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Order in Chaos: A Look at the New Warhammer

Friday, May 12, 2006, 11:54AM EST

"We feel that as a strategy game, Warhammer: Mark of Chaos will stand on its own. The fact that it's Warhammer makes it that much better," boasts senior producer Chris Wren, of Namco Bandai's great hope in the RTS genre.

And it's certainly shaping up well, in terms of both its Warhammer DNA and strategy potential. Working closely with license holder Games Workshop, the developers chose the setting of Warhammer's Northern Empire, just after a decisive victory in the Great War against Chaos. The game includes loads of customization options in terms of maps and units too, so hardcore fans can re-create their favorite armies and scenarios and go online against their friends.

But it's the flexibility of the gameplay that also impresses. One area that's being worked on is reducing the amount of resource management required. "We equate it to being a general and not a governor," says Wren. "Advancing your tech trees, capturing resources, building, and training units will be part of the game, but we want you to be able to spend more time battling than we've seen in previous RTS games."

This attitude also links into the sort of commands players will be giving out at different stages. "When you're commanding an army, we want the real-time experience to begin at a slower pace when opposing forces are far apart—focusing mainly on positioning, formations, and strategy. As units come into close proximity, the pacing will change drastically and you'll be on the front lines casting magic and using the abilities of the various units of your army to try to dominate your opponent," Wren says. Anyone who liked the great battle scenes in Braveheart or Gladiator should find plenty to enjoy with Warhammer: Mark of Chaos.

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