The end of the year is closing in and one of the last games to judge before going through the annual best and worst of gaming was Space Hulk: Deathwing. As someone who loves the Warhammer 40k universe and doesn’t shy away from horde mode shooters I was looking forward for this game, but the long wait wasn’t really worth it.
Based on the expansion to the Space Hulk board game, Deathwing has a squad of terminators from the Dark Angels Chapter fighting hordes of genestealers in the vast complex of some old Imperium ships. Following on the lore of the 30th millennium and with a level design that represents the grandeur of the Imperium’s constructions and technology, the game stays true to the fluff using both board game’s concepts and Horusy Heresy books for that. For a 40k fan this could be a dream finally coming true, playing as a terminator, eradicating xenos and following on old and lost lore that only the readers know. But stepping onto video games territory, Space Hulk: Deathwing fails to deliver on key factors like gameplay, UI and optimization, falling short to what could have been. As fun and atmospheric is to explore the vastness of Imperium ships, which are basically flying monasteries that stand as testimony to the fanaticism of the mankind, as basic and unappealing the gameplay is.
As players take the role of a librarian leading a squad of terminators to face the tyranid threat that dwell in a Space Hulk from times long forgotten, they have to fight through hordes of genestealers or mutated humans and go toe to toe against Broodlords. This sound exciting, at first, but it gets old really fast because there are no elements to add depth to the gameplay to keep the entertainment level high enough while fighting the same enemies over and over again. The limited arsenal and psychic, the basic progression system and the annoyingly dumb friendly AI put a brake on everything that could be great about this game. It’s great that Deathwing stays true to the lore and the board game, but this isn’t an excuse for a poor melee combat implementation, the repetitive objectives or the unplayable multiplayer. Compromises should always be made to make sure the gameplay experience hold true to a video game not only its source material and such wasn’t the case here.
For what it is, Space Hulk: Deathwing is the best represantation of a game of this nature, but a lot of potential has been wasted here and if the Emperor of Mankind could still talk, he won’t hesitate to express his disappointment along with me. As a horde mode game with a sketchy multiplayer, Deathwing could be an enjoyable experience for the starved fans of the 40k universe, but it’s sad that has been resumed to nothing more than that…
|Burn the xenos?!|