Back in my Warhammer playing days I saw many Space Hulk scenarios play out. The lack of story meant that any group could be pitted against another and for the more artistic phenomenal arenas could be created from gutter piping, polystyrene and not showering.
The game is not this. The evoking of mysterious enemies, overwhelming odds and brutal battles are drawn away by a slow, clunky game which is a self-torturing experience by turn-based strategy game standards and bottom tier by Warhammer universe game standards.
You are the lucky commander of 1000 Blood Angels sent to clear a Space Hulk of Tyranids. All good usual Blood Angel work. However for some reason your army consists of only Terminators who can fit down a corridor one at a time slower than snails on Valium; cannot shoot through each other and turn like a cruise liner. I’m deadly serious. The first mission had me using two terminators to take out 5 genestealers down single-width corridors. The terminators are ridiculously slow and I began contemplating my self-efficacy to finish this experience after two turns. However I could have one by leaving my characters as they were and hitting pass constantly, as every time an enemy attacked the terminators they simply power-fisted (it’s a weapon, behave) into vapour.
Let’s not disrespect the Warhammer 40K side of this. The story is fitting and the canon is stuck to quite nicely. On the PC version at least (review was on primarily PS3 version) graphically the game looks very nice and decimating tyranids is satisfying the first few times. The space marines are very much walking tanks which fits well with their hulking size. The tyranids have their numbers so the battle is not entirely in your favour so some thought is required.
But give it two missions and you’ll realise that the game drags. I mean badly. On console this isn’t helped by the lack of mouse controls and the compacting into the controller is admirable but ultimately adds to the slowness of the experience. The terminators move slower than the snails in the earlier metaphor and the game focuses far too long on each action of the turns. This lack of pace makes the game feel far too long and the majority of your game will be watching terminators move and turn around which just isn’t fun. You’ll also realise that after the first two missions the game has shown you everything it has to offer and there is nothing more to do.
This does make it lucky that the game only has 12 missions, though you will be under no compulsion to complete them. Rather than build upon the mechanics and tactics over time Space Hulk sits on its laurels too early on which combined with the slow movement makes the game seem gruelling and unenjoyable. You won’t put too much effort into sitting a terminator in a corridor and blasting anything walking towards you.
And so another game falls on its flaws just because they outnumber the number of positives heavily. The multiplayer function has such a poor interface setting up matches it’s a chore. Genestealer AI is a bit hit-and miss and they will sometimes act suicidal. There is not even a zoom function, so you are stuck at a set distance away from the action and removes any immersion of the experience.
This could have been an enjoyable new take on the Space Hulk game could have been there are just too many missing mechanics to make this enjoyable and too many poorly implemented mechanics to make up for the missing ones. Simple additions like skill progression or even a camera zoom could have added so much to this game. However this game is a poor version of what this game could have been and for such it gets a 1.0.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.