Warhammer Quest is the perfect example of what’s wrong with the gaming industry in 2015. Rather than creating new experiences that people want to play, developers and publishers are shoving these types of quick, cash-grab games out by the truckload. Let me give you a bit of a history lesson on Warhammer Quest and why you should stay far away.
There once was a popular boardgame released in the mid-90s by the name of, you guessed it, Warhammer Quest. It let up to 6 players join together and do some dungeon delving on a slick physical board game presentation. Then back in the summer of 2013, a mobile adaptation of the board game was released named, once again I bet you can guess, Warhammer Quest. Enter the beginning of 2015 and we now have a PC game adaptation of that very same experience. But don’t worry, it gets better.
If you’re interested in this game at all, you’re probably thinking one of a few different things: 1) “Oh! I remember this board game! Playing it on my PC would be awesome!” 2) “Cool. I played this on my iPhone a couple of years ago – a PC version would probably be better.” or 3) “A Warhammer strategy-RPG hybrid on Steam? That could be cool, it’s only $15 so I’ll check it out.” I am here to inform you that all three of these notions are misguided and you should not play this game.
Let’s start with the biggest and most obvious misstep. Warhammer Quest the PC game, is $15 on Steam and is based on a $5 iOS game. The interface and controls have next to no adaption for PC gamers, seeing as how the entire thing is played with your mouse and you can’t even use WASD or the arrow keys to move the camera. On top of that, the developers even left the in-game purchases intact, meaning if you want to actually play the entire game, it’s going to cost you well over the $15 entry fee.
Granted, this version has a bit more content available at the start than the mobile version, but it’s still not enough of a justification for tripling the game’s price. Don’t worry though, it gets even better. If you want more heroes, items, enemies, and areas to enjoy, then you can just buy the Deluxe Edition for $30. To top it all off, even if you pay $30 for the Deluxe Edition, you still have “optional” in-game purchases everywhere. While they’re not necessary to progress, they’re still the type of things that you should normally be able to get without spending more actual money. You can find the “gold” for those purchases in-game, but the drop rate is so infrequent it’s negligible at best.
Enough of that though, I should probably spend a little bit of time talking about the game itself at this point. Believe it or not, it’s actually a pretty fun and rewarding game – the iOS version must have a nearly perfect score for a reason, after all. The overall goal of the game is pretty simple: explore dungeons, kill enemies, and get rich. It does a nice job of tapping into the addictive treadmill of kill, loot, repeat, and once I got passed the initial issues I was having a good time for the most part.
When you’re in a dungeon, you move on a grid-based system that’s very similar to most other turn-based strategy RPGs. Rooms and areas will be covered in darkness o nthe map until you “discover” them, which gives it a very tabletop and strategy game feel. Most of the time, enemy encounters will be with groups that are visible on the map, or waiting behind closed doors, but it seems like you also have a chance of getting ambushed by random encounters as well, which can get annoying. Combat is pretty basic, with a mixture of attacking, using items, and casting spells, but it’s enough to keep you entertained.
Between dungeons you go back to a selected town. There are multiple areas that you can travel between that all have different dungeons, items, and more associated with each of them. Each town also has random events that can happen, or even quests that add a bit story flavoring if you’re interested in that. If you’ve earned enough experience points, going to the Training Ground lets you level up your characters with the gold you’ve earned (or bought with money) and you can also head to the market and buy more powerful gear. At the Adventurer’s Guild you can enlist new heroes, or purchase them (once again, with real money).
And one of the biggest pieces missing from this formula that typically make these types of games (and especially these types of boardgames) so great, is the multiplayer aspect. Being able to play online with friends always makes any game better, and a dungeon crawling strategy RPG definitely falls into that category.
Warhammer Quest is a game that’s full of flaws at its very core and foundation. Not only does it directly port over an iOS experience to a full PC-gaming audience without making changes to adapt it to the new platform, but it does so while also increasing the price. Retaining in-game purchases and requiring additional money just to access the fully featured game, in addition to more purchases, is a perfect example of what’s wrong with the gaming industry. While the game itself shows a lot of promise and scratches that certain undefinable itch, there is no discernable reason to pay three-times the price to play this on PC, or to play it all, for that matter.
GAMEPLAY & STORY – 5/10 - From a gameplay perspective, Warhammer Quest is a relatively solid game. Exploring dungeons from a top-don strategy RPG perspective remains fun to this day. There is enough depth and progression to make each hero stand out, even if the game lacks a bit on the “why?” of it all. With that being said, the interface and controls didn’t receive much of an overhaul at all – it’s 100% mouse based.
VISUALS AND SOUND – 4/10 It looks, sounds, and plays like something you could find on the App Store – because it is. A lot of the textures are of a surprisingly low resolution for a full-screen PC game, showing the lack of effort that was put into this port. The music and sound effects are decent, but it still just doesn’t feel like you get your money’s worth.
LONGEVITY – 4/10 All things considered, you get a decent amount of content here. However, it’s mostly repetitive and there are price walls preventing you from accessing it all if you only pay the standard $15 price. But that’s more of a knock on the value, not the actual longevity. Either way, you’d still be better off just playing it on iOS if you really want to play this one.
POLISH – 3/10 It doesn’t look or play poorly necessarily, it’s just obvious that not very much love went into this version of the game. I won’t go into too much detail, because I feel like this point should be pretty clear by now. But this is essentially an iOS game, upscaled to your monitor, with mouse controls in place of a touchscreen instead of full keyboard and mouse support. That’s pretty much it.
VALUE – 1/10 Don’t buy this game, especially not on Steam. They’re asking for triple the price ($15 instead of $5) for what amounts to being essentially the same game that you can play on iOS. They’re also charging $30 for the Deluxe Edition, which has a few more things unlocked. However, both versions still have “optional” in-game purchase. It’s not worth your money. Throw a few more bucks together and get a better strategy-esque RPG like Divinity: Original Sin instead.
OVERALL SCORE = 3.4
- Relatively faithful to the source material
- Core gameplay mechanics are entertaining
- No multiplayer for a game based on a boardgame
- Horrible price gouging for an iOS port
- In-game purchases
- Bad interface and controls