There are many real-time strategy games on the market, and Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin is for those who want to focus on decisive action rather than gathering resources and base building.
It does features those elements somewhat, of course. It wouldn’t be much of a strategy game if there were no constraints or stakes, after all. But it’s safe to say that they’re kept to a minimum here. Obtaining resources is primarily a case of taking control of Arcane Conduits, which are spread liberally around each map. These can be contested if enemy forces are near, however, so you need to amass an army capable of taking them over, then give consideration to keeping them defended. You don’t want to lose control of them during a heated battle, after all. Ultimately there are just two resources for you to worry about – Command Points and Realmstones – though your expansion is also controlled by a unit limit.
With your resources, you’re free to develop your army as you see fit. You can summon new units, which vary depending on which of the four factions you choose to play as, and also research numerous upgrades to not only bolster those units, but also arcane conduits under your control. Like in many of these games, a Rock-Paper-Scissors approach is adopted, with each type of unit being effective – and ineffective – against another. Needless to say, it pays to observe the battlefield and strategically engage enemy units; just throwing your forces into battle willy-nilly is a poor tactic, especially on harder difficulty levels.
For particularly tough encounters, it’s also important to take control at a more granular level. Many of your units here, such as named heroes, have skills at their disposal that can turn the tide of battle. A Wyvern unit can bathe an area in flame, for example, inflicting a devastating blow on an opponent’s forces, but you’ll need to instruct it to do so. You’ll also need to be quick to take control of a unit and command it to retreat if it’s close to being defeated, or at least make use of another unit’s skill that will heal them. And there’s no pause function here – awareness and speed really are of the essence.
In terms of modes, Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin has a little something for everybody. In campaign mode you’ll take control of a Dawnbringer Crusade, waging war in the savage Realms of Ghur. It’s an endeavour that is likely to keep you occupied for at least 12 hours or so, depending on the difficulty level you select. Outside of the campaign, you can also choose to engage in a Skirmish battle if you wish, or jump into Conquest mode, which basically offers a procedurally-generated campaign with unpredictable scenarios. There’s a suite of multiplayer modes, too, allowing players to team up against the AI or battle each other online. And thanks to cross-play, this is regardless of format.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin isn’t the biggest or deepest real-time strategy game out there, but it is one the most action-packed and enjoyable to play. It should particularly delight console owners, whose options in the genre are pretty limited. Between its engaging campaign, replayable Conquest mode and suite of multiplayer options, there’s plenty to go at here. It’s a veritable treat for Warhammer fans.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin is available on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.