Space Hulk: Deathwing is based off the popular Space Hulk series set in the Warhammer 40k universe, having some mixed releases throughout the years, this title aims to keep your boots firmly stuck up the alien scum’s behind and make a name for it’s self. Worthy of the Emperor? Read on to find out!.
As the name Space Hulk: Deathwing states, you play as the Deathwing unit exploring various sized “Space Hulks”, I won’t be delving into the lore, all you need to know is your team are donning giant “Terminator” armour and clearing out alien scum is kind of your thing!.
The story in Space Hulk: Deathwing is interesting if you put the effort in, there is a lot to learn about the world, the characters and even the enemies. The game does have a habit of being more show than tell but I have always found something captivating about the mix of Sci-Fi & gothic/fantasy culture which permeates this universe.
The graphics of Space Hulk: Deathwing are a mixed bag of stunning and shoddy. The game runs on the Unreal 4 engine, rather shakily on consoles but still has the capacity to stun the player. The Space Hulks themselves are dark foreboding entities which are just as much of a character as the main cast. The graphics do a sterling job of mixing Aliens style sci-fi with horror movie cult iconography.
Unfortunately it’s not all black coloured roses, the engine seems to have some major issues on the Playstation 4 (as a note I reviewed this on a Standard PS4), Sometimes the textures don’t load in quick enough, there was times when the textures would flicker which was quite distracting and when there is a big horde, the game starts to chug along, this last one is a biggie when dealing with a game centred around the concept of taking down Alien hordes!.
The audio side of Space Hulk: Deathwing is not slouch, everything sounds spot on, the voice acting is well done and the sound of the weapons is fantastic, bonus mention to the hulking sound of your armour thundering down the metallic walkways.
Space Hulk: Deathwing, unlike the previous Space Hulk game which was much closer to the tabletop game, this one is a First Person Shooter. Honestly I love the move to this genre as nothing could be cooler than being the highest tier of Space Marine, exploring ancient Space Hulks and blasting the Genestealer scum into itty bitty bits!.
Fortunately to help you clean these giant floating crypts out is your teammates, these will ponder around blasting anything that moves and for the most part are fairly capable, unless you run into a turret, then they crumble. You’re also able to issue your team commands, this is necessary if you want to see the end of the game. Unfortunately this brings up one of the biggest problems I had with the game, the janky, angry, controls!.
Outside of basic controls just as aiming and the like, issuing commands & checking your map never feels quite as natural as I’d of liked. For example it took me 3 of the 9 levels to totally get used to how to issue a heal command and I still press the Touch Pad to see the map, thus wasting one of my Psygate trips!. The core gameplay of exploring and shooting the Genestealer scum is satisfying but some could find it a little repetitive. The campaign is 9 missions which have quite substantial length, the general objective of all of them is to reach an area, kill some Aliens, get home. It’s not diverse but I didn’t really expect it to be.
The game is at it’s best when you’re thundering down a corridor and your radar picks up movement, then it becomes a tense game of trying to figure out where danger will strike from, decide if it’s just one or a horde and how best to tackle it, moments like this make the game feel special and what kept me through the campaign. The game also features online multiplayer in which you can pick a certain class and team up with other players to tackle the campaign and/or the new Special Missions, these are new randomly generated missions exclusive to the Enhanced edition of the game alongside one of the playable classes.
Much like the graphics I also struggled with a few gameplay bugs, poor path finding, enemies falling through the floor and even several blue screen crashes which caused me much frustration as it was at the very end of a mission I hadn’t saved in!.
When it boils down to it, I did enjoy my time with Space Hulk: Deathwing and I’m convincing other people to pick up the game for multiplayer, I’m a fan of the older shooters so the lack of diversity in regards to objective really didn’t bother me, the lack of overall polish unfortunately did.
Hopefully the issues can be patched but as it stands the game is horribly rough in point and rarely keeps a consistent frame rate in between crashes, when it works it’s a fantastic & tense shooter it’s just a shame it’s not quite all there.