Monday, October 15, 2018

"Space Hulk: Tactics" Review

Developers have long struggled with the challenge of translating the mouse-and-keyboard tactical setup to consoles, to varying degrees of success. The numerous ideas included menu wheels, hot keys and busy HUDs, but no matter how effective the jury-rigging was, players always missed the original setup.

"Space Hulk: Tactics" -- a beloved spawn of the  "Warhammer 40,000" universe -- runs into the same problems. Despite the valiant efforts of the dev team at Cyanide Studios, every move, maneuver and scroll is just a whisper more tedious than it could be if you weren't bound by the rigors of analog sticks, buttons and bumpers.

Once you spend some time with the game, the distractions fade away and you can better appreciate the skill, vision and forethought that went into the mission design. Wearing its board game heritage proudly, the rich building, unit and weaponry selection, along with diverse environmental enhancements and commander boosts making no two encounters unfold the same way.

The campaigns are well-calibrated and intertwined, with an ongoing metagame that plays out apart from the mainline story, as well as a macro-map that shows you the overall progress. With a finely-tuned matchmaking system governing the conflict between the Terminator Space Marines and Genestealers alien race, the challengers are stiff, engrossing and numerous. And also present in the controls as well as  the code.

Publisher provided review code.

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