Warhammer Online - Hands On @ Eurogamer
Oli Welsh writes up his experience in the WAR beta.
Open-world player-versus-player - always a failing of WOW's - works well enough, when we finally encounter it in Nordland. The tightly limited size of the RVR areas in the game does help focus the action on a single battlefront, even when there are multiple bases to capture; with this, as in Public Quests, Mythic's world designers deserve a lot of credit for their carefully funnelling players into the action through the landscape design.
WAR's dense and linear nature does mean that simple exploration isn't the unalloyed joy it can be in the best MMOs. This is a game for fighters, not adventurers. The game world is a good deal more handsome than we first thought, but even a bit of flight-hopping around later levels reveals that it's not particularly varied. The Elven areas have some startlingly beautiful architecture and lush meadows, but overall are the most boring of the three.
The Dwarfs and Greenskins make their way through craggy mountains littered with ancient relics and siege engines; dramatic and well-executed, but rather clichéd. Once again, Empire and Chaos come off the best by far, making excellent use of the less familiar reference points of the Warhammer licence in their vision of a 17th-century pastoral idyll gone horribly wrong, a sort of occult English Civil War.
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