Focus Home Interactive had a wide array of games at this years' E3, including Mordheim: City of the Damned and Battlefleet Gothic: Armada. We got to sit down and check out some of their upcoming titles.
Blood Bowl combines the world of Warhammer fantasy and American football and smashes them together to make a very unique board game. Blood Bowl II is the continuation of the video game version of the game, and we got to sit down with a developer and play it for a while.
The designs for the game look really good and very much in line with the original Games Workshop designs. Each player character looks unique and is customizable, and each race gets their own stadium, of which each will level up and get bigger and look cooler.
Another aspect we made sure to ask about were the extra races, why are they a pre-order bonus only? The answer to that was that these two races were not going to be in the final game at all but were added as a bonus to fans who had been waiting patiently for the game while it was delayed for a number of months.
Playing the game is extremely similar to the board game version; those who have experience with it will definitely feel at home here. An interesting aspect that was implemented in the game is the story mode featuring two goofy sportscaster characters. From the quick glance we were given, it looks like the game will have a variety of options for much deeper play as well as the ability to start a quick game with friends.
Blood Bowl 2 is out on September 22, 2015 and will be available for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.Note: Battlefleet Gothic: Armada was shown to us as a very early demo so all of the details (except for the ship designs) are subject to change as the game gets further along in its development.
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is another Games Workshop-based IP, this time in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. The story takes place a number of centuries before the regular 40k timeline and details the gothic war, a campaign by the Imperium to restore order after Abaddon the Despoiler's fleets incurred on the Gothic Sector.
Even though the game was still in very early stages, it hardly looked it. The ships were finely detailed and everything really portrayed the massive size of everything well; it felt like you were flying around a huge section of space.
The way the battles played out had an interesting element to them, with positioning playing a much larger part in strategy than it does in many other games of this sort. All of your ships need to be flown to specific areas either as a formation or alone and then you must choose whether to shoot from each of its four sides. This had the effect of slowing the battles down somewhat—much like playing the board game this is based on—while both sides were making important tactical decisions.
Another interesting aspect was the characters in the game. Players will receive numerous different commanders throughout the game and they all have different temperaments. There will be certain characters that will rebel against actions you take—perhaps they just don't want to fight to the death—and won't follow your orders. This leaves the player with the option of either letting them do as they please—not something the Imperium likes very much—or calling the Inquisitors to take care of the problem for you.
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada has no release date as of yet but the developers are shooting for sometime in 2016.
Mordheim is currently in Early Access, so the demo available at E3 is the same build available to the public. We sat down with one of the developers and had a chat about the game—check out the interview on our YouTube channel very soon.
Mordheim is based on another Games Workshop board game, which was a skirmish variant of Warhammer. What set it apart from the main series was that everything was based around a campaign system wherein warbands—a players' group of fighters—would make their way through campaigns and up their statistics along the way.
The video game version of Mordheim works the same way; players will be able to set up their warbands and travel through a campaign story while levelling up their characters. While the warbands and campaign are not fully complete as of yet, the game is playable and is certainly in a later stage of development.
Mordheim really looks and feels like playing a digital version of the board game so fans of the series should really watch this one. It is expected to come out of early access in the winter of 2015/2016.