The combat actually looks pretty good at this stage, with the hefty Orc able to draw the fire of enemies while the crafty Goblin sneaks around and blindsides them. You can also use choose to grab Styx and launch him into battle or onto distant enemies for aerial ambushes – with the ability to still slow time while he's in mid air and issue a plethora of commands on the fly (geddit?). Let Arkail get pounded too much though and he could fly into a rage. Meaning he gains significant buffs but you lose all control of him and he could potentially lash out at Styx if you get too close. The idea behind this is that, “Rage can save a situation for you, but it can also mean game over if you let it build up too early in the combat.” So careful management of your dream team is vital.
Each character has two combat stances they can switch between that confer different benefits and you can also level up your abilities as you progress. Though the developers are keen to make players choose a certain style of fighting and stick with it, so if you're offered a choice of two upgrades then the one you don’t pick is gone forever, which is sure to force players into some hard choices. You can also snag new equipment or barter, as money is useless amongst greenskins, with other Orcs and people you meet along the way in order to acquire new things.
We were also told that dialogue choices can have a major impact on the game and how it pans out, as can certain side missions. So, as we were told, “Depending on which character you choose to initiate dialogue and how you answer questions and complete quests you can have a major impact on how the story branches and plays out throughout the five main chapters.” Choosing to beat up a goblin rebellion can have repercussions down the line, as can helping out some human mages or even failing to wear that lucky pair of pants (ok – we made that one up). Quite how different the story can diverge remains to be seen, but it does seem that, no matter what choices you make, there is only one ending to the game – which raises the question of why choice is allowed at all if it just leads to the same outcome? Time will tell whether or not everything is suitably explained.