A Grim World of Perilous Adventure
I’ve been a fan of Warhammer for a long time. I’ve spent hours painting Citadel miniatures, reading the RPG rulebooks and playing Dawn of War on my PC. So when I heard there was a Warhammer MMORPG coming to Android, I was eager to give it a try. Warhammer Odyssey by Virtual Realms Ltd. invites players to explore this world and immerse themselves in its renowned grimdark setting. There are already a number of Warhammer Android games available, so how does Warhammer Odyssey measure up?
Warhammer Odyssey has an old school feel to it. Commenters on the game’s Google Play page have compared it to World of Warcraft and Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Rather than go for ultra-realistic graphics, the game has a more classic look to it. That doesn’t make it look bad, just older. The characters do a great job of capturing that Warhammer feel.
After an optional tutorial, the game begins in the city of Marienburg, which looks good, if perhaps a bit generic. The city itself is in turmoil, with rioting and looting everywhere. You’re recruited to help restore order in the streets. As you help the city guard, you learn there seems to be more to the unrest than meets the eye.
Adventuring in the Old World
Warhammer Odyssey gives you six characters to choose from. These include an Elf Archmage, a Human Witch Hunter and the iconic Dwarf Slayer. All the characters can be male or female, and the game gives you a number of customization options. The game has a relatively simple interface, free of the clutter of icons so common in other MMOs. You move by dragging the movement control in the direction you want to go. You change the camera angle by dragging your finger across the screen. On the left side of the screen there are three bars that you tap to open your character menu. Within are tabs for an expanded map, a list of all your quests, character stats, abilities and inventory.
Your character levels up by killing opponents and completing quests. The quests are pretty much standard fare for an RPG: kill X number of opponents, collect items and so on. The repetitious nature of these quests is one of the weaker points of the game. You can only kill so many rioters and thieves before the novelty wears off. When you level up, you get several stat and action points to distribute. Stat points increase your attributes, and can be manually or auto assigned. Action points let you buy new abilities, or improve the ones you already have. When your character reaches 10th level, you pick from one of two specialization paths, which unlock new ability choices.
Another way that Warhammer Odyssey harkens back to the past is that there’s no autoplay. When you get into a fight, you control the action. That said, combat is tactically simple. You alternate between tapping your main attack button and using your special abilities, which have a cooldown period. After you’re injured, your health returns, albeit slowly, so you must choose your fights carefully. If you die, you resurrect at the nearest travel point. Dying damages gear, eventually causing it to break. Unfortunately, blacksmiths are sparse, making it a slog to get repairs.
Although combat is simple, it isn’t easy. Your character has a pretty long range when it comes to targeting enemies. That means the game doesn’t always target the enemy you want it to. More than once I ended up accidentally attacking the wrong enemy and getting dogpiled. It’s more controllable with melee attacks, but can become a real headache with ranged attacks. Also, because of the placement of the controls, I would frequently open the player menu accidentally. This is annoying enough as it is, but when it happens in combat, it becomes downright lethal.
Warhammer Odyssey is currently free to play, with no ads or in-app purchases. It’s also very new, which means the developers are still ironing out the bugs. There were times when the game left me frustrated, and times when the repetitive nature of the quests got boring. That said, I plan to stick with it. The game hasn’t quite lived up to expectations yet, but I’m interested to see where the journey will take me.
Is It Hardcore?
Warhammer Odyssey isn’t perfect, but despite its flaws, it’s got plenty of old school charm that makes it worth a try.