An epic turn based strategy game Space Hulk is set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. It is based on the best-selling board game. You play as a small squad of bulky heavily armed Space Marine Terminators. The Blood Angels chapter of the Space Marines are sent to cleanse a ship that has been infested with tyranid Genestealers. That ship is known as the Space Hulk.
The corridors of the ship are very narrow and it doesn’t help that the Terminators are big and bulky. You can only fit one Terminator through at a time in each corridor of the ship. Making the corridors that narrow doesn’t make any sense at all when you are doing a mission. Since they are so narrow you can’t place your Terminators side by side or in any formation other than a single file line. Which means that if you have them all lined up they can’t fire until the person in front of them is out-of-the-way. Ontop of that they move incredibly slow. That is another advantage the Genestealers have over the Terminators. The Genestealers can move a lot faster and aren’t as bulky.
One advantage the Terminators have over the Genestealers is the weaponry. The Genestealers have no weaponry at all or long-range attacks. The Terminators are loaded with a variety of weapons. Flame throwers, swords, fists, machine guns, and other attacks are all at your disposal. As I stated before Space Hulk is a turn based game. The great part is that you can take as long as you need to during your turn. It definitely takes time to strategize your plan of attack. When you start a mission it is your turn right off the bat. I played this game on the Wii U and having the map on the game pad during a mission came in handy big time.
I was constantly looking at the game pad to figure out where I should place the Terminators and check where the enemy was coming from. When you have figured out where to place the Terminators and what attacks they will use then you can end your turn. Once it is the enemy’s turn you see on the game pad where they are coming from on the map. If you pick the right attacks before the enemy’s turn you are pretty much screwed. Although the Genestealers don’t have weapons they can deal out lethal attacks. Depending on the mission objectives if one of your Terminators gets taken out you may have to do the mission all over again from the beginning.
I have to say that I didn’t like that at all. I did not like having to redo a mission all over again in a strategy turn based game like Space Hulk. In a game like this it sucks big time because it takes time to place your Terminators on the map, and time to figure out what attacks they will use. The thing is you have to figure this out ahead of time before the enemy’s turn. It isn’t easy to figure out what the enemy will do before they do it. Then if you guess wrong all your time, energy, and work all go down the drain. In other games where you have missions it isn’t that bad to have to redo it because you can freely move around as you please. There is no planning your moves like your playing Chess or a board game. Space Hulk severely lacks flexibility when it comes to movement. At times it felt like I was playing a digital version of the board game.
The game pad is put to good use in the Wii U version. You can use the game pad to zoom in and out on your TV screen, and use the joystick to move the camera anywhere you want on your TV screen. While you are playing you can see a first person view on your game pad and yet look at your TV screen and see a third person view at the same time. You can also access a map on your game pad as well. Each mission does have its own set of goals but the game play is pretty much the same in each mission. Each Terminator only has four action points. When those run out you can use command points. It is very easy to run out of points.
Another issue I had is that it took me time to figure out the controls and how the game actually worked. Unlike other console games that will show you what the controls are if you look on the menu this game did not. There were no tutorials of any kind to actually explain how you play, how the point system worked, and what attacks did what. If you have never played this game before or any game similar I highly suggest looking it up online on how to actually play the game. There are different game modes available and multiplayer.
The voice over narration is very well done. Having voice over narration with each mission was a nice touch. It gives the game a more dramatic effect. The game looks great as well. The art, menus, environments are nicely done. I was very relieved to see that they the graphics weren’t dated in any way even though the board game came out awhile ago. Space Hulk is not for everyone and does have blood in it. You do have to be a certain age in order to play it. The biggest problem with Space Hulk is that it just doesn’t play well at all. The gameplay blows and ruins it.
Space Hulk has a good story, great graphics, sound, narration, and missions. What ruins all of that it is overly difficult then what it needs to be, and gameplay. Once you die it takes time to get back into the swing of things then by that time any desire you had to redo the mission is gone. If you basically want to play a digital version of the board game then Space Hulk is for you. That’s exactly what this game is.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Wii U code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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