Final Liberation is a turn-based tactics video game released for Microsoft Windows in 1997. The game is best known as the first video game based on Epic, a table-top wargame set in the fictional Warhammer 40,000 universe, in an attempt to recreate the table-top experience on a computer as opposed to using it as a backdrop for games in other genres. As a result, 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. Both sides, the Orks and the Imperium, are presented with a wide variety of infantry selections and variations, allowing many possible outcomes and very intricate battles. This makes gameplay strategies more difficult to create and manage, however an experienced player can (and often does) take advantage of the variety of units available. These units include a large selection of ground 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 than 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.
After a long petition Holistic Design has released modding tools that allow editing maps and units. A group then used theses tools to make a mod based on Chaos units from the Epic game. The public and developers eventually lost interest and the mod never got past alpha testing stage. A campaign editor was also released to the developers of the chaos mod. This editor never made it past the few developers that it was released to.
- GameSpot entry for Final Liberation: Warhammer Epic 40,000
- Final Liberation at MobyGames
- Final Liberation at the Open Directory Project