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Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus Preview

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 12 - 2018

For the Omnissiah!

You can’t swing a Squig nowadays without hitting a Games Workshop licensed game. Pretty much every genre is covered in one way or another and, while the actual quality of the game is not always the greatest, almost every aspect of the various universes are featured. However, when it comes to Games Workshop’s war-torn future in Warhammer 40,000, players will expect to see the likes of Space Marines, various brutal alien races and the Imperial Guard. To my knowledge, no developer has yet to make a game that revolves around the mysterious Adeptus Mechanicus, the cult-like sect that is responsible for building and maintaining the Imperium’s technology, along with preventing the taint of alien tech. Kasedo Games and Bulwark Studios have risen to this challenge with Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus, a single-player, turn-based strategy game with a hint of XCOM. Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus is due to launch for PC on November 15th, but GGUK have spent some time fighting back an alien threat in order to bring you this preview.

mech1 (Copy)

With a story written by Black Library author Ben Counter, Mechanicus was always going to be incredibly true to the Warhammer 40,000 universe. There is a cast of interesting characters that the player is slowly introduced to at the beginning of the game, each of which have their own motivations and opinions on what is to come. Players will take on the role of a powerful member of the order who is set to explore a newly rediscovered Necron planet, which is potentially filled with all manner of interesting tech, alongside dangerous adversaries. Of course, heading down to the planet is not on the cards for this high-ranking member of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and so the player will remotely control a team of Tech Priests and support minions on the surface. It’s all pretty compelling.

However, it should be noted that Mechanicus is very true to the vast amounts of Warhammer 40,000 lore that is around, and as such can be a little tricky to follow, especially for players who are not already fans of Warhammer 40,000. The player is introduced fairly quickly to a whole bunch of different characters with various titles and roles, and the talking head style conversations between them can easily become confusing. Knowledge of the Warhammer 40,000 universe is essential to get the most from the story, otherwise it is all about the gameplay.

mech2 (Copy)

Which frankly is pretty cool so far. From a safe distance, the player will control a squad of Tech Priests and other units as they explore a procedurally generate crypt. The player will move their squad wholesale from one room to another, not knowing what they will find there. In some rooms, the player may come across an artefact or some other object that can be interacted with. At this point, the player will be given a choice, such as to destroy the evil alien tech or bring it back for study, and it can be guaranteed that at least one of the other characters will have an opinion about this. In other rooms, players may come across absolutely nothing and move on to the next without incident. And then there are the rooms that will lead to battle.

The big bad for Mechanicus is the Necron race. These are an ancient race of machine beings that have been in hibernation for many years. Of course, you can be sure that they will awaken when the heavily booted Tech Priests and stomping around, and they are not too happy about that. With the Tech Priests and their subordinates all moving towards the ideal combination of flesh and technology, Mechanicus becomes a battle between Human machines and alien machines.

mech3 (Copy)

So when a Necron turns up, it’s time for battle and the play switches to a 3D view of the area, which appears in grid form to help with movement. Each member of the team, and the Necron menace, will take turns to move and act, and the order of those turns is based on an unspecified initiative stat of some sort. Anyway, the player can move a unit and then perform a basic action, such as maybe using a simple weapon.

Things get interesting when it comes to Cognition Points. These points are used to power the most impressive actions available, such as the more powerful weapons, or being able to move beyond the limitations of normal movement. There are various ways to gather the Cognition Points, including from a harvest point which will require a Tech Priest being within range. Careful use of Cognition Points are where the majority of the tactics seem to be coming in, as they are a limited resource that give access to the most powerful actions.

There is no cover mechanic, aside from the usual standing behind a wall, so a more direct approach seems to be encouraged. Players are able to bring reinforcement units into battle each turn, and choosing where to place them offers yet more tactical choice. Players will be able to upgrade their team with various new tech, and players will be able to approach things with a large team, or a more powerful, smaller team, giving something else to think about.

mech4 (Copy)

As is often the case, this preview is based on an unfinished game, and so plenty can change before the actual launch next month. However, as it stands right now, there is a lot to be excited about with Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus. It offers a slightly different take on the usual Warhammer 40,000 universe, and the turn-based strategy seems to favour bold moves and quick gameplay. While the story may be a bit difficult to digest for the non-fans, the 40K faithful will be happy to see such detail and passion. The truth will be in the Necron pudding, as they say, but right now Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus is looking interesting and I can’t wait to play more.

Pre-order Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus now on Steam.


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