Review

Warhammer: Mark of Chaos - Battle March Review (Xbox360)

Having heavy focus on the Xbox 360 console, the strategy genre is seeing countless releases that are trying to find the right formula to entertain gamers. Whether itís Electronic Artsí Lord of the Rings and Command & Conquer franchises or Take-Twoís Civilization series, the Xbox 360 has several strategy titles that fit the bill as great options to start with. In fact, the calendar year is full of titles that could steal the spotlight such as Tom Clancyís End War and Segaís Stormrise. So when Warhammer: Battle March arrived at our doorsteps, we had high hopes for this superb franchise to turn into a real gem of a game, but the results are clearly disappointing.

The biggest concern of Warhammer: Battle March has to be that the controls donít differentiate that much from the PC iteration. For being a console RTS, Warhammer is not a casual-friendly title when it comes to grasping a hold of the basics on how to play. Ripping the controls right out of Warhammer: Mark of Chaos, players will frantically try to keep up with the fast paced combat on the screen with their controller and fail in doing so. The developers needed to give attention to a better control system.





When it comes to ordering your units across the map, Battle March doesnít make things easy. Youíll have to go through a lot of commands through your triggers and bumpers to group your units, select a hero, and even activate an item on the map. This is an unnecessary setback that removes the entertainment value out of Battle March. Having to hit the buttons in the correct order to keep up with the pace of the battle, players will be frustrated without being eligible of having full control of their units. The only upside Ė if you consider it one Ė is that the enemy AI is at a novice difficulty level, thus making the game tremendously easier to trek through.

Not making things enhanced are the straightforward campaigns that suffer from stage fright when it comes to delivering exposition. The story is the standard affair of revenge and reclaiming oneís honor. The Horde of Chaos are out to claim the land for themselves, the Empire must defend it with all of their will, and the Greenskin tribes are the middle men stuck trying to make a living for themselves. Each has their own campaign to slowly push through, but theyíre all equally tiresome to complete. So when you start up Warhammer, donít expect anything thatíll light your world on fire.





The missions and objectives throughout the campaign are generic Ė theyíll have you scratching your head if the developers ever thought about including a compelling storyline. After the opening cinematic, itís all downhill in terms of the plot and overall entertainment value of the title. Sure, it does faithfully create Ė as far as I can tell Ė the tabletop miniatures but thatís the extent of the interesting aspects of the campaign. Who in their right mind would use text scroll as the main storytelling technique? Warhammer: Battle March is unimpressive to say the least.

The combat of Battle March doesnít do much to supply reasons for gamers to stick around for the remainder of the ride. Enemy A.I. is laughable and downright a disgrace for gamers looking for some competition. The main form of attack the enemies have is to rush as fast as they can without any tactical substance behind their attacks. Players should have no problem overcoming the odds if they manage to learn the shoddy controls found in Battle March. With a simple set of defend, attack and rescue missions, the objectives arenít taxing on the player to figure out.





As for the technical department, Warhammer: Battle March is a mixed bag of horrible voice-acting, bland environments, and a superb soundtrack. Outside of that, youíll find that the units within the game are impressively created, but with the lack of concentration for graphical output, they are easily tossed aside and forgotten about. Warhammer needed better detailed environments and a voice-cast that wouldíve inspired players to continue forth with the campaigns.

What does one come away with after playing Warhammer: Battle March? Itís a run-of-the-mill strategy title that offers no reasons to choose it over the handful of other titles in the genre. Even with the Xbox Live capabilities, there arenít many incentives to pick up and play Warhammer on the Xbox 360.

Top Game Moment: The opening cinematic will get your adrenaline pumping.

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Videos

Comments

By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Oct 06, 2008
herodotus
Well it wasn't that well received on the PC either, so all-in-all Namco messed this opportunity up big time (for all platforms). Only for hard-core Warhammer enthusiasts, and perhaps a disappointment for them also. M2TW was much better.
By lichlord (SI Core) on Oct 06, 2008
lichlord
i find this game of warhammer not so good i expected a lot more of a game with 6CDs and a short campaign too i played it out with chaos in 5 hours bonus missions included
By Wowerine (SI Elite) on Oct 07, 2008
Wowerine
How many Warhammer games are there anyway? I'll go with DOW2, nothing more than that...
By lichlord (SI Core) on Oct 07, 2008
lichlord
euh lets see what i know

warhammer 40k(RTS):
down of war
dark crusade
soul storm

Warhammer: Mark of Chaos(RTS/RPG)
Warhammer: Mark of Chaos - Battle March

warhammer 40k fire warrior(shooter)

warhammer online age of reckoning(MMORPG)

Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat

that are the ones i know Wowerine
By JamieSI (SI Core) on Oct 07, 2008
JamieSI
Warhammer: Dark Omen too, which was the sequel to Shadow of the Horned Rat.

You also have Final Liberation, which was a turned based 40k game, quite good actually. Although many hated it.

Many Space Hulk based games, on several platforms, and several versions on the PC. There was also a Space Hulk game, which was very much in the same style as the X-com games, but I can't remember its name now. I'll try and have a look later.
By Wowerine (SI Elite) on Oct 07, 2008
Wowerine
How nice of you two! Much appreciated. :D
By BlitzKrieg (SI Veteran Member) on Oct 10, 2008
BlitzKrieg
yeah warhammer games are cool but this just isnt what i was expecting. :(
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on Oct 10, 2008
FoolWolf
Dawn of War was the one that I think took the lead and show how it should be done in RTS style. There is the squad based warhammer 40k game for PSP as well, squad command.

I really looked forward to Mark of chaos, but after demo's and seeing some gameplay videos and reading reviews I decided against it.

OKI, list of WH games from Wikipedia:
Space Crusade · Shadow of the Horned Rat · Dark Omen · Space Hulk · Vengeance of the Blood Angels · Dawn of War · Final Liberation · Fire Warrior · Chaos Gate · Rites of War · Mark of Chaos · Warhammer Online · Squad Command · Blood Bowl
By kondor999 (I just got here) on Oct 19, 2008
kondor999
Best of the bunch was definitely Warhammer: Dark Omen IMHO. I actually bought an old IBM laptop on eBay *just* to play that one game (because it has an ancient ATI Rage Pro chipset that allows the 3D acceleration to work glitch-free).

Anyway, just an incredible strategy title with cool units, special abilities, very hard difficulty, and where things like facing, charging, and morale really mattered. I always felt like, when I won a battle, it was through skill and matching my troops' strengths against the enemies' weaknesses.

Even if you have to run the 3D in software mode, the gameplay just kicks ass. Also worthy of mention is its predecessor - Shadow of the Horned Rat. No 3D accel for that one, and the difficulty is huge - but still a great, great game.
By ScythSoulces (SI Core) on Oct 29, 2008
ScythSoulces
Warhammer is not all that good of a game to say the least.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Jun 24, 2009
herodotus
At $19.99 for both games, it's well worth giving it a go now. If you're any kind of Warhammer fan from the days of Dark Omen and Year of the Horned Rat, you owe yourself to just have a bit of fun in the murky lands displayed here. It's not perfect, but it can be fun.