Final Liberation: Warhammer Epic 40,000 is a turn-based tactics based video game released for Microsoft Windows in 1997. The game is best known as the first video game based on Epic Warhammer 40,000 to attempt to recreate the experience of the table-top wargame on a computer, as opposed to using the backdrop for other game genres.
The game borrows heavily in terms of rules and style from the table-top game, demanding a combination of luck and tactics necessary to succeed in game warfare.
The game operates in turns where the player must deploy and manage their units carefully through squad formations and unit selections. Each side, the Orks
and the Imperium
, are presented with a wide variety of infantry selections and variations, allowing more possible and intricate battles and outcomes, making gameplay strategies more difficult to create and manage, however, to an experienced player, the wide variety of units should be, and most often is, taken advantage of. The units available include a variety of vehicles (tanks, armoured personnel carriers
, and artillery), infantry units and aircraft.
Notably, in the in-game information pages of Final Liberation, there were tabs for the Eldar and Tyranid races, suggesting that they were intended to be included at some point, possibly in an expansion. This never materialised.
The game features two modes, campaign and skirmish. In the campaign mode, the player works through a series of levels to eradicate the ork presence on the planet to finally capture Volistad. The recruitment of new units has an Experience Point system attached, meaning newly recruited units are less effective then seasoned veterans. The campaign mode is only single-player. In the Skirmish mode, the player can set-up a battle which pits the player against an array of computer or human controlled opponents via a hot-seat
mode, or network play over a local network
or the Internet
. Such battles can be played on maps ranging in size from vast to small.
The campaign features a non-linear story line where the player controls the Imperial forces to liberate the planet of Volistad from Ork raiders. The territory controlled at each stage determines the points available for the replacement and repair of units. The winning of certain maps gives access to certain specialist units such as superheavy tanks or Titans.
It also includes live action cutscenes mixed with CGI, making it the only Warhammer 40,000 game with live action footage. Although Dawn of War has largely succeeded Final Liberation as the premier strategy game in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, some players prefer Final Liberation for its vast amounts of units, wide range of super-heavy tanks, and ability to field Titans.