Warhammer 40,000: Age of Sigmar is an expansion of the Warhammer Game shop that came out about 6 years ago to expand on the vast fantasy world that they already had running. This new change replaced the Old World medieval-style feel of the game with a new and exciting multi-dimensional Mortal Realms. This also in turn introduced players to new factions and new play styles. For some players, it was a kick in the face to have this new world brought forward, but for others, it meant starting over from scratch and learning all over again.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground is the first major outing in video games besides a few card games and others that have previously released. In this new turn-based strategy game, you are in a ceaseless war between the many Gods and their servants. You will get to play as one of the three factions. There are the lightning-riding Stormcast who serve Sigmar, the Maggotkin who are under the god Nurgle, and the Nighthaunt who are the ghostly slaves to Nagash.
In Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground, you lead a champion and a band of followers through a series of turn-based battles in an enemy fortress. You will begin to acquire loot, skills, new recruits, and lore as you make your way through each. Followers who fall in battle can be resurrected with a miracle should they be lucky enough to find one, but losing your champion ends your run and sends them back to their God and you will then get your experience and all your collectibles as you get to restart all over. Each faction has its own narrative campaign that is done by none other than Warhammer novelist Robbie MacNiven. To me, this makes it feel more like a great thing if you ever have listened to any of his book readings.
You start each battle round in this rogue-like playstyle with a set budget to summon different followers. Each round you spend power to summon units, and each round your power meter refills and grows a bit longer. As the battle goes on you can summon your most expensive and powerful units, leading to a natural escalation. From the beginning of round one any unspent power becomes Aether, the currency spent to activate units’ special abilities, which presents an interesting choice during every turn: sometimes you’ll summon new units, but sometimes you won’t as you’d rather save the power to allow your current troops to use their special powers next round. The abilities of each of these factions give a more cohesive and better link to their factions and lore.
An example of this would be that the Stormcast Eternals are based around their commander, only able to summon reinforcements each round to their spawn area or their commander’s vicinity. In return, their individual strength is very high, with consistently well-armored units able to bully the opponent’s line. The Nighthaunts are the opposite: They’re a swarming faction that can use wisps of spirit-matter to summon almost anywhere on the battlefield, but they pay for that with individually weak troops. The Maggotkin is something else entirely, a faction focused on spreading corrupted terrain on the battlefield and able to summon their units on it as well as proliferate free Nurgling units by consuming their own corruption.
I found that Storm Ground’s combat system for the most part is very impressive, but it’s let down a little by some of the AI’s mess-ups. I have found a few upsetting AI responses in each of the three campaigns and I sent my concerns to the developer. In return they responded quickly, stating that these concerns are being addressed and will be in corrected in the next patch or two. This made me very happy with the rapid response from their team and willingness to hear anything that came from the fanbase and already putting in the work to correct it. Big Thumbs up to Gasket Games for this.
The soundtrack and the visuals of the game are very decent. I actually enjoyed the repeating of the casting sounds. I got a Command and Conquer feel, from the way every time I made an attack it just repeated the same sounds. Even though I have beaten all 3 campaigns, I’m still enjoying the game. I am so excited about the possibility of the multiplayer when it becomes available. There’s a lot of scope for creativity with Storm Ground’s combat mechanics, and this is a great showcase of what Age of Sigmar can be. I am hoping that Gasket Games does eventually release a DLC with some of the other factions to play and more of the story and lore to explore.
As a Warhammer player, I would also love the thought of a painter aspect for your factions. Where you can play to earn paint systems and actually make your factions your own style. So as a player you get more of the feel of this is my set, there are many like it but this one is mine. I personally think this would be a great motivation for people who already play the games in the Warhammer 40K world. I found this game to be very pleasing. Even with a few of the mishaps, I have actually no complaints about it. If you love the Warhammer 40K universe, then I truly believe this game is a step in the right direction and you should purchase it. Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground is out now, and you can buy it now for PS4, Xbox One PC and Switch for $39.99.
This review was written based on a digital review copy of Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground for the PC provided by Gasket Games and Focus Home Interactive.