The authors of the blog were asked to view a special preview of Old Bale Eye on Thursday night and we absolutely leapt at the opportunity.
First I would like to say that I have been wanting legitimate Warhammer animations, movies and TV shows for nearly 30 years and so I was very excited by the announcement earlier this year and I have been extremely eager to see the level of the quality that Warhammer + will offer. So here are our thoughts and feelings.
The level of the animation is pretty good. For a new studio finding it’s feet I would say that Old Bale Eye is solid animation that would have easily fit in with the quality of cartoons I would have watched when I was a child. If you were to compare it to some of the more established studios, like the ones who make The Dragon Prince, Castlevania or Dragons Dogma for Netflix then sadly it does fall a little bit short. However the team obviously has the skill to be able to work upon this and improve.
For me it was like a lore video but with the narrator as an Ork. The voice acting was fine and the script was ok. It definitely felt like an animated version of an old comic strip, full of static animations, screen swipes etc to make the animation more interesting without creating a lot of extra work for the team. Personally, I don’t think that Old One Eye, despite being entertaining, will be enough to swing any fence-sitters of the new platform. It’s not good enough to make someone scream ‘hell yeah!’ and it’s not poor enough to make someone scream ‘hell no!’ It is just…average.
Overall, I enjoyed the presentation. The battle reports, painting and lore videos all look like something I will definitely be watching going forward. On to the animation they showed. I feel this was a bad choice to show in an attempt to get people to sign up. My rational for this is it was just a stand alone animation. Had it of been episode 1 of a series, then people would have wanted to see what was going to happen in the next episode. The animation style was very much like a comic, as you would expect from Hammer and Bolter, but this style isn’t for everyone. That being said, I will still be signing up just for the other content, and if the animation is enjoyable, then I will count that as a bonus.
I see myself as a fair person when it comes to reviewing products and content so what I will say is that is there amazing potential for animations and tv shows within the warhammer universes and I can’t wait to see what they do in the future. However, I have to say I think Hammer and Bolter is a bit of a miss for me as their flagship animation to launch Warhammer + with. As an animation I quite like the comic book style but I found it to just be an overview of their conflict rather than a short story. With more dialogue and written as a continuous series, I think I would really enjoy it. I understand there can’t be a lot of depth there in 20 minutes but covering their whole history was certainly ambitious. It is early days though and I still think Warhammer + is definitely something to be excited about and I’ll be signing up for the variety of content and the exclusive models over the tv at this point! But with Astartes in the works we’ve got a lot to look forward too! Imagine a Gaunts Ghosts or Eisenhorn tv series done properly!
My thoughts on Old Bale Eye, Quality animation and graphical style, epic and engaging music, which really ties it together combined with a gripping and informative story, made for an incredibly enjoyable experience whilst not being dragged out for too long.
I found there was enough exposition/back story in the storyline/animation to help form an understanding of who the characters where within the 40k universe and I understood their actions and reasoning. I can't wait to watch more in the Hammer and Bolter series and look forward to more from Warhammer Plus.