Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning


November 25, 2008|By McClatchy-Tribune

PC. Rated Teen. Retail $49.99 (plus $14.99 monthly fee after first 30 days) *** 1/2

The debt that Blizzard's Warcraft series owes to Games Workshop's Warhammer fantasy universe is paid off a bit with Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, an online role-playing game that any veteran of World of Warcraft could pick up and play without even checking the key bindings.

Not that the games are identical, though their worlds are similar in many respects. True to the franchise background, the game focuses on inter-player conflict as players fight for control of the Warhammer world itself.

Age of Reckoning breaks its opposing factions, Order and Destruction, into six smaller groups fighting one another: Dwarves fight the Greenskins (Orcs and Goblins), the human Empire vies with Chaos, and High Elves battle Dark Elves.

Each faction has a set of unique character classes, such as the mutant Chaos Marauder and the clever Dwarf Engineer, with more promised for the future.

Also this week: : Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels, Nintendo Wii. Rated Teen. $49.99 **

Aimed at fans of the new Clone Wars animated TV show, Lightsaber Duels is a playable but shallow fighting game.

Players swing the Wii remote up, down, left and right to make lightsaber slashes and combos; attacks can be made more powerful by infusing them with the Force, and players can employ special attacks and Force powers in battle as well.

The controls work fine, the combat is reasonably solid and the visuals successfully ape the exaggerated style of the show, but there's not much of substance here.

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