Survival Shooter in the Warhammer 40,000 Universe
It’s a grimdark and graphic MASTERPIECE. Based on the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game of the same name, Space Hulk: Deathwing is a co-op first person shooter set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. You and your terminator brothers assault a ‘space hulk’, a pile of derelict ships that have been Accumulating into one huge floating spaceship graveyard for millenia. Some of these ships are tens of thousands of years old, and it’s your job to go aboard and evaluate the potential for heresy! Eliminating threats along the way, and gathering relics are additional assigned duties. You get to play as Space Marines in Terminator suits from the Deathwatch, a Dark Angels sub chapter. GLORY TO THE EMPEROR!
Space Hulk: Deathwing Breakdown
You can pick up the game for $39.99 MSRP from anywhere Steam keys are sold. It is currently 40% off on steam, making it $23.99 and the Steam summer sale isn’t far off. Green Man Gaming commonly has 30% off sales, and clicking this link helps me out too. There are two game modes in Space Hulk, single-player and multiplayer. In the campaign, you play as a Librarian, and are accompanied by two AI Terminators. In the multiplayer mode you loosely follow the storymode, and with the help of up to three others, form a kill team to delve deep into the dreary ships of the space hulk Olethros. In the multiplayer you get to choose from additional classes, and each level has an additional ‘special missions’ mode which sets up random objectives so you never have the same experience twice. There are 9 chapters to play through across both game modes, and there are four levels of difficulty. During the singleplayer story playthrough of space hulk there are relics to find and collect. As each chapter/level begins, your progression and skill start over. You earn skills and weapon abilities by, you guessed it, gunning down genestealers and their ilk.
What Makes It Fun
Remember the amazing graphics I described earlier? Space Hulk: Deathwing is a non-stop visual eye candy store. I can max the settings to ultra and the flame effects are so intense! I can’t help but notice it every time. I’ve also gotten comments from viewers about how amazing the graphics are. I love the look of the terminators, and the gore is on level with DOOM. The ship and atmosphere is just as you’d expect it to look, dark and gothic. Perfect isn’t an exaggeration. The story is interesting too. Once I actually did try the campaign mode, I found myself completely wrapped up in the lore. The environment is even destructible to a certain degree. Bullet holes, exploding pipes and barrels, even xenos corpses explode when you step on a stray head. There’s a giant bell in the first level that chimes to the tune of your Storm Bolter. It’s a really nice touch. It’s a lot of the small things that reinforce the whole of the game.
What Makes It…Not
A lot less to like since my last review. I still don’t like that Space Hulk: Deathwing multiplayer has no progression. Your XP is wiped after every chapter, and you have to earn your skills and weapons all over again. Kinda feels silly to leave behind the new weapon that you just upgraded to, and forget the skills you learned not that long ago. Seriously, you’re literally just walking through a door to a new level. Your NPC terminator brothers in the singleplayer are complete rocks. You have to micromanage everything about them. Hordes of angry xenos coming at you, and you have to stop YOUR shooting so that your Apothecary stops HIS shooting, and walks over just to keep you up. Walking through doors is now one of the hardest things to accomplish in game. The NPCs block the doorway controls, literally blocking the panel so you can’t access it, or physically get to it yourself to do it. And you are having to manage this with hordes of screaming genestealers pouring in to kill all of you. Really, awful AI control mechanics. It’s basically just an auto follow.
The Bottom Line
The game is improving with each update. All of the major problems of connectivity before are completely gone as far as I can tell. I honestly couldn’t tell you what little bugs are left. There always seem to be enough people in queue to get a full group, though it does take a little bit longer than I’d like. This game has definitely earned a change to recommended. If the current sale prices hang around, and if the patches continue to deliver steady improvements, this will be a huge success story. I still haven’t managed to get a full group together for a multiplayer playthrough, so I’ve only managed to get a small taste of the story. I still dream of a cohesive group of Space Marine brothers, delving into the belly of the beast with bolt and flame in the name of the Emperor! So much so that I put together a tactics guide for Space Hulk Deathwing players. Check it out, then hit me up if you’re up to the challenge! This game still has plenty more in store, and I can only hope it gets the kind of updates and support that Vermintide did. If so, I think this’ll go down as one of the better Warhammer 40,000 games to date.