Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall is the next Warhammer game in the VR ecosystem. Previously I have enjoyed both Battle Sister and The Horus Heresy, but both left me wanting more from the title. So, when I heard it was being made Carbon Studios, the team behind The Wizards, I was ready to see what they could do with the licence – the question is did it fill that need for more?
Set in the Age of Sigmar universe, the game sees you investigating a new threat in the Mortal Realms of Shyish, following a devastating event known as the Necroquake. This event has caused the Nighthaunt forces to rise up, and its been left to Sigmar’s Stormcast Eternals to try and remove these evil forces. Taking the role of Lord-Arcanum Castor Stormscryer, you have to ask yourself can you lead this team and complete this dangerous task?
The main gameplay loop is based around a fantastically built VR combat system, which takes the form of both melee combat and spell-casting. The game gives you three melee weapons, a sword, a long and short staff. These can be used as general weapons, but are also where the spells come into play – all the stormcasting spells are done by the weapons. Meaning you can mix your melee attacks and spells easily to become the ultimate foe for the Nighthaunt.
Outside of your attacks, the game also brings in a block and parry system, which you will need to get used to the further you get into the game. This system is handled very similar to how it was done in Until You Fall, with an indicator coming up one the screen to where the attack is coming from, and you need to time getting your weapon in that position – this is where the dual-weapon combo becomes very important.
Apart from the combat systems for the weapons, you will also get a grenade that will stun the enemies, when getting over-run (but this will harm you if it hits you), and can also fire small storm bolts from your gloves.
Carbon Studio’s have also mixed in some small puzzle elements, but these are never overly difficult to figure out – but with what Tempestfall is doing as a game, these do not need to be overly complex. These will see you moving blocks to clear another path, breaking through walls or exploring to find different ways around or ways to levers and chains to open doors.
The final part of the gamplay is the upgrading of your weapons and spells. This is done with finding pieces of Sigmarite and ancient scrolls, then using these to upgrade you weapon and spells at the camp. The materials are littered around the world, in hidden areas and also rewarded in Quests that are placed around the world – which play out like dungeons.
One thing the team at Carbon Studio’s have been known for with The Wizards on PC is how well they presented the world of Meliora, and they have continued with the Warhammer Universe and Shyish. Each area you visiting it brought to life by how nice it looks and their work with the architecture offered by the Warhammer franchise. Never mind if you are outdoors, navigating a sewer or exploring a prison everything looks great. However, one thing that cropped up a couple of times was, when approaching an end of tunnel or moving through a city area, the textures seemed to load in just before you got there – leaving it looking out into the empty space as you approached.
They continue to bring the Universe to life, with a strong use of audio. Mixing great sound effects from the combat and spell-casting, the moans from the Nighthaunts and environmental sounds to keep you immersed. Even to the point where a badly lit area and some of the little sounds thrown in made it feel like a horror game.
As the game is coming from an experienced VR studio, the game offers plenty on comfort options, making it accessible to anyone never mind the strength of their VR legs.
When it comes to the controls, they have created a system that is perfect for VR, but does have some slight issues. The overall control system of gripping the controller to spawn your weapons in your hand and grabbing items in the world works great, as does mixing it with the trigger being pressed to cast the spells, the issue came with the switching of weapons.
To do this you have to hold the A button on the controller on the hand you want to switch the weapon on, this will open a weapon wheel for you select the weapon or item by moving your hand to it. Where this sounds simple, it was quite easy to select the wrong one, especially if wanting to switch in battle, as this does not stop the enemies attacking – which can lead to annoying deaths.
Overall the game took around seven-hours to get through, and I missed some of the Quests placed around the world, and never managed to fully upgrade any of my weapons in this time. Now, the question I had to ask myself was, would I play this again to find those Quests and get every weapon upgraded… the answer is unfortunately not. But, with the seven-hour campaign I was really pleased with what the game offered, and believe this a solid length for the game.
Reviewed using Vive Pro Eye & Index Controllers
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a review code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a press code does not affect my judgement of the product.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall has finally given me a game in the Warhammer Universe where I felt satisfied at the end. The team at Carbon Studios have build a fantastic combat system, that mixed melee and spell-casting perfectly, and with some some solid blocking work thrown in you really can feel like a bad-ass. Adding to this the fantastic work with the presentation bringing the Warhammer franchise to life perfectly for the VR platfrom. If you are a fan of Warhammer and want a game that will leave you fulfilled, and will give you the feeling that you have experienced the Warhammer Universe, Tempestfall should be the game you go for.