Space Hulk (2013)
Space Hulk is a video game adaption of the board game created by Games Workshop and developed by Full Control. Space Hulk is notable for being a faithful adaption to the titular board game........And by faithful, we mean its basically a copy and paste of Third Edition Space Hulk with the same rules, mechanics and missions. Except its a video game. It even shows you your dice rolls in the chat window.
The games setting is during the Sin of Damnation Campaign where once upon a time, the entire Blood Angels Chapter decided to go a cleanse the Space Hulk of the xenos filth, only to hilariously get decimated with only 51--wait, scratch that, 50 Blood Angels surviving. Six centuries later, The Sin of Damnation returns from the warp and 80 Blood Angels terminators arrive to finish what they started.
- The fact that we have a Space Hulk video game after more than a decade. Sure, we have Alien Assault, but this is an actual SH game.
- The option for customization in your Termies.
- An over the shoulder camera view that adds atmosphere.
- The over the shoulder camera view is useful if you know how to use it, and a great little piece of atmosphere if you don't.
- The graphics are not that crappy.
- The fact that the devs actually support the game and interact with their community.
- One of the DLC campaigns was 100% free.
- The creation of Ascension, a standalone expansion that adds a FUCKload to the base game.
- As mentioned above, a copy pasted game with no new interesting features.
- The devs want to change this in the upcoming Space Wolves campaign, since our furry friends will have fewer guns and thus slightly different rules for CC. They've also teased "biomorphs" for the genestealers. Of course, Ascension delivered on this and then some.
- The over the shoulder camera view that whilst is a cool feature is ultimately useless. Besides, those who enjoy it for atmosphere get a little disappointed because it stays in the corner of the screen. Just giving the option to make it full view while a turn was playing out would have made a WORLD of difference.
- Notably, Ascension adds the ability to expand it out to fill a little more of the screen (but you still need the overhead for giving commands.)
The Terminators taking an awful lot of time moving or changing direction. Fixed as of patch 1.2. Of course, you can make it a little faster... if you can stomach the sight of swiftly-waddling Terminators.
- Bolters that don't sound like Bolters. It got a little better after a patch, but not by much.
- The fact that the game is $30 when it could have had a more reasonable price of $10 to $15 (as Total Biscuit pointed out).
Various bugs and glitches.These are continuously being patched. See 'Devs that support the game'
- Terminators hilariously missing genestealers even if they are at close range. We'd let this slide (the board game has the same mechanics) if the 'stealers had more than one single solitary dodging animation: a lazy little crouch.
- They even use the ducking animation to signify that your Heavy Flamer missed somehow.
- This is addressed in Ascension, where you can see various factors that go into a Terminator's chance to hit. For example a terminator who has fired immediately before (either this turn or on overwatch last genestealer turn) gets bonuses to hit for sustained fire.
- Awful performance on even the most powerful machines - seriously, how is it possible to fuck up optimisation this badly?
November 2014 marked the release of a sequel called Space Hulk: Ascension. It was originally titled "Ascension Edition", but the devs dropped that word when they realized their DLC had slowly morphed into a completely different game. The engine is almost completely rehauled, now more of a squad-based RPG rather than a dice-centered board game. The Termie roster was expanded to include the Space Wolves and Ultramarines, your forces have a customizable loadout including unique weapons, perks, and even the ability to use a Librarian in your team for any mission. Similarly, Genestealers also gained the ability to use biomorphs in the same capacity. Whereas the original game merely just slapped the tabletop game into a videogame, this is now making a game both faithful and incredibly different with its new developments.
First huge add-on: special perks and tools that make your guys a little better, make the game a little easier and generally just take the heat off you. This ranges from little things like taking longer for storm bolters to jam to huge game-breakers like Heavy Flamers with 8 shots per mission. Additionally, as you Terminators get kills they can level up and get stat boosts; of course, if one of them dies then everything you invested in the dead Terminator is lost but that's all the more reason to keep as many of them alive as you can.
Each chapter has their own perks and special abilities, as well as some unique gear:
- Ultramarines get +5% accuracy at range, but -5% in melee, and get access to the Cyclone Missile Launcher. However, they have no melee Terminators and their Sergeants can't use Lightning Claws or a Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield.
- Space Wolves get the inverse bonuses and can't use ranged Terminators, and get access to Frost Weapons, which are marginally better versions of the melee weapons.
- Blood Angels get no chance to hit adjustments, but get bonus focus points allowing the player the do more with their librarians each turn.They also get a whole bunch of psychic powers only they can use.
Also, later updates to the game added variant patterns of weapons that give bonuses to certain things and penalties to others; like storm bolters that are more accurate but generate more heat, or that have better heat control but less ammo capacity, meaning you can tailor your terminators to do more specific jobs in the field.
On the opposing side, the 'stealers get their own perks in the form of biomorphs, such as exploding into pools of acid when they die to using flesh hooks to pull Termies into melee range. Broodlords also get to use psychic powers, since the Librarian is available for every mission (save for the DLC Imperial Fists, who can't use Librarians).
There is a campaign for each chapter, though nothing prevents the player from running through the campaigns of other chapters in any order, levelling up their Terminators before moving onto another mission of their choosing, and the campaigns have branching choices that can lead to different missions later, though generally the plot is a bit thin with little narrative beyond the mission briefings.
There have been three DLC campaigns released so far, as well as an extra mode that randomly generates a series of maps independently from the campaigns:
- The Imperial Fists who get improved melee defense, have storm bolters that overheat less often, and can use the Tarantula sentry turret, but do not get access to Librarians.
- The Salamanders, who are fireproof, get their own bonus psychic powers, and can have two heavy flamer terminators per squad (usually limited to one), and can use an extra flamer template. Additionally, their campaign adds new features such as rotating bridges and firewalls that can destroy parts of a map.
- The Dark Angels, who start with higher than normal stats, gain access to Plasma Cannons for their Heavies, and have exclusive access to Apothecaries as a replacement for either Sergeants or Librarians, which can buff allies' stats and can use a combi-melta or combi-plasma in addition to the standard storm bolter.