Warhammer 40,000: Storm of Vengeance, a lane-based strategy title from Eutechnyx, is now available from the app store. Playing a lot like Plants vs. Zombies with a Warhammer overlay, Storm of Vengeance fails to excite as much as its flora-based predecessor.
Warhammer 40,000: Storm of Vengeance Pros:
- Warhammer IP applied to lane-defense game
- Tap and drag controls
- Soundtrack and sound effects are serviceable
- Earn experience to add gear to units; skill trees offer additional variety
- GameCenter integration for a leaderboard and a few dozen achievements
Warhammer 40,000: Storm of Vengeance Cons:
- Controls are a bit wonky
- Repetitive and unexciting; slow-paced
- Visuals are difficult to appreciate due to tiny size
- Sound effects drop out when in fast forward mode
You can engage in either a 50-mission campaign mode or a multiplayer option as you take on the role of Orks or the Dark Angels. Each plays a bit differently, but in general, your goal is the same. Pitted at either end of a 5-lane game board, you’ll build towers to produce resources and generate units to send out into the fray. Sending out a unit requires resources, so you’ll need to balance tower types in the available spaces. Units will attempt to eliminate any incoming enemies and destroy the enemy base at the opposite end. Taking control of a majority of the enemy bases will net you a victory. Available units appear as cards, which can be dragged into the field of play for immediate use or set aside for later use. You can also use your towers to create a secondary currency instead of units, giving you the means to unleash a special attack or two that come with cooldown timers. Once one of your towers is destroyed and its spot claimed by the opposition, you’ll be unable to use that site to place another tower, so it’s imperative that you protect your buildings while still managing to send forth enough troops to beat back the onslaught and take over the opposition’s sites. Their tendency to trudge past enemies in adjacent lanes after trading only a blow or two is frustrating, as we’d expect them to duke it out with nearby enemies until one is victorious before continuing their journey.
While it’s a little more interactive that PvZ, it just doesn’t allow for big enough change that we see ourselves choosing SoV as our go-to game. Everything gets pretty samey after a short while and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of opportunity for strategy. Earned experience allows you access to equipment for your troops (frag grenades, etc.), but most seem to lengthen the wait time before a new unit can spawn, which draws out the game and leaves you vulnerable for longer periods of time. The skill trees help, beefing up your abilities at a battlefield or HQ level, but there’s just something missing in the execution that fails to get us excited about this release. The graphics don’t really pop, as the dirty brownish visuals leave us feeling very blah. Things do vary a bit, but all within the same general parameters. Similarly, the units each have distinct looks and actions, but they are so tiny that it is difficult to appreciate their variety. The soundtrack is uninspiring, while the sound effects are serviceable, except that they drop out if you put the game into fast-forward mode. Given how slowly the units plod along, you’ll probably want to play it sped up for the most part, which means you’ll miss out on a good deal of the audio. Controls require taps and drag to bring about the desired effects, though we had some issue with responsiveness and reliability. Things might be a little better on the iPad screen, but we definitely had some trouble on a smaller iPod screen.
Replay value is not great, despite a lengthy campaign and a multiplayer option. A GameCenter leaderboard and a few dozen achievements are thrown in for good measure, but several are for simple acts like taking part in and winning a battle or engaging in social media through the app. A universal offering for $4.99, Warhammer 40,000: Storm of Vengeance is a bit overpriced for a mediocre 3-Dimple game.