Warhammer: Mark of Chaos - hands-on

Warhammer, enjoyed and beloved by millions of fans around the world for its storied fantasy background and viciously fun tabletop action, finally breaks through to computer gaming with the real-time strategy title Mark of Chaos.

When we first got our hands on an early version of the game this week, we wanted to know if this translation would live up to the lofty bar set by the original Warhammer franchise. In a word, the answer is: yes.

Mark of Chaos is visually staggering - its astonishing hand-drawn beauty is delivered at every level of zoom, from nosebleed altitude all the way down to the stink of the battlefield. The magnificently grotesque art style of the game is far and away the most engrossing aspect of Mark of Chaos. It immediately sucked us right into the Warhammer universe with its authentic allure.

At first blush, MoC looks and controls very much like any of the Total War series of RTS games. For TW veterans, the user interface will seem friendly and familiar, with small "cards" in the bottom middle representing each of our unit groups, minimap on the left and bank of special attack buttons on the lower right.

Total War fans will also hit the ground running in terms of controlling the camera and ordering their army around the battlefield. For newbies, however, there is an entertaining and patient tutorial that covers all the basics.