New Space Hulk – A Review

As some of you may know Space Hulk was released this week, and for those young’uns among us, this will probably be their first foray into Space Hulk as a video game. However for the older gnarled veterans in the audience this is not the case. 17 or so glorious years ago when I was but a nipper I saved up my pocket money and bought Space Hulk for my PC (a PC which pales in comparison to my phone these days). This was back when you used to be able to go into a number of high-street shops and browse shelves and shelves of boxes that were giant compared to the CDROM they contained – ahhh nostalgia.

Anyway I digress, a new Space Hulk game is out, not heard about it? Well you suck – watch this video and enjoy:

First Impressions

So unlike the previous game this is top-down rather than first person shooter. This to my mind at least makes the game truer to it’s board game heritage. A nice little nod to the previous title are the helmet cams – whenever you select and move a terminator in the top right of the screen is a little ‘terminator-eye-view’ where you can see the Sin of Damnation Space Hulk in all its grim-dark loveliness.

In Game View

Nitty Gritty

Space Hulk is a great board game, well designed and accessible not only to warhammer geeks, but also the casual board gamer. This translation stays true to its roots, including the same rule set behind the scenes and even allowing you to play through the 12 mission campaign from the older board game.

Just like the board game each terminator has a pool of action points, this really ramps up pressure you feel when you know there is something behind that door – what do you do? Open it an blaze away or back up to a safe distance and prepare overwatch?

Gameplay

In terms of usability the game isn’t too bad – it’s not great, but it works. The UI is simple and easy to access, the main stumbling point for me (at least on the version I played for the mac) is moving the view around the map. I found that rather than being able to scroll up to Brother Noctis who was cut off way over in the top corner I had to rotate the view until I found him. Another thing that would have been useful was the ability to zoom in and out. You can switch to a ‘command view’ where you see a simplified ‘map’ with all the elements marked on it, but I’d have liked the ability to shift between the two at times and see more than my current selected terminator and ~8-10 squares either side. That all being said the game is still very playable.

Graphics aren’t amazing, but they do the job. I’m a firm believer that the game play makes the game, not the graphics but on initial viewings the game does seem a little dated.

The Verdict

I like it, the graphics aren’t the best, the UI could be improved and the price is possibly a little on the high side – but it’s still pretty immersive. The game does a great job of capturing the 40k techno gothic aesthetic, the terminators move like big clunky behemoths and there is a genuine danger you may poo a little when that door explodes in a horde of six limbed alien beasts you just want to give you a nice deep tongue kiss…

So yeah, good not great but if you like the board game and like me never get a chance to actually play it this is a sound investment. What are you thoughts? Played and enjoyed or thing it s big waste of cash? Leave a comment below:

Martin

By day a mild mannered Web Designer from Swindon, by night a horder and shaper of bits in his mad kit bash laboratory.