Nerd Children: Rejoice!
For the lord your god of dice has brought to you a son, and his name shall be Warhammer. This will be an unreliable god, one full of both hatred for you and your computer, and moments of love. This Warhammer will make you feel a connection to the past that seems too intense to be real, and a slow remembrance of why table-top gaming is going the way of the dinosaur.
Alright, enough of that. Warhammer: Mark of Chaos can best be described as an RTS for people who take RTS's fairly seriously. The game itself is deep, with good-looking graphics and an overall package that is well-done. Installing the game was easy, as was learning how to play. While the game does have more depth than you might normally run into here, especially if your more used to a game like StarCraft or Age Of Empires, its still very playable.
This feeling of playability extends into the single-player game really well, as you slowly and carefully craft your armies. I will give this game a lot of credit for forcing me to think a little before jumping into battle, and any game that does that earns a good deal of respect in my book. The music is great and the game feels polished. The computer AI is not the greatest, but forces you to think and uses some solid tactics against you.
Now, for the multiplayer. I don't know why, but for some reason the developers behind Warhammer: Mark of Chaos must not have gotten the memo from gamers. This memo reads something like this:
Hi guys, we love your products. I enjoy upgrading my computer every six months to run your games, and for the most part I love your products. However, me and my friends have been talking on usenet, and we think its time that you make multiplayer a key part of your game. We are willing to accept single-player games, but if include multiplayer, design it so we will both want to use it and be able to get a lot of use out of it. Basically, bring it all when it comes to multiplayer or leave it out.
Warhammers multiplayer is not broken, but it doesn't work that well either. This game has such limited support for online multiplayer that you wonder a little if its tacked on. The saving of armies is a cool feature, but ultimately it just doesn't feel that well done. The bar is set very high these days for online play, and I understand that. However, Warhammer is built on the tradition of playing with people, and without good multiplayer it seems to be breaking the traditions that enabled it to last. LAN play is supposed to be very good, but that is a pain to have to rely on whenever one wants to play a game.
In the end, this is a fair game that delivers a great single-player experience. However, if your looking to remember the good ol' days with gamers online, look elsewhere. Its not here.