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Warhammer: Mark of Chaos: Chaos Marks the Spot

Last year, the 40k extension of the Warhammer Universe lit up the strategy genre. Now it is the fantasy-based side’s turn to make an impact with Warhammer: Mark of Chaos.

Developer Black Hole Entertainment is aiming to make Mark of Chaos something both Warhammer and RTS fans will love. For the long-time fans of the table top game, Mark of Chaos will draw heavily on the game’s deep lore and mythologies. Not only is Games Workshop (the company behind the Warhammer franchise) fully backing the game, but the head writer for the tabletop series is on board and scripting Mark of Chaos’ story. Black Hole is also looking into including the option of painting, giving the game the same personal feel as the tabletop game. The option of designing and flying your own standard to fly in battle is also under consideration.

Mark of Chaos' campaign is broken into Empire or Chaos. These groups are further broken down into racial groups like Empire (humans), High Elves, Skaven and Chaos. Other races, including orcs, goblins and ogres, can be hired as mercenaries. Each campaign promises to be lengthy and could take as long as 40 hours from start to end, depending on how many side-quests you decide to embark upon. Each campaign will tell a different story, so don’t expect to see much overlapping.

Picking up on a trend that is becoming increasingly prominent with recent strategy games, Mark of Chaos places more emphasis on action, rather than smaller details such as resource management. You’ll still collect resources and construct buildings, but most of your play time will be spent on the battlefield.

Battle situations resemble the Total War or Battle for Middle-earth games. While some maps will limit how many soldiers you can bring with you into battle, you'll always have a sizable group to fight with. You'll be able to draw on the different races in order to build your armies. Each race has their own specialties, such as High Elves having some of the better magic users. Drawing on Warhammer's mythology, you'll also take command of heroes, who introduce some of Mark of Chaos' more interesting features.

Hero units act as generals and are an important element in your army. In addition to leading your forces on the front lines, Heroes will also take on several RPG attributes, allowing you to customize them to your liking. Not only will you be able to equip your Hero with weapons and armor, but you will also be able to customize their skill sets. By focusing on combat skills, you will be able to create a melee-focused character, whereas focusing on magic will give you a more magic-based one. You can even choose to specialize your Hero into specific game roles, such as a duelist, again introducing one of the game’s more innovative features.

If two Heroes meet on the battlefield, they will be able to challenge each other to a duel. You're not required to accept a duel, though entering one (and winning) will give you a chance to pick up a nice piece of loot as well as breaking your opponent's morale.

With a deep back-story and a focus on action, Warhammer: Mark of Chaos is an RTS to watch for in the near future.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

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