|Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review|
|A.P.I Review:||WARHAMMER - DARK OMEN|
No.1 No.2 No.3
|Game Type:||Arcade Combat Strategy||Memory Card|
|Review Date:||May 1998||Mouse Compatible|
Setting the Scene
Back in the days when battles were fought with swords, there lived a mercenary who went by the name of Morgan Bernhardt who's task in life was to make as much money out of killing as he possibly could. Such was his reputation that he was in great demand from all who had a score to settle. His army consisted of a group of ruthless scoundrels who loved nothing more than collecting their blood money at the end of a battle. The enemy were made up of Elves, Dwarves and various undead mutant abominations that inhabited the "Old World". You will become Berhardt and use your skill to defeat all who are unfortunate enough to cross your path.
The traditional wargame style has been brought right up to date in a 3D arcade style similar to that seen in both the Command and Conquer and Warcraft series of games.
The intro gives a brief insight into the game and although short has nevertheless been very professionally produced. All of the option menus are presented in a very periodic style and while very 16-bit in appearance, are still functional and easy to navigate. In between battles, you are presented with a short animated sequence showing the various characters communicating with each other and commenting on previous skirmishes. The presentation of these scenes are in the main very basic and do little to enhance the overall gameplay. The in-game graphics are fantastic and while not Hi-Resolution, still stand head and shoulders above those used in previous games of this genre. Being polygon based, each level can be fully rotated for the best possible view of the action and its also possible to zoom right in (for a better look at the limbs flying in all directions), or out (to see who is sneaking up on you).
Sounds and Effects
The background music is very military in its style and manages to play continuously during your battles without becoming annoying. Once in the heat of the action you pretty much ignore it anyway. The voice acting used in the between level scenes is infinitely better than the "B Movie" style adopted in many of the most recent console games. The sound effects are all adequately done: arrows and cannons being fired, troops scuffling around, cavalry on horseback. While none of them sounded out of place, I was hoping that the sound of cold steel ripping though flesh during the battles would have left me cringing - sadly this was not the case.
First things first, if you haven't already gone out and bought a Sony mouse, then now is the ideal opportunity to do so. You will find it a massive help during the heat of battle. It makes the selection, movement and issue of orders to each of your different regiments comparatively easy when compared to using the standard Joypad. This is very noticeable on the later (more difficult) levels of the game where you will be continually jumping between your troops. At the start of each level you are asked to deploy your regiments (of which there can be up to 8) anywhere within a marked off section of the battlefield. Positioning can be vital to the success of each mission due to the "line of site" feature used in the game. In other words if you position your troops behind an obstruction (be it a rock, hill or even a tree), then they can effectively hide from the advancing enemy. This opens up the possibility of ambushes and other tactical attacks: but beware the bad guys will use this to their advantage too. Your regiments are split into different categories: Infantry, Cavalry, Archers, Artillery, Magic Users and Monsters. Discovering their strengths and weaknesses will greatly aid your chances of progressing through this game. Once positioned, the game can commence. Each of your armies will respond to various different orders such as: Halt, Disengage, Fire Weapon and Use Magic. When in the heat of battle you can draw on a special "Hero" button that will cause your troops to display immense bravery and fight even harder depending on how fast you can repeatedly press it. Rather than go in for direct combat you can also use a cannon for longer range attacks. Better still, some of your troops are equipped to use magic which will incinerate, electrify or even just fill the enemy with so much fear that they will run away from a fight. The accuracy of these items is greatly effected by the distance from the target. As the game progresses your regiments are rewarded with experience points that will make future attacks more accurate and devastating. You can also purchase armour to protect them, this can prove very expensive but will result in far fewer of your troops being killed in each battle. You also have the option of replacing dead men at the end of each skirmish, although this will again involve you spending money. The main feature that separates this game from other similar titles, is that the money that your earn from successive battles together with the loss of troops and weapons, is continually carried over from mission to mission. At first this seemed a fantastic idea and one that I had often wondered why others had not also used; however as the game progressed I found myself continually running out of money and having go go right back to the very start of the game, re-playing each battle over and over until I was satisfied that I had lost minimal troops and gained maximum cash. After restarting five or six times this became more than a little frustrating and took a massive amount of enjoyment out of the game. Level loading times can be over 25 seconds, which is a little on the lengthy side, however once loaded their are no further interruptions during each battle.
Value for Money
Well one thing is for sure, you ain't going to finish this game overnight!
|GRAPHICS:||17/20||The difficulty curve lends its-self to those gamers who consider themselves proficient at these types of game. I honestly could not imagine many younger gamers having the patience to get very far through it. I have lost count of the number of times that I have thrown my Joypad on the floor and walked away in sheer frustration and wonder how many times I would have returned to play it again were it not for the fact that I was reviewing the game. Being someone who loved Command and Conquer and Warcraft I desperately wanted to love this game - Unfortunately try as I did - I could not. It is for this reason that I would suggest renting before you buy this game.|