Space Hulk: Tactics Review

The Gene Stealers are coming...

Posted by B1ueSeptember   28th October 2018

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Space Hulk: Tactics is a new title in the expansive and lore-rich universe of Warhammer: 40,000 by Games Workshop. No, it’s not Space Marine 2. No, it’s nothing like Space Marine. Yes, that is sad, but it’s still a game worth taking a look at, so let’s look.

As the title implies, Space Hulk: Tactics is a squad turn-based tactical game. Taking place in a space hulk, an enormous amalgam of ships fused together in the Warp, it’s your job to control a five-man team of Blood Angels, heavily armored space legionnaires, to deal with the hulk and the Gene Stealers (think Ridley’s Aliens) that have infested it.

Confession time: despite loving Space Marine, I’ve never played the Warhammer 40K board games, so if I say anything obvious or clueless, please excuse me. Now, on to gameplay. You may play the game as either Blood Angels or as Gene Stealers. I chose Blood Angels, so the review is from that perspective.

You, the player, must navigate through the space hulk one room at a time, appropriately like the spaces of a game board. Many of these rooms do not contain enemies and do not initiate battle sequences but may still hold equipment and components to upgrade and/or alter your Blood Angel squad, such as giving a thunder hammer to your sergeant or an improved hit card for a Terminator’s Storm Bolters. As you progress, you can unlock new troops, such as Apothecaries and Librarians. All of the customization comes into play when you enter a room containing Gene Stealers and battle begins.

At the start, you set your five squad mates on fixed squares, deciding who goes where and which way he is facing. Strategy begins right here as different units have different weapons and abilities to tackle the Gene Stealers as they move ever closer to your squad. Gene Stealers fall quickly to bolters, but they’re lethal up close, so you want to take them down from a distance if you can. In addition to protecting your team, kills are part of the level’s objectives, such as killing all enemies or extracting certain team members.

Each of your units acts independently of the others with his own number of turns. You can also exchange command cards for extra moves, and the accuracy of your attacks are determined by the move dice. The trick is getting team members where they need to go while also opening doors and protecting one another from groups of Gene Stealers (who have more turns than you do), all of which costs move points.

My biggest complaint about the game is that EVERYTHING costs a turn. If you want to simply rotate your character while remaining on the same square, that costs a move. Every ninety-degree turn costs a move, so turning around and going two spaces would cost four turns. I found this quite frustrating since my moves are already more limited than the enemies’, who always get six turns while players start with four.

The title is also extremely slow-paced. While one doesn’t expect speedy gameplay from a tactical strategy game, this one is a bit too slow. All of the team members’ animation must be completed before one can move on; there’s no way to just skip the animation that I found.

The game has a high degree of customization, but the learning curve is not as steep as it at first appears. The game does a good job of explaining how things work as new aspects are introduced. The game allows you to create your own maps, but this seems fairly limited. Online play is also available. With good voicing, an interesting story, and deep Warhammer lore, Space Hulk: Tactics is a well-made title. If you’re a fan of strategy, this is a game you’ll definitely want to check out.

Score: 8 out of 10

Release Date: October 9, 2018
Developer: CYANIDE
Publisher: Focus Homer Interative
Platform: Xbox One, PS4, and PC
Price: $39.99/£34.99

Written by Vulcan1770

    News Editor B1ueSeptember 28 Oct 2018 04:33 pm

    Nice work, Vulcan.

      Administrator Stealth David 28 Oct 2018 04:35 pm

      Great job

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