The last decade has seen the public perception of fantasy moulded mainly by Peter Jackson movies and Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft so Warhammer Online may seem to many like some newly created franchise that borrows from the stereotypical fantasy character set that we know so well. Not so say fans of Warhammer, for Warhammer creators Games Workshop is forerunner to them all and prides itself on attention to detail, cruelty, and the endless waging of war.
A perfect setting then for an online game filled with players who like fighting, exploring for around half an hour and then returning for further provoked or unprovoked combat until the early hours of the morning or until everyone else has logged off, whichever comes first. Warhammer cannot be reviewed without a mention of Warcraft and, although we do not have sufficient space to extensively compare and contrast readers may rest assured that both games are long term contenders for any imaginable massively multiplayer crown. Warhammer Online has taken the route of simplifying the MMO genre by removing the need to quest extensively and offers the 'grind' (endless and repeated culling of various creatures to achieve experience points ) as well as levelling through player versus player combat (much more interesting and far less predictable! ).
Public Quests satisfy the need to achieve objectives in a relatively short time frame and remove the tedium of standing around waiting to get a ‘viable’ group together. The Realm versus Realm aspect of the game is both diverse and likely to be very successful by allowing players tremendous freedom and opportunity. Long have the bloodthirsty masses waited for the ability to plunder and loot enemy capital cities, and Warhammer Online has got it all and indeed, more. Warhammer is most definitely evolutionary but perhaps falls short on the revolutionary side of things. Think of it as a distillation of the traditional MMO with great emphasis placed on player versus player combat and inter-realm wars.