Warhammer: Battle March First Look

Namco Bandai will soon be bringing Warhammer: Mark of Chaos and the Battle March expansion to the Xbox 360 in one package. We take a look to see what's new.

Warhammer has proved to be a well-traveled franchise, from its origins as a tabletop war game to the numerous strategic and role-playing games released on every system from the PC to Nintendo DS. But up until this point, the gritty fantasy series had yet to appear on the latest generation of home consoles. That will change this fall when Namco Bandai releases Warhammer: Battle March for the Xbox 360. This tactical strategy game will include both the original Warhammer: Mark of Chaos, released in late 2006 for the PC, and the upcoming expansion from which it draws its name.

One neat part of the game is that troops from the same army don’t all look like clones of each other.

Warhammer: Mark of Chaos shifted the traditional real-time strategy focus from resource management to tactical formations and large-scale battle strategies. This style of play will continue with Battle March. There are no troop units to produce, bases to build, or construction materials on which to keep a watchful eye. Instead, like the Total War series, you act as the general of a large number of troops marching through the medieval countryside. The way these troops are organized plays a critical role in battle; ranged classes such as archers are best kept at the rear, whereas swordsmen will generally act as the first wave when enemy armies meet head-on.

The move from a mouse and keyboard to the standard 360 controller will result in a pair of control schemes that can be used in the game. You'll be able to choose from basic and advanced controls. Basic distills the gameplay to a few critical actions, mostly context-sensitive commands that deal with troop movement and attacks. In advanced mode, you're given more control over the battle. Some of the benefits of advanced mode (if you're up to the challenge of learning a few more buttons) include the ability to see other armies while commanding your own, greater control over individual portions of your army, faster selection of your troops, and other means of micromanaging your soldiers. We talked with the game's senior producer, Mike Kawahara, and he told us that he actually prefers to use basic mode despite his intimate knowledge of the game

The original Mark of Chaos featured three distinct armies. That number will be upped to five with Battle March. The new pair of armies will be the Orcs and Goblins (fighting as one side in what may or may not be perfect harmony), and the Dark Elves. The game's campaign will also be enhanced, with the number of scenarios increasing from two to three to accommodate these new armies.

From a visual perspective, Namco Bandai will be looking to spruce up the game as well. To offset the reduced resolution in moving from a PC monitor to a television, new troop animations will be added to the game. As you might expect, these are most noticeable when fully zoomed in on the soldiers. Among the new hand-to-hand combat animations is a beheading sequence befitting Warhammer's reputation as one of the darker and more brutal fantasy settings. In addition to the animations added to basic troops, there will be new animations for the champion battles, which are one-on-one duels between the top fighters from each army. We're told that this is where the bulk of the new animations will go.

Finally, Battle March will support four-player battles via Xbox Live. You can team up or fend for yourself in an every-army-for-itself skirmish battle. One of the primary complaints against Mark of Chaos when it was first released for the PC was the number of connection issues that plagued its online multiplayer, so hopefully these won't resurface with the move to a new online service.

In our conversation with Mike Kawahara, he made no bones about calling Battle March a real-time strategy game geared toward the more casual strategy player. If the idea of micromanaging resources scares you to no end, Battle March might just offer a welcome reprieve. You can expect it to arrive this fall.

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Discussion

33 comments
samuelmontague
samuelmontague

im a massive warhammer fan i make the models then paint them but thats broing so this will keep me happy long life the orks

MetalMan300
MetalMan300

Im a huge warhammer fan, so this had better turn out well, or namco will play! :)

DanzigThrall
DanzigThrall

cant wait for it love the warhammer stuff and the 40k series as well

shenron43
shenron43

seems good to me, hope it learn more when it comes out.

orcsblade
orcsblade

i wonder if this is going to be for the pc and the ps 3?

okassar
okassar

Looks like a really nice war game.The only problem is I haven't heard about it that much,and,games that are hyped that low usually don't turn out that great.I mean come on,it needs at least average hype.But then again,all the soldiers look more different that each other in comparison with other war games and the wars are large scales,so I don't know 'til it comes out.I'll trust Gamespot with the rating.

