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XCOM With Steamy Robots: Warmachine Tactics Demo

I think this was the game Jim suggested I try out a while back, given it’s an XCOM-like with steam-powered magical robots. I like XCOM. I like robots. Steam’s okay, I guess. Sadly, a few hundred nights of being repeatedly screamed awake had destroyed my ability to remember anything at that point, particularly when it came to the exact name of a game with ‘war’ in the title. Fortunately, today brought news that there’s a free demo of WARMACHINE: Tactics, prompting my bruised brain to offer a sleepy “hey, yeah, man, that might be it, y’know?”

This is based on a tabletop game of the same name, and as such has a heavy multiplayer focus, but the full version does sport 21 singleplayer missions. You get three of those in the newly-released demo, plus the somewhat oxymoronic “full access to multiplayer (with limited squad building options)”.

Response, from fans and non-fans alike, has been mixed, but broadly it seems to be onto something. I’m going to give it a proper go as soon as I get the chance, although I should probably make the just-out-of-early-access Frozen Cortex my turn-based priority right now. I did fire up the demo but it was about 20 seconds before I forcibly quit out of a long, unskippable cutscene with atrocious voice acting. Just don’t do it, games. Don’t do it. When I went back I went straight to skirmish, and brief dabbling suggested a rather pretty game (Unreal 4, donchaknow) with a very Games Workshopy aesthetic. It’s even got plague dudes with visible green buttocks, which are particularly eyecatching when it does its action camera follow shots:

Its steambots, meanwhile, bring to mind 40K Dreadnoughts. It’s visually a lot of fun, basically.

What I played seemed tactically interesting/complicated, though hamstrung by by a clunky UI to some degree, plus I seemed to hit a bug that was stopping me from controlling anything, forcing me to hit End Turn prematurely and thus witnessing all my guys die in the enemy’s one. Oh well.

Quite liked it otherwise, though it’s far too soon to tell. One day, I shall return. Let’s make our eyeballs point themselves at a trailer in the meantime:

The demo’s out, via Steam, now. The full version of Warmachine Tactics, plus assorted DLC packs with new units and factions, is also out already.

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Alec Meer


Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about videogames.

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