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Space Hulk: Deathwing – Enhanced Edition

Posted by GG Goblin On June - 5 - 2018

For the Emperor!

 
Being a long time Games Workshop fan, I always manage to get myself excited when a new game arrives that ties in with the Warhammer or Warhammer 40,000 universe. Both Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 have such rich and detailed universes, that pretty much any time of game can be shoe-horned it to suit pretty much any type of player. The real problem comes from the fact that there are so many Games Workshop licensed games around now, and the quality is so varied, that there is absolutely no guarantee that a new game will be any good.

 
shdw1 (Copy)

 
Space Hulk started life as a board game by Games Workshop, set in their own grim future Warhammer 40,000 setting. Then, a couple of years ago, Streum On Studio released their own re-imagining of the board game as a team-based first-person shooter, and thus Space Hulk: Deathwing was born. Now, a couple years later, Space Hulk: Deathwing – Enhanced Edition has made its way onto the PS4, challenging console players to face down Genestealers and other alien nasties for the Emperor.

 
For those not versed in the admittedly detailed lore of Warhammer 40,000, Space Hulks are truly massive derelict spaceships that often harbour all manner of alien threats. The tight spaces and sheer number of aliens that can be encountered mean that the job of cleaning out these abandoned ships is more than a simple Space Marine can handle, and so a small team wearing Terminator armour are called in for the job. This armour is so powerful that it makes the wearer comparable to a small tank – heavily armed and heavily armoured. These guys are the elite and more than capable of fighting back anything they face.

 
shdw2 (Copy)

 
For this campaign, players will be a member of the Dark Angels Deathwing Company, and will be accompanied by a couple of AI squad mates in single player. They will then find themselves in the sort of environment that wouldn’t look out of place in any sci-fi game set on a spaceship. Think tight corridors, expansive rooms and a whole lot of shadowing to keep the player guessing. Alongside the futuristic industrial feel of the environments, there is also a slightly Gothic flavour which keeps in with the Warhammer 40,000 setting. The atmosphere is foreboding and it doesn’t take long before alien Genestealers start coming from all directions.

 
The actual gameplay is a lot of fun. Players will have the chance to use different weapons as they progress, and for the most part they will be using either projectile weapons that sacrifice precision in favour of a large area of coverage and impressive melee weapons. There is some variety in the weapons, but for the most part it will be the satisfaction of mowing down these alien creatures by the bucket load. Aside from the variety of weapons, which can be upgraded as the player progresses, or new ones acquired, the player also has a small selection of psychic powers that can be used to devastating effect with the likes of lightning or fire causing absolute chaos.

 
The two squad mates are controlled by an AI that can at best be described as competent. The player is able to issue simple orders, but to be honest this is more trouble than its worth. Leaving the AI to its own devices will sometimes yield surprising results, but for the most part it is best not to rely on them.

 
shdw3 (Copy)

 
Each of the different levels of the game will offer a variety of objectives, mostly to get the player moved around the map. They do feel like busywork and don’t add much to the game overall. The enemies that the player faces, the Genestealers, are nicely designed and make an unnerving screeching noise that raises the tension. However, there is a lack of variety, with only a few different types. This does mean that the main appeal of Space Hulk is the combat, which is very enjoyable, but does become repetitive eventually.

 
The real star of Space Hulk: Deathwing is when it is played with friends. Up to three other players can join a squad and take on the campaign, giving a far better experience than with just the AI. There is also more variety in the types of terminator that the player can take into multiplayer games, and there is a progression system that will improve their chosen set up. There are still limitations, such as the need for someone to take one a healer, but the gameplay is so much more open.

 
For the Enhanced Edition, the developers have dropped in a new class with the Chaplain, along with some new weapons and a new Genestealer type. There is also more customisation and randomised missions, making this the best version of Space Hulk: Deathwing.

 
shdw4 (Copy)

 
Playing multiplayer, Space Hulk: Deathwing – Enhanced Edition can be a lot of fun. There is decent customisation and progression, and the moment to moment gameplay can be tense and exciting. The problem is that there is not a lot of variety in the gameplay, something which is made even more noticeable when playing single player with the not great AI. Fans of Warhammer 40,000 will get a kick out of the references, as I did, but may struggle to hang around for the longer gaming sessions. Space Hulk: Deathwing is a reasonable shooter set in a rich and detailed universe, which sadly lacks variety.

 

 ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ 



 

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