FallenAngelXBL
FallenAngelXBL

Make a TBS!! Like a Advanced Wars or something!!! Now that would be more WH like, if you have the 3d visuals, fully customizable units, loads of armies and everything else that makes WH so cool like a Paint System as indepth as Forza 2! Seriously, if i ever get into Game Producng im making this...dam, that would be so cool (insert drooling and daydreaming here) Oh yeah, this seem interesting i guess.(continuing to drool and daydream)

Agermemnon
Agermemnon

They should also do the Dawn of War stuff as i bet they would appeal to console gamers more imo but it is good to see Microsoft is still keen to push RTS games onto the 360 .

Agent-CSim-47
Agent-CSim-47

redramsy thanks i thought i got the name wrong

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

An outstanding PC game series will look forward to reading more as the game nears completion. Hope the developers do not rush this game to the console but take their time in giving us a great game.

greenbasilisk
greenbasilisk

I was really disappointed with Warhammer: Mark of Chaos. The graphics were awful and the gameplay was down-right boring. DOW games by Relic are awesome though!!

Skyriderlink
Skyriderlink

i wish it is as good as Total War.I hope its actions are as brutal as down of war which is an excellent warhammer universe base game.

DredWulf
DredWulf

Dawn of War was a completely different style of game..however I look fwd to this more faithful iteration of the Warhammer Fantasy Universe as Opposed to WAR online which butchered the fluff

centruroides
centruroides

never played this brand, but i love RTS, usually they dont dissapoint, ill have 2 keep track of it XD

dadoesch
dadoesch

I wish this would come out on the PS3 as well. Sigh. If only I had more money....

AndrewB777
AndrewB777

It's going to be really interesting to see how a typical 360 controller is going to fair against the more flexible keyboard. I don't think it would be as effective as the keyboard, to be honest. It would work out but, it is far easier to use the keyboard. Still, I can be proven wrong :P.

Aidan1993
Aidan1993

Hopefully this time round it wont be as dissapointing =]

redramsey
redramsey

Agent-CSim-47 I played mark of chaos as the necrons (correct me if im wrong) and they just stood their while being shot then ran off. That sort of turned me against warhammer. But this looks excellent and i am definetly getting it The necrons are from Warhammer 40K, the sci fi version. Tat game would have been dawn of war. This is a fantasy game, although it will play in a similar fashion I guess

Agent-CSim-47
Agent-CSim-47

I played mark of chaos as the necrons (correct me if im wrong about the name) and they just stood their while being shot then ran off. That sort of turned me against warhammer. But this looks excellent and i am definetly getting it

Witchsight
Witchsight

Needs more Vampire Counts. Seriously, they would be awesome. Anyway, there is no way im NOT getting this game. I dont care if its unplayable, i wanna see these armies marchin around. Im a sucker for WH :(

SHARPSHOOTER25
SHARPSHOOTER25

Compared to DoW, this game was absolute crap. Interesting to see if it in any way, shape, or form is even playable on consoles.

BontraXenderKyl
BontraXenderKyl

dude, this game designed for PC well, i dont know now

zunit88
zunit88

this will be a good chance to know well about WAR :P

starkspade
starkspade

there are 6 armies not 5 there are empire,chaos,high elves,dark elves,skaven,orcs and goblins. That makes 6 not 5

shorty__
shorty__

Shadow_Fire41: You forgot the Skaven.

Alex_09
Alex_09

Shadow Fire I think it is just the elves, or are they called High Elves?? I feel Im mixing this with oblivion... Mercenaries fit into a seperate category I believe, though Im not 100 % sure, when compared to real armies. I think this game is gonna be epic. I tried it for computer but my PC was far too terrible. It is a great game and the battles are great. Even Rome Total War is put to shame by some of the large scale battles you can find. Not so much in size of armies as in focus on detail and strategy.

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

5 armies? i remember chaos, good guys, plus the greenskins and and dark elves, whos the 5th? mercenaries?

denaz
denaz

Meh looks ok i guess, will have to wait and see how it turns out. Have to say i also don't have much faith in namco

Mc1csmo
Mc1csmo

I wonder if you can do skirmishes and world domination vs the ai, or must it only be vs live players?

leezer4000
leezer4000

sound good but namco for me might not cut it

Bigg_Boi
Bigg_Boi

Yay! Finally some news about this game. Looks pretty good so far.