Warhammer 40k: Deathwatch is a turn based strategy game developed and published by Rodeo Games for Mobile devices, PC and PS4. Deathwatch throws you right into the centre of the action, using the most elite space marines from each chapter, to battle the universes most fearsome creatures – the Tyranids. Will this game be a blessing to the imperium? or will it just be disregarded like old Ork weapons? lets see!
The story in Deathwatch is a simple one. You are the Deathwatch kill team, a Squad made up of each chapters most elite warriors, and you are tasked with ridding the earth of the Tyranids. This is the only story you are given, if you can call it a story, and any additional information that you may need to know about the game can be discovered through the lore or the codex (as its called in game) Unless you are a hard-core Warhammer 40K fan then the lore and possibilities to create your own renditions of the story can be endless.
Visually when you first start Deathwatch your left abit puzzled and feeling like the graphics are abit low quality due to the darkness of each level. However, once you get in to it you notice that the models of both space marines and Tyranids are done reasonably well – which you should expect as its running on the unreal graphics engine! The mission areas are also very well done in my opinion. They are dark and eerie enough to help bring a real sense of immersion to the game, especially the Tyranid lair areas with living barriers to break through!
Outside of the main gameplay the only other real graphical area is when you are viewing your Space Marines. They all have a lovely depth to them and a fair amount of detail. Whether it be a Space Wolf pelt hanging from his armor or the gemstones scattered across a veteran Blood Angel, they are a treat to look at – Especially for a collector of the miniatures. Unfortunately you don’t see this level of detail in game, however its nice to have a visual of the troops and an overall view of what they all look like as a squad!
The audio in this game isn’t the best but it isn’t terrible. You have your average forgettable sound tracks throughout the experience, as well as a variety of typical sound effects such as weapons firing, the sound of armor moving and the scuttling of aliens. However none of these seem to excel. One part of the audio I particularly enjoyed was the skits and the banter that the space marines have with one another throughout the missions. I felt that this helped me connect more to each of my marines, which in turn quickly led to me having an elite squad of my five favorites.
Now on to the gameplay! It controls much like any other turn based strategy game. You have your squad of five marines spawn at a set location and you move each member individually and attack with each member individually to try and complete the objective – be it reach a point, take out a boss or blow up a bridge. Unfortunately this is all there is to the general gameplay as it all plays the same. Once missions are completed you will receive some loot that can be equipped to one of your team and you also earn card packs and currency to buy more card packs. These can provide you with new equipment, new weapons and even new marines. All these receivable rewards come in varying rarity, roman numeral I being the lowest and V being top tier.
As well as loot, your marines also receive global experience throughout the missions from killing enemies. The killer receives the full amount of exp where as the rest of your team only receive a certain percentage. Exp in this game is used to level up one of your marines three stats, these are health, accuracy and crit chance. However you can also use exp to purchase unique abilities for each marine and additional gear slots so you can increase your arsenal on the battlefield
The gameplay in Deathwatch is enjoyable at most due to several bugs and anomalies. The first I will mention is the basic control around the menus. This is done with the analogue stick only, which means no d-pad control. This isn’t a major problem, however several times I found myself accidentally going right as opposed to down but this may just be down to me as a gamer. The second problem I have is that on several occasions the game just flat out crashed and took a while to reboot. Whilst this is obviously a problem, the game remembers where you left off so no progress is ever lost. This is highly convenient for those who want to play for ten minutes then turn it off as the game is almost putting itself into sleep mode!
The final problem i found is that on several occasions after performing an action with a marine they’d bug out and continue repeating the action animation even though no action was issued. For example I shot a tyranid with my bolter and for the remainder of the mission he was stuck in the animation with bullets flying everywhere and the constant sound of shooting. This was quickly solved by exiting the game and rebooting.
Overall I really enjoyed my time with Deathwatch. As I am a long time Warhammer collector, I really got into it and felt I had a connection with each marine and knew each of their roles and what they excelled at. However, for those who aren’t into collecting the miniatures, it is still a solid and enjoyable turn based strategy game with enough to keep you busy for a while.
Now the biggest problem with this game is that it is essentially a port of the IOS version. For me personally, I’d choose the IOS version over this one any day. Everything is the same, from missions to marine customisation – also to me personally the IOS version looks sharper and is more pick up and play wherever you are. But the major factor to why I prefer and recommend the IOS version is simply the price. Deathwatch on PS4 retails for £45, whereas the IOS version retails for around £2.
Warhammer 40K: Deathwatch (Playstation 4) - 7/10
- Handy pick up where you left off mechanic
- Plenty of replay-ability due to varying difficulties
- highly enjoyable Turn based Strategy game for any Warhammer lover
- Its essentially a port of the mobile version
- Camera control and general menu navigation can be troublesome
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