Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall Game Poster Image
VR hack-and-slash adventure is disorienting and clumsy.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

While there's a thematic "good versus evil" story that unfolds over the adventure, it's little more than a setup for players to hack and slash their way through waves of supernatural monsters.

Positive Role Models

There are some voice overs that express the main character's inner dialogue and occasional quip or shout at the opponents, but otherwise, the main character is just an empty shell meant to make the player feel more involved in the action.

Diverse Representations

There's really only ever the player and an army of the undead and other evil creatures that the player fights.

Ease of Play

The first-person VR perspective can be a bit disorienting, especially during moments of quick movement, and the controls are generally clunky. The gameplay can quickly get repetitive.

Violence

While there's little excessive blood or gore, there's constant violence that's up close and personal to the player. Most damage shows up as flashy effects, but there are some occasional blood splashes, player damage is represented by part of the screen turning red, and a combination of blood, skeletons, and corpses litter the environment.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Though the game's a standalone title, it's based on the popular Warhammer fantasy tabletop role-playing game and uses much of the lore from that setting. As a result, newcomers to the game might feel they need to pick up other materials (books, games, etc.) to fully understand the story.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall is a downloadable virtual reality fantasy adventure game for the Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, and Valve Index virtual reality platforms. The game's based on the popular Warhammer fantasy tabletop game and has players fighting against a variety of supernatural creatures to recover the lost souls of your brethren. Violence is a constant focal point, with players using a variety of weapons and abilities against enemies, with flashes of effects and occasional blood representing most damage. While relatively easy to pick up and play, parents should also be away that the VR gameplay can be disorienting, especially when played for extended periods of time without breaks.

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What's it about?

In WARHAMMER AGE OF SIGMAR: TEMPESTFALL, you're put into the role of a Lord-Arcanum and given access to the elemental powers and arsenal of the Stormcast Eternals. Your mission is to lead a task force of fellow Stormcast deep into Shyish, the Realm of Death, to rescue the lost souls of your brethren from the clutches of Necromancer Pharan Ghast and his hordes of Nighthaunt monstrosities. This VR action-adventure game features a full story campaign, challenging players to explore and navigate the darkest corners of Shyish before confronting the Nighthaunt armies with the fury of your lightning-based powers and the wrath of your iconic aetherstave. Only you have the strength to save the fallen in the name of Sigmar and to end the Necromancer threat once and for all.

Is it any good?

When done right, virtual reality presents a unique opportunity for fans to get fully immersed in the franchises they love and to experience them in new and exciting ways. Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall manages to get the first part of this right, giving Warhammer fantasy fans a chance to live out an adventure by diving headfirst into the world of the popular tabletop game in all its living (or at least undead) glory. But it's the second part, that "new and exciting" element, where the game seems to struggle somewhat. It's not that the game's particularly bad, but rather that it's not particularly good either. It sort of sits comfortably dead in the center, providing service to Warhammer fans but generally ignoring the rest of its potential audience.

For starters, the gameplay doesn't flow smoothly. One minute you're fumbling around a rock face trying to keep from awkwardly tumbling into the abyss, and the next, you're in an inexplicably open and flat area conveniently filled with strategically positioned foes. Melee combat might look great onscreen, as your Lord-Arcanum bashes yet another reaper or skeleton into pulp. But the reality is that you are constantly swinging wildly through the hordes with little rhyme or reason. Another issue is the game's overall presentation feels underdeveloped and unpolished. While this would normally be an issue regardless, the problem is exacerbated due to the virtual reality platform. Animations that are less than fluid aren't just an irritation here, but can genuinely lead to physical issues, throwing off the player's equilibrium and leaving them dizzy and unbalanced. It's unfortunate too, because you can see where the foundation of a great game exists, but it just never builds to anything of substance.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall affected by the VR presentation of the gameplay? What are some of the ways that violence in games can affect younger audiences? How does VR gaming make players more involved in the gaming, and through that, more involved with the associated violence?

  • How has VR tech evolved over the years? What are some positive uses for VR outside of entertainment? What are some of the detriments to VR?

Game details

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