Space Hulk Tactics – Xbox One Review
Our Xbox One Review of Space Hulk Tactics
I’ve enjoyed the odd jaunt with the Space Marines in the 40k universe back since the days of Space Crusade released on the Amiga from the long vanished Gremlin Games, but none have ever really scratched the itch to bring back those memories, whether this game would remained to be seen.
Tactics is a nicely balanced game which gives you the option of playing as either the Blood Angels Space Marines or as the Genestealers, for anyone who has even scratched the surface of the Space Hulk world or the board game will know that the space marines are huge lumbering suits of metal armed to the teeth. This translates into the game with your soldiers moving very slowly and only having four movement points each turn.
Your turns are enhanced by using power cards which offer various boosts to your team or can be exchanged for additional squad movement points, used well these cards can shift the balance in your favour.
The space marines were my first choice to control, the tutorial teaches you the nuances of the game quite well but some of those nuances are quite irritating, the fact you have to use a movement point to turn your marine to face the direction you want is a major one along with the fact your Apothecary who has a passive ability to revive a fallen terminator will only do so if he is directly behind and facing them when they are killed, immediately nerfing the ability in my eyes.
You need to balance your team well to get to the objective within the turn limit without leaving your team exposed against running the turn limit tight and moving slowly to the objective covering all the tunnels that you may get attacked from, this leads to a wonderful tactical game as you pre-empt the Genestealers moves.
Transversely when you play as the Genestealers they are rapid, agile and brutal so you get a very different experience as you hunt the space marines and use the power cards to spawn more blips and try to overrun the Space Marines.
The game is fairly difficult at points and if your plan fails at just one point you can very quickly get picked off one by one, the Genestealers will get up close and personal and when they do they very rarely miss at disembowelling your troops.
Graphically the game really does the world justice and the level of small details that has gone into the models is brilliant, the action can be viewed from a first person or isometric perspective and while the first person looks great it is pretty pointless and I played all of my games in the isometric view.
Usually for this type of game the control system is written initially as a PC game and then adapted for release to consoles but the controls on the Xbox for this game are very good, once you learn them they become very intuitive and there are no real issues I can aim at the game, it seems the opposite for PC owners this time as it looks like the game was designed with consoles in mind and the PC controls we tacked on later which is almost unheard of.
Once you complete the campaigns in the game you also have access to a complete mission editor with a great level of customisation which will extend the life of the game further, along with the skirmish modes and quick play modes.
Other than the minor irritations within the game engine itself and some very minor things like the text being very small on a big screen this game is easily one of the best I’ve played in a very long time within the Space Hulk/40k world and is bordering on being a very good game, it just falls slightly sort, but for anyone who enjoys the that world or likes a good strategy game you can’t got far wrong with this one.
For the Emperor!
With thanks to Indigo Pearl for the review code
Developer: Cyanide Studio
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Twitter: @CyanideStudio / @FocusHome / @SHTactics