Games Workshop is basically letting anyone make a game out of the Warhammer 40K license these days, from bad mobile titles to relatively solid games like Regicide.
I didn’t know what to initially think when I saw the description of Regicide. I actually had it confused with another game at first, Vermintide. But that game is Warhammer, not Warhammer 40K. Regicide is a variation of chess, with some RPG elements thrown in.
The first campaign is all about Orks vs Blood Angels. This seems pretty standard for 40K games considering Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising were both Blood Angel Space Marines. Not to mention, the same goes for the Space Hulk videogames in recent months. While I was disappointed that it was Blood Angels (and not Grey Wolves) the game still looked cool. I remember when I was a kid, I had a Star Wars chess game that had cool fighting animations when you captured an opposing piece. Needless to say, I had some nostalgia working in my favor.
There are multiple game modes, but the main campaign functions more like a puzzle game. You have multiple levels to play with main and secondary objectives. You must use the units you are provided to accomplish these objectives. Each units functions like a regular chess piece. Assault Marines/Rooks move in their three space L shape and so on. Each has a weapon that can be used to attack an opposing character provided they are in range.
This is where the extra RPG elements come in. Every unit has HP and an armor rating. You don’t have to capture units to eliminate them. You can destroy them if you deal enough damage. There are attacks and skills you can use to win games. However, there are some objectives that require you to defeat enemies a certain way.
Game flow in the main game type is simple. You start your turn with one move, then you make four actions using AP. Attacks generally cost 1AP and skills can differ. Skills are varied, but you will mostly use the ones that give your units a shield and healing. After you take your turn, your opponent does. The process continues until someone wins.
The other game mode is strictly like chess and has its own merits in fun. While the traditional method of playing chess is still fun, I find it more enjoyable to see the different ways your units kill the units they capture.
Winning levels in campaign net you EXP – get enough and your profile levels up, giving you skill points to buy new skills for the Space Marines and Orks. Unfortunately, you can only use the Orks online or in custom skirmishes right now as they have no campaign. You also earn requisition, which you will use as added currency to buy skins for your Space Marines or Orks. However, be prepared to save up because those skins cost quite a bit of this free currency. You can also purchase them with actual funds if you would prefer the faster way.
The game functions smoothly, and a recent patch updated the AI so attacks wouldn’t miss so often – but you might feel a bit cheated when you miss an attack with 95% accuracy. But that is the risk you take with these kinds of RPG strategy games. There’s 50 campaign missions for the Blood Angels, and the developers have said that there are more on the way.
Multiplayer is fun for the people that are into that kind of thing. I’m pretty terrible at chess, so I didn’t play much because a man can only take so much defeat. I enjoyed campaign, but I do wish I could customize the equipment of my units. That was part of the fun when it came to my times playing actual Warhammer 40K in the good old days.
If you enjoy some simple chess driven strategy, I highly suggest you get this game. You won’t feel bad if you happen to kill 2 hours of your day playing the campaign or online. Hell, if you love Warhammer 40K like I do, get Regicide without hesitation. You can pick it up on Steam now.