final product something that the fans will truly enjoy.

Mordheim: City of the Damned is definitely a game to keep an eye out for. You can be sure that we’ll be bringing you more coverage of this title as it continues to evolve.

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Tony Polanco Executive Editor
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