Frontier has announced a brand new Warhammer RTS.
Set in the world of Games Workshop’s beloved fantasy tabletop game, Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin is a brand RTS in the mold of genre classics like Starcraft 2, Dawn of War, and Company of Heroes.
In a welcome twist, Realms of Ruin won’t just be coming to PC. In fact, it’s designed from the ground up to be a console-friendly title, reminiscent of Halo Wars 2. As such, the game will also be released for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, in addition to Steam and the Epic Games Store.
In a special sneak peek, Frontier showed off two of Realms of Ruin’s factions, as well as some gameplay. Realms of Ruin stays true to the RTS formula in many ways, offering squad-based combat where armies compete over resource points while racing to develop their tech trees.
However, Realms of Ruin has two facets that set it apart. The first is its commitment to the fantastical and over-the-top Age of Sigmar setting. The two factions Frontier revealed in the preview, the noble Stormcast Eternals and the cunning Orruk Kruleboyz, were Warhammer at its best. Gleaming knights wreathed in lightning battled a horde of cunning orcs in a faithful recreation of the look and feel of the tabletop miniatures game.
The second feature that might distinguish Realms of Ruin from the pack is the DirectStep interface. This intuitive UI framework allows controller users a great deal of precision and flexibility when issuing orders to their units. Traditionally, controller implementation has been a challenge for RTS titles, but having seen DirectStep in action, I found myself impressed with the intuitive controls.
Using analog sticks, you can cycle through units and issue contextually sensitive orders, allowing your soldiers to adapt on the fly. Whether or not Frontier will stick the landing with this new technology has yet to be seen, but it has certainly piqued my interest.
As you might expect, there’s a story mode that follows the Stormcast Eternals on their quest to bring order to the Realm of Beasts. It’s even been co-written by Black Library author Gavin Thorpe – a Warhammer author of serious pedigree.
Frontier is also looking to offer a multiplayer experience, too, catering to 1v1 and 2v2 skirmishes with crossplay support. Four factions will be available at launch, but more are intended to follow through a planned series of DLC.
Though the first gameplay trailer won’t be here until June, Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin is a pleasant surprise for fans of high fantasy, Warhammer, and RTS games in general. Perhaps it might even earn a coveted slot amongst our list of the best strategy games. Frontier has written itself a big check with this announcement, let’s see if they can cash it.