How Long to Beat?
Wargroove’s dozen-plus-hour campaign is expansive and a lot of fun, but has some problems with overly long missions that can sometimes take an hour or more to beat. Not every mission is that long, but the ones that are definitely drag when they can feel won or lost long before they end. It wouldn’t be nearly as big of an issue if you could save mid-mission (you can quit and pick back up where you were later, but not create saves to load after a loss, presumably to prevent save-scumming) as losing toward the end of an hour-long match is far more frustrating than it is challenging.
If you plan to take your time and enjoy everything that the game has to offer, tackling all of the main side quests throughout the world, you are probably looking at around 90-110 hours in total.
There is a lot to do and the world is truly huge, so if you plan to see it all and find everything the game has to offer, prepare to be in it for the long haul.
Thankfully, Wargroove’s campaign has adaptable difficulty options – far more granular than the simple easy/normal/hard settings of its Arcade mode – that let you scale damage taken, money made, and Groove ability charge time up or down, individually and a little bit at a time. If you’re having trouble with a specific mission you could just increase your money a bit, or if you’ve beaten the campaign already you could make things harder for an extra challenge. I ended up playing a the latter half of Wargroove with my damage taken at just under 100%, not because it was too hard – though there are undoubtedly some very tough missions – but just to make sure I didn’t lose at the last second of a mission again, which just isn’t fun.
Wargroove’s surprisingly smart AI deserves some of the blame there, but “competent AI” is a pretty good problem to have in the long run. It’s not going to crush an experienced player or anything, but it definitely kept me on my toes more than most do. Unlike a lot of other tactics games, it wouldn’t easily get baited into my traps as I danced around just outside its attack range. It would also prioritize weakening my strong units (lower health also means lower damage output in Wargroove) and cleverly retreat its damaged ones. I just wish the latter tactic didn’t result in it dragging out all-but-won matches occasionally as I chased an enemy commander into the corner of the map.
The campaign’s light-hearted war story is cute and funny, but about as deep as a puddle. It’s a fairly straightforward tale peppered with goofy moments and even a pop culture reference here and there – early on a character says an undead horde “will be back, and in greater numbers” as a hat tip to Star Wars. Its cast of amusing characters range from an excessively shouty villain to a small child piloting a large battle puppet to a dang dog in armor leading troops – his name is Caesar and he is a very good boy – but they aren’t much more than vehicles for jokes and fights.
Meanwhile, there’s no leveling or out-of-match progression beyond unlocking new missions, which makes the draw trying to get the highest rank you can on each level instead. But you don’t even get to choose which commanders you bring into battle despite your traveling party growing as you go, and I frequently wished I had that added control. The end result is an enjoyable but fairly thin campaign. Still, it’s one with mid-mission secrets and unlockables I’ve yet to find, and I am looking forward to diving back in to track them down.