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Game Info:

Mordheim: City of the Damned
Developed by: Rogue Factor
Published by: Focus Home Interactive
Release date: November 19, 2015
Available on: Windows
Genre: Turn based strategy
Number of players: Up to two online
PEGI Rating: 16 for Realistic looking violence
Price: $39.99
(Humble Store Link)

Thank you Focus Home Entertainment for sending us a review code!

Mordheim: City of the Damned is based on the table top game that came out in 1999.  It didn’t have much of a shelf life since Games Workshop stopped supporting the game in 2004.  The fans have been maintaining it since and apparently there are enough of them to warrant the development of a videogame.  

Like the board game, this 3D turn based strategy videogame is set in The Old World which was struck by a comet and scattered powerful gems called wyrdstone throughout the streets.  These gems are in high demand and you must gather them for your faction, but you will not be alone.  Many other warbands are gathering them too and they will put their lives on the line to collect them all.

Each warband has their own strengths and weaknesses as well as weapon limitations.  In my forty-hour campaign, I played as the Sisters of Sigmar (hammer wielding nuns that worship the patron god of the Empire) that have no ranged weapons.  They do however have ranged based magic attacks like the Comet of Sigmar spell.  The only problem with that spell is that my caster was often cursed by their deity shortly after using it.  

Other warbands include the Skaven (giant rats) who are fast and stealthy; human Mercenaries are also lurking about and they’re pretty strong.   The Cult of the Possessed are zealots that wish to promote chaos to please their four Chaos Gods as its pantheon.  A new warband, the Witch Hunters is available as DLC for $9.99.  No matter which warband you choose, they all have their own goals be it making money, chaos, or purging evil in the land.  Each warband has a two act single-player campaign with several missions in each act.  

Mordheim: City of the Damned
Highlights:

Strong Points: Challenging 3D turn-based strategy game that has RPG elements
Weak Points: Merciless difficulty with perma-death and no way to back-up your save file; slow-paced; not many people playing online
Moral Warnings: Violence and bloodshed as your bludgeoning and slashing enemies with hammers, swords, maces, daggers, and other deadly weapons; magic use; references to various deities; some females wear form fitting outfits  

Between story missions you can play as many skirmishes as you see fit to power up your warband and collect enough wyrdstone to meet the demands of your primary faction.  Every few days your primary faction will require a certain weight of wyrdstones to be delivered and in return, they will pay you and supply your warband with new items and abilities.    Failure to make four deliveries will result in an end to your campaign.  There are also secondary factions that you can send wyrdstones to for better payouts and even more unlockable items and abilities.  

While the primary objective in each skirmish is to either annihilate or lower the morale of the enemy to make them rout, there are several optional objectives that can net your warband valuable experience for completing them.  Some of the optional objectives include collecting the majority of the wyrdstone in the level, stealing the enemy’s idol and securing it in your cart, or killing specific enemies and collecting their tokens as trophies.  

Experience earned in missions helps your soldiers level up and gives them points which can be used to increase various stats like agility, alertness, intelligence, leadership, strength, and toughness.  Skill points can be used to unlock numerous skills as long as the minimum stat levels are met. Not all of the units have skill or magic upgrade options though.  

In battle, each unit has a limited number of movement, offense, and strategy points.  The restricted movement and attack points make this game a bit too slow paced for some.  What turns off others is the brutal difficulty.  If a unit is badly injured they may lose an eye or a limb and it will impair their attack as a result.  Sometimes there will only be a light wound which will involve a couple days of downtime, while other times they may die on the spot and you’ll have to start leveling up a new character.  More experienced units are available for hire, but they cost more gold to recruit and maintain.

Mordheim: City of the Damned
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 86%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 67%
Violence - 2.5/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 8.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 2.5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

If a unit is awaiting treatment or payment, they will not be able to partake in future missions.  Firing a unit is possible, but you have to pay their medical bills and wages first.  If a maimed character is weighing your warband down, you can fire them and get a Cold Hearted Steam achievement while you’re at it.  In total, there are one hundred and six Steam achievements available.  

To earn all of the Steam achievements you’ll have to complete the single-player campaigns for each of the warbands and play some multiplayer skirmishes.  Given the difficulty level of this game, unlocking those Steam achievements is easier said than done.  The single-player campaign is merciless and does not allow you to back-up your save file.  Thankfully the multiplayer mode lets you play lighthearted battles that do not carry over unit injuries or treasure.  You can still play for keeps if you want to keep it challenging.  Sadly, I did not see many skirmishes to join and the ones that I did see were not in my warband’s experience bracket.   

Not only is the difficulty brutal, so is the violence.  Blood will splatter as the units are clobbered with hammers, swords, daggers, maces and various projectiles.  

The enemies, allies, and city maps are all incredibly detailed.  The streets of Mordheim are covered with traps and the walls literally have eyes that follow your every move.  Some of the levels take place in the daytime while others are foggy, or at night.  The maps vary in size and it’s easy to get lost and thankfully the steps of your teammates are glowing so it’s easy to follow their tracks if needed.   The audio is just as well polished as the visuals with eerie choral music and superb voice acting.  

In the end, Mordheim: City of the Damned is an extremely well-polished but brutally difficult turn-based strategy game.  Despite the lack of multiplayer activity, there’s plenty to do in the single-player campaign.  If you’re a fan of Games Workshop games then you should keep an eye out for this one if you don’t mind the violence, magic use, and references to various deities.

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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