Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Relics of War, is the first 4x game to be feature in the Warhammer 40k universe (one of my favourite fiction universes that I could talk about for ages) and plays as one would expect it too, build up your chosen faction, increase resource production, build up an army and bring the fight to the enemy and if everything goes right, then you win. I really enjoyed this iteration of a 4x game it’s very easy to get started and play the game with minimum knowledge and fuss, just load it up and head straight into an AI match. There are four available races to play, I hope more will be added soon especially my favourite Warhammer 40k faction, the Chaos Space Marines (Horus did nothing wrong…#JustSaying) however, the four races on offer are all good starting points for conquering this planet. One thing I do enjoy about this game is when picking one of the four factions, it tell you which has an easier start and which has a harder start much akin to Warhammer Total War games.
So let me tell you who you get to play as, starting from the ones that have the easiest time at the start of the game, you have the mighty and heroic Space Marines champions of humanity and genetically engineered super being designed to protect humanity from the horrors of the galaxy. Next up we have the Orks, what can I say? They are Orks with massive guns that look like they are just as likely to kill the owner as the one they are shooting at, but that is the charm of all Orks I feel, big bruisers who love a fight. Next up we have the Necrons who are quite unique and they don’t require food, but thenm again you can hardly expect cold and ruthless robots to have a food craving and stop off for a burger and fries… they are relatively average in skill to play. And finally we have the Imperial Guard. Now, I’m not one to say that they are weak and that’s not just because they follow the false emperor (go Horus, go Horus!), but they rely on numbers. But, that is also a fun feature, being able to swamp your enemy with troops and tanks and big artillery and once they get going they certainly make up for a harder start and you are able to build massive cities with them. I love creating huge detailed cities and empires in these type of games, as I am trying to do at the moment. I find it satisfying to turn my map into one big Imperial city for the glory of the emperor (What??? I cant believe i just said that! #WeLoveHorus).
Getting in to the game, each faction has its own tech trees to follow that unlock for added benefits, as a whole or to your troops of unlocking even stronger troops, one of my favourite being the Imperial Guard Basilisk long range artillery which really does have impressive range, there is also a nice quest chain for each faction to play through which adds a bit of depth and story to the game but you can turn that off if you so wish, other parts of the game play include, as stated above, expanding your realm, The look of each factions buildings are impressive, from the ragtag Ork city’s to the gothic sprawl of the Imperial Guard, balancing resource management and building up your army to attack and defend, I find it does all of this well but with room to expand on.
Overall I really enjoyed this game, I enjoy the setting and the way it plays with each faction that you choose. It’s a great game if you want to jump into a less complex 4x game and still lose hours into and enjoy myself every time. Do I think it could be expanded on, yes, and I do hope they add more of everything. And maybe bring a little more complexity into it as the game grows. I adore the Warhammer 40k universe and I’d want to see this game grow into something big but stick to its roots, I really recommend this game to people who want to get into 4x games, don’t be put off by some of the negative reviews on various sites saying it is too basic. If you want a leisurely game, playing in a universe you love and/or are new to 4x games, then this is a great starting point.
Photo Credit: Slitherine – Warhammer 40k Gladius