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But if you were hoping for a new squad-based game with the finesse of XCOM, or the many tactical choices of Jagged Alliance 2, this is not it. Mordheim is dumb. Mordheim is flawed. Mordheim tries hard and doesn't succeed. This is not a happy Christmas, everyone, but the misshapen horror of Faschnat. It's your present from Krampus.
Not the prettiest game, not the easiest game, not even the most elegantly designed game. But a great game nonetheless. Painful fun for the whole family.
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Don't let the difficulty of Mordheim: City of the Damned throw you off. The initial experience looks punishing, but a few rounds of skirmish matches will help you understand the mechanics. From there, you'll bond with your squad through the trials, triumphs, and failures you experience together. Mordheim: City of the Damned isn't about winning or losing, it's about making the best of the bloody journey.
A finely tuned turn-based strategy effort that takes place in Warhammer's grim Mordheim game universe, Mordheim is furiously enjoyable but it demands both patience and skill from its prospective armchair generals in spades.
Based on a classic, but bringing new features and perspectives to the table, Mordheim: City of the Damned provides a challenge, with some interesting party and game management thrown in. I am not a fan of the wonky overhead map, and sometimes feel cheated in battle, but the over-the-shoulder camera is a pleasure. The end game of trying to keep in your benefactor's good graces, regardless of the outcome of each battle, and the variety among the factions, make for a good game that invites you to have another go—even after it leaves you bloodied in some nameless alley in the City of the Damned.
Mordheim manages to create a turn-based experience that is not quite like the now seemingly industry-standard XCOM but which finds its own way to tweak the genre. Aside from the jarring nearly-first-person perspective the game really does feel like a tabletop miniature game, complete with randomization and ability checks. And at the same time this is probably the most natural way to design such a game. Tabletop miniature games are essentially the original "turn-based" combat games. Making a digital version of one of the lesser known entries in the genre is completely logical.
Mordheim: City of the Damned combines a well-developed combat system and a mercenary and management system to create a fantasy driven game with low stakes but plenty of impressive moments.
Mordheim: City of the Damned is a solid game. I feel those looking to get into a game of this type or just Warhammer, in general, will get turned off by the difficulty. I was under constant pressure to keep my warriors alive and healthy, but when you're facing down a massive Skaven beast, you know that's not always going to happen. Aside from that, it was nice to return to the Warhammer Fantasy universe with a self-contained RPG.
Know what else takes a cult, niche audience willing to devote several hours to fully delve into an RPG campaign? A Warhammer tabletop RPG. If you're missing playing Warhammer with a local tabletop group of friends, then Mordheim: City of the Damned will be the next best experience.
Fans of the setting (and of the boardgame) will love Mordheim: City of the Damned. So will fans of squad-based tactical games. Whether they'll be able to stomach the punishing difficulty or long load times is a different question.
Mordheim is a game that does alot of interesting stuff; permenant character damage, high levels of customisation and differentiated objectives, but hides some of it behind an unforgiving grind which may put off some players. For those who stick it out though the interesting story missions and fun gameplay are rewarding in their own right.
Unlike Vermintide, Mordheim: City of the Damned is a harder recommendation for people who don't know the Warhammer franchise, as its the type of game with a big learning curve that makes it less open for people who just want to jump into a game.
Fans of Warhammer-related products and turn-based game aficionados will enjoy City of the Damned. It isn't a casual experience and mastering the many systems — as well as the flexible combat — will take dedication and time. It needs a little more technical polish and a much smoother learning curve to be considered for real mass-market appeal, but Mordheim: City of the Damned is a rewarding game for the right player.
Mordheim: City of the Damned is a tough game to get into at first. It is a daunting experience from the moment the game is turned on and the tutorials are attempted, but the mechanics are better off learned during the heat of battle. Trial and error will eventually get the ball rolling in terms of finally being able to win missions, but it does take a lot of losing early on to finally get into the swing of things. With not much of a story to keep newcomers interested, and its poorly laid out user interface, it is the rinse and repeat process of building a team of fighters and levelling them up across campaigns that is the real selling point. This is not a pick-up-and-play title, and it requires many hours of dedication before it starts to become a fun experience. Again, though, persistence is the key to cracking this beast of a game, and though it does deliver on its sense of accomplishment, it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get there.
Mordheim: City of the Damned is stacked with every odd against those who live in its ruined streets. While a fun, challenging, and sometimes all too dehumanising experience, a steep learning curve and tricky management systems can make for a meaty dish locked behind a very tough shell. Still, it's definitely more than worth the time it takes to learn its systems, and strategy and tabletop gaming fans should definitely take the time to look at this excellent adaptation.
I found myself wishing that something would appear to redeem Mordheim: City of the Damned, but as it began to feel like every action in the game was taking a few agonizing seconds too long, I realised that I'd lost hope in much the same way as the residents of the eponymous city. Mordheim isn't a dangerous place, it's just a bit dull.
Ultimately, there are some big flaws here, and too much competition really with the recent release of XCOM 2 on home consoles that are much more complete, balanced and enjoyable. If you're desperate for some Warhammer strategy then this may do you, otherwise you'd be best to look elsewhere.
My experience of Mordheim: City of the Damned is one where knowledge of the source material is both a blessing and a curse. This isn't a bad game, and despite its flaws there is still fun to be found in the Empire's official worst city to live in. I am well aware that some of my criticism stems from my personal love of Games Workshop's ill-fated tabletop classic, but at the same time, this also affected my enjoyment in a positive way. A game which allows me to have online Mordheim-lite matches with friends is great, but ultimately its blemishes stop it ascending to brilliance.
Mordheim is a game for fans of its tabletop sibling. As a strategy game, it offers enough depth and complexity to stand out from the crowd. As an RPG, it's simply burdened by too much complexity to reward the player. Sadly, thanks to a story that is difficult to appreciate and a heavy focus on run-of-the-mill missions, the gameplay becomes repetitive far too quickly as there are not enough interesting story missions to breathe life into the experience.
Mordheim is par for the course as far as tabletop-inspired tactical RPGs are concerned. The game foregoes accessibility for the sake of being "hardcore." This leaves many players to resort to trial and error before hitting their stride. If you're not well versed in the genre, this can be a bit of a time sink, which is especially unappealing when there are many, many other games to play that you'll find more enjoyable.