Posted by: rusch | November 28, 2006

I am the Hammer


I normally eschew such things as video games because they are often nothing more then huge time wasters albeit very entertaining and fun time wasters, but time wasters still the same.

It has been months since I really sat down to play a video game. But this Saturday I was at Wal-Mart doing some Christmas shopping when I saw a game that caught my eye. It was one of those real time strategy games along the lines of Command and Conquer and the respective Warcraft and Starcraft games. The graphics looked really cool and when it was evident that there were seven playable sides in single player, and the game did not require a month to month commitment like World of Warcraft, which is a step below selling your soul, I thought what have do you have to lose other then $29.50?

The game is War Hammer 40,000. Someone at a video game studio adapted the classic table top turn based strategy game and turned it into a real time strategy game for the PC. The back-story is that seven intergalactic races are battling for complete control of a fictional planet in an even more ethereal universe. I am not ruling out that such a conflict is in fact going on somewhere in the universe, though highly unlikely.

The things about the game that pulled me in were first the graphics. I have always been a sucker for good graphics. To me it adds an aesthetic experience that makes a game more likable.

Second there was the promise of having control of seven different sides. Most real time games along these lines are very linear, and usually only allow command of two opposing forces. The fact that War Hammer allows the use of seven individual factions are available was a big draw for me.

When I brought the game home I was surprised to find how open ended the game really was. Most games force you to follow a set story line depending on the side you are commanding. You go from one pre-set battle to the next with little or no control on how the game progresses.

Most games of the RTS genre are so linear that in single player mode, they limit when you can build the really cool units of the games. Most of the time these extra lethal units are only available towards the end of the game, which was always a disappointment.

War Hammer breaks the mold allowing access to the most lethal units available so long as you are able to produce the necessary resources and build the prerequisite buildings to produce them. To me that is a major part of the fun, being able to build cool buildings and even cooler units.

But most of all this game allows me to keep an imaginative creative part of me alive that reading or blogging does not. Some of you may think that I am wasting my time, that may be so, but at least there is some critical and strategic thinking involved and it is not as mindless as a first person shooter.

Finally I love the Science Fiction. Unfortunately I do not want to make the investment to read Sci-Fi novels because in my opinion, good ones are hard to find, and reading a book, and Sci-Fi books are never short on pages, is an investment that for me never yields the dividends that seem worth the effort. There are just too many non-fiction books that I have on my nightstand just waiting to be read.

So if you have a fairly new computer with a robust video card and about three gigs of spare memory, and a spare thirty bucks, run down to Wal-Mart and pick up War Hammer 40,000 Dark Crusade. You will not be disappointed. That is unless you eschew such electronic entertainment.


  1. Hey that sounds like a cool game. I bet my brother would like that for Christmas … The graphics ARE amazing! (If indeed those pictures are graphics from the game). I also happened to read your blog about the Mohawk. I was sitting here at my desk at work sniggering. I gave my friend a Mohawk one time when I was cutting his hair, but it was quite intentional and then we shaved it off before the end. I know there’s a picture on my blog somewhere of it. Ah yes, well, back to work …

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