Space Hulk – Review
Follow Developer: Full Control
Publisher: Full Control
Genre: Turn-based Strategy
Release date: 8/15/2013
Platform; PC

Space Hulk – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: A lovingly recreated videogame adaption of the boardgame
Bad: It might be difficult for those unfamiliar with the game
User Score
0
(0 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war but is the latest game in the storied Warhammer 40,000 universe worth the fight or is it tainted by the warp?

Story

You are an Adeptus Astartes or as everyone knows them as a Space Marine you are the toughest and most frightening weapon humanity has in the constant war in the universe. Trained to be the pinnacle of human evolution and then enhanced with genetic modifications to become something that is barely human, clad in power armour you are a sight to behold. You are part of the Blood Angels chapter 600 years ago the chapter failed to capture a Space Hulk, a derelict starship or a mass of debris and wreckage that finds itself drifting across the galaxy that the enemies of man will sometimes tag along on looking for their next target. After suffering hundreds of casualties to the genestealers the Blood Angels were forced to retreat from the Secoris system and the Space Hulk itself.

Ingame_Marketing-31Now the Space Hulk has found itself by coincidence or by some hand at play near your chapters home planet, you’ve been dispatched to board the derelict Sin of Damnation and to redeem your chapters dishonor of failing to purge the ship 600 years ago.

Much like the original game it’s based on much of your backstory and plot is told to you through briefings before the start of the mission. Though I didn’t come into the game looking for a meaty story the lack of cutscenes in mission and the push of anything relating to the story to outside of the game itself was something I was a little disappointed at.

Graphics

The game won’t push your PC to the limit but what it lacks in cutting edge graphics it makes up for in setting and tone. They make use of the dim lighting in the corridors, the flickering lights illuminating the desolate starship. If you zoom in far enough you’ll start to see the loving detail that the developers have put in the game everything from strewn about papers littering the floor to the purity seals adorning the terminators themselves. I ran into some gripes here and there from where you normally watch the game play out it looks great, but as you start to kill more and more of the genestealers you begin to notice the low poly models of your enemy as they continuously split in two from your guns.

Space Hulk First Ingame Screenshot Action Camera

For some added immersion to the game in the upper right hand corner of the screen you’ll always have a camera box showing you exactly what your selected unit can see at any given time. You can watch as they spy a genestealer running through their view only to disappear once more into the shadows or you can watch as they slowly plod along to their given movement coordinates.

While your jaw may not drop to the floor from the games visuals it will certainly make you feel claustrophobic as you slowly amble yourself through the narrow corridors in your hulking Terminator Power Armor.

Sound

The sound design is sparse and it lends itself very well to creating the isolation in its atmosphere, when the sound is present in the game it brings to life these hulking bipedal tanks that are walking around the ship. You hear and feel the weight of the power armour your squad wears with every step that they take, from the loud thud as metal grinds beneath their feet to the cold tinny voice that comes out of their helmets. There is very little in the way of music if at all leaving instead the sheer noiseless vacuum that is ever present as you plan your approach to your goal.

Unfortunately after a while you’ll begin to hear the same sound effects one after another, the same genestealer scream every time one of them enters if the battlefield, the same bolter fire every time you shoot at your enemies and trust me you’ll be shooting a lot. After a while it can start to feel monotonous the game could certainly be helped by some more variety,

Gameplay

The minute to minute gameplay is very reminiscent of the original Space Hulk board game this is both a blessing and a curse. Everything you’ll do is dictated through dice rolls and everything is a one hit kill which can inevitably lead to some very frustrating gameplay sessions. You’ll make your way through one end of the map to the other completing objectives given to you at the start of the mission, you’ll find yourself walking cautiously through the map. If you’re unlucky no matter what pre-planning you’ve done you are going to get your entire squad killed.

12

Each unit is given 4 action points to spend per turn doing everything if you move a space it requires an action point, if you want to open or close a door action point. If you want to turn your unit around to face another direction it’s another action point and this is where the tension starts to become overwhelming. You want your units to constantly be in overwatch much like in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, if an enemy unit moves within their line of sight your unit will attack the enemy and it counts as a free action each time it does. Since the game is based around dice rolls and it is a one hit kill you’ll either kill your enemy or you’ll miss and they will continue charging towards your very vulnerable marine.

To make matters worse each round apart from your unit specific action points you’re given a random amount of command points, these command points can be used by any of your units if they have used all of their own up. So it’s important to keep a stash of these handy just in case something goes wrong and you need some extra actions. Unfortunately while on overwatch your Terminators weapons are prone to jamming and will cease to work until you spend an action point to unjam them, except on overwatch if you have a Terminator unit on overwatch and their weapon jams on them while an enemy is in their sites they will automatically use one of the CP points to unjam it and continuing to fire. Once again everything is a dice roll in this game so if you’re unlucky you’ll find yourself with a Terminator who has used up all of your CP points to unjam their gun only to be killed by a genestealer regardless.

That’s an issue I keep running into with Space Hulk, after a while you start to become disheartened with the games dice roll centric nature. Even if you set up the perfect plan to make your way through these claustrophobic corridors one wrong roll and it doesn’t make matter. This quality is very much indicative of it’s boardgame origins and it recreates it to a loving extent even showing you the dice rolls that are happening behind the scenes in a chat box like ticker at the bottom right of the screen.

Conclusion 

When it comes down to it Full Control has crafted a loving claustrophobic turn based survival game with the latest Space Hulk. If you enjoyed the board game or the original video game adaption of the same name you’ll find yourself entranced back once again. If you’ve never played Space Hulk before this is as good of an introduction as any you’ll find. You can take command of a Terminator squad of Blood Angels through the singleplayer and once you feel confident enough you can play online against all comers as one takes control of the Blood Angels while the other takes control of the Xeno genestealers.

If you’re a fan of turn-based tactical games you might be put off by the dice roll nature of the game, but if you give it sometime you’ll learn to enjoy the intricacies of the game.

Though it wasn’t available at the time an iOS version of the game is set to be released down the line allowing for asynchronous cross platform play between the iOS version and the PC. From only playing the PC version I have little doubt in my mind that the iOS version will come out and feel natural on the mobile device thanks to its turn based nature. Full Control has excelled at what they set out to do, they have crafted a beautiful recreation of the original board game on your computer.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Craig Lynn
Craig Lynn


Craig spends most of his time playing Persona games to a ridiculous degree.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.