Warhammer has made a comeback the last few years with an abundance of releases of varying quality. Warhammer Quest 2: The End Times was originally released as a touchscreen game for mobiles in 2017 before coming to Steam the next year. It has now found its way to the Switch and includes the complete suite of DLC. Based on the ’90’s board game from Games Workshop this turn-based RPG romp uses simple storytelling with easy pick up and play mechanics.
Set in the lands of Warhammer’s Empire the Chaos ranks have swelled and need taking down. This leads to a ragtag group of heroes joining your team to take them on. Classic dungeon crawling ensues across three distinct lands each with their own set of enemies from the Nurgle, Skaven and Khorne factions. The story evolves as you move from town to town picking up side quests and visiting settlements along the way.
With the story being on the lean side focus is moved to your party of adventurers and their continual development. 12 classes of hero are available from simple Bretonnian Knights to Dwarf Slayers and Witch Hunters. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses as you would expect and you can swap out any hero at any time. You can only take a maximum of four into each dungeon and finding the balance of attack and defence is crucial as you progress.
Some heroes will join you through completing story quests but most are hired as mercenaries from settlements. Your main stats are broken down into strength, dexterity, intelligence and speed. Each completed dungeon rewards experience that you allows level ups. You have to purchase level ups with gold acquired in the dungeons at the various training grounds you visit. Spells and special abilities unlock as each class progresses but the level up system is basic with limited options.
Between dungeons you have free reign to visit any point on the map. However, the further you travel the more risk of being ambushed increases. The dungeons appear as either a red dungeons that you must complete to move the story along or white dungeons representing optional side quests. You will find finishing the side quests beneficial to find new equipment and earn gold that is vital to progressing.
Upon entering your chosen dungeon your team will face random rooms that must be conquered one by one. The dungeons become more challenging as you progress with more complicated enemies attacking you. The early parts of the game require simple tactics and maneuvers but your leadership will be tested later on. The dungeons are turn based with each hero having a set number of action points. All your attacking, healing and moving use the allotted action points and this keeps the gameplay swift.
Warhammer Quest 2 does not evolve much beyond the dungeon conquering followed by simple story. If you are new to turn based RPG titles this is an excellent entry point. However, veterans of the genre may find the gameplay too simple. But it does flow well and you will have a fun if shallow experience. It is a shame the story does not develop more beyond track the monster type quests. It feels like a missed opportunity to create an engaging world.
The lack of control over the levelling up of characters may be off putting for some but it does keep the focus firmly on the action. You do not need to spend time tinkering with stats or equipment. You can just swap out the better equipment as you go and let your heroes develop in the background. The hardcore fans may tire quickly of this simple RPG but those looking for a quick tactical blast will find a perfect balance of mini dungeons with easy character management.
Visually Warhammer Quest 2 is lovely. Any fan of the Warhammer universe will love the art style. The heroes, dungeons and enemies all look the part and the developer has done justice to the source material. Effects such as fire and poison are clear and it is easy to see the state of your heroes at the start of each turn. Menus are simple to use but the Switch version has a lack of camera control that may frustrate you.
The sound effects do their job if a little lacklustre in places. The music is cinematic but does become repetitive after a while. You will find the music appears very dramatic for a turn based game but it does add to the desperate atmosphere of the dungeons. The presentation is decent overall if underwhelming. The biggest disappointment is the lack of FMV cutscenes. All of the story unfolds in written text between your dungeon battles.
Once the story mode is completed there is little to come back for unless you wish to keep improving your characters. Warhammer Quest 2 is not a difficult game and you will find the strategy shallow. The presentation is polished with cinematic music and plenty of monster variety for you to battle. The heroes have over 20 items for you to find and there are spells to experiment with. The ease of controlling the battles is refreshing and allows newcomers to the genre to hit the ground running.
There is plenty to love about this game and you will enjoy the dungeon crawling. It just feels like a missed opportunity to create something more. If you are looking for a quick strategy blast then Warhammer Quest is perfect. But those after a real tactical challenge will not find it here sadly. Worth picking up in a sale if you enjoy turn based games or looking for an entry point to the genre.
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