Warhammer Quest Review: A Perfect PC Port Of The Hit iOS Strategy Game, But Is That Enough?
Warhammer Quest is one of the most recent games that’s made its way from iOS to Steam, seemingly taking a backwards journey to desktop “legitimacy”. That's a good thing when we're gifted with what's easily one of the finest mobile turn-based strategy games available, and arguably the best of the many, many Warhammer games that have been released, which is amusing as it's an adaptation of a classic Games Workshop board game itself.
The only problem comes in the translation. What works on mobile devices doesn't aways work in a desktop version.
The troubles extend to the pricing. There are two Steam versions available. The standard version is $15 but they are offering a $30 Deluxe version that comes with $45 worth of extra content. This comes with every piece of in-app content that originally was released for Warhammer Quest on iOS, which is an absolute ton of stuff. New characters, new quests, new enemies like vampires and necromancers, plus a bunch of extra items that will ensure you start the game with a big of a leg up on your foes.
It’s nothing that you absolutely need, but if you can see yourself picking up the game at all you probably should spring for the deluxe version, just for the sheer amount of extra content you’ll find. Still, those who spring for the regular edition will get hours upon hours of playtime out of this- just like the iOS version. You really can't go wrong either way, it's that PC gamers don't expect to pay for every little piece of content.
Warhammer Quest sees you taking a group of four adventurers on various quests throughout the world, which is the fantasy-themed Warhammer full of magic and Orcs, not the more futuristic Warhammer 40K full of guns and Orks. You’ll explore the land, revealing cities and towns that have their own specific needs and wants (quests), but you’ll spend most the time in dark dungeons killing things. You’ll delve into rat and spider-filled ruins, attack Orc lairs, and come across all manner of nasties while trying to find great new loot and get your characters experience. There's a light RPG element running through the game, wherein you'll have random encounters on your journey and once in a while have to make a decision that affects your future quests. It's nothing too deep- it's usually "should you return this thing you said you would"-type quandaries, but it's a welcome feature that helps make even side quests more interesting.
The levels are short but each and every battle feels epic, made more so by the absolutely fantastic soundtrack and the fact that you start to grow really attached to your characters. It's not that they have personalities- they don't even have the simplest of them- but you start to rely on them for their many unique abilities. Each character (including the DLC ones made available in the Deluxe version) has their own fighting style, armor and weapons they can use. As they gain levels they'll learn new moves and abilities and just generally become more badass, which is good because your enemies don't pull any punches.
On the hardest level the characters die permanently if they die in the game, but even if you’re playing on Normal you’ll want to keep them alive as long as possible. The game can get very tough very quickly, with the hasty move rewarded with amushes and death.
The fun transfers over but it really does feel like a mobile adaptation. The UI hasn’t been updated at all from the original version, so important information isn’t centrally placed. Icons are on the bottom middle or sides of the screen- where it’s easier for someone on a phone to tap. Curious to read more information about an abilitiy? Forget about right-clicking, which seesms like the right way to do it- you instead have click and hold it until the info pops up, the same way you did with your finger on iOS. It’s nothing that kills the experience but it’s so obviously tailored to a mobile, touch-screen UI and nothing has been changed or fixed. It still works fine, it’s just not nearly as intuitive as it could be.
That doesn’t matter when the game is so addictive, of course, but given the chance, I would actually recommend the iOS version instead. It simply seems to play better in little chunks on the go- sitting down at the PC and playing this for hours will make you just realize how repetitive a lot of the combat is, rather than appreciating how much fun it is. It’s strange to say, but this is a much better mobile game. It’s a game that’s built to be played in short spurts, not marathoned for the 30-odd hours it will take to complete. Of course, go into it with that mindset and you'll like it just fine.
You don't need to be a Warhammer fan to love this, but it certainly can't hurt. It would have been nice to see a little bit of polishing to take advantage of the bigger desktop version, as well as a way to upgrade it to the Deluxe version rather than do it piecemeal after purchasing the standard version, but turn-based strategy aficionados will find a lot to enjoy here.