Take your first look at Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin in action

A Stormcast Eternal warrior leaps to strike an orruk soldier
(Image credit: Frontier Developments)

Developer Frontier has revealed the first snippet of gameplay for its recently announced Warhammer RTS Realms of Ruin and confirmed the game’s two upcoming open beta periods.

Revealed exclusively as part of the PC Gaming Show, the gameplay trailer shows the game’s basic tenets: big fantasy warriors smacking each other with steely weapons, a few units’ special abilities—for a squad of Kruleboyz, an invisibility cloak; for a Stormcast, an area-of-effect lightning attack—as well as a few snippets of dialogue that alternates between faux-aristocratic pomp and guttural orcish (Orrukish?) shouting. 

The first open beta will run next month from July 7 to July 10, ahead of a second period sometime later this year. You can sign up through the game’s website. Two factions will be available to play in those periods—the Stormcast Eternals (think fantasy Space Marines) and Orruk Kruleboyz (a sly, nasty bunch of orcs)—although, at launch, two other armies will join them. However, Frontier is keeping their identities under wraps.

Realms of Ruins looks to be walking a familiar RTS road, involving recruiting units and capturing objectives across a map split into various territories. But it’s being pitched as a more accessible RTS with minimal base-building outside of constructing defensive buildings and fast-paced multiplayer skirmishes that can be done and dusted in around half an hour.

A typical skirmish involves capturing Victory Points from your opponent to drain their score while progressing along a tech tree to field stronger units. All of which, of course, are taken straight from Games Workshop’s tabletop miniatures wargame of the same name. The gameplay video gives us a look at some troops Frontier didn’t show in the initial teaser trailer, including a big old Marshcrawla Sloggoth (the Orruk monster with a handful of grots riding on its back) and a Murknob holding a Belcha-banna with what looks like a still-working tongue pinned to it.

Frontier hasn’t revealed a release date for Realms of Ruins yet, but if it arrives later this year, it’ll face some stiff competition in what’s become a strong year for the RTS genre.