Space Hulk: Deathwing

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Space Hulk: Deathwing
Developer(s) Streum on studio, Cyanide
Publisher(s) Focus Home Interactive
Engine Unreal Engine 4
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Windows
  • WW: December 14, 2016
PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2017
Genre(s) First-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Space Hulk: Deathwing is a first-person shooter developed by Streum On Studio with assistance from Cyanide and published by Focus Home Interactive. The game is set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe and based upon the strategy board game Space Hulk. The game was released in December 14, 2016 on PC and will be released in early 2017 for consoles.

Premise[edit]

In Space Hulk: Deathwing, the player is a Librarian of the Dark Angels 1st company of Space Marines.[1] Librarians, unlike other Space Marines, can use the power of the Warp, also known as the The Immaterium.[2] The Librarians use traditional weaponry of the Space Marines, such as the Bolter and Power Swords, but also use their psychic might against their foes.[1] One such psychic ability that some librarians can use is Hellfire, which sends fire coursing through the enemy. As such, Librarians are highly respected by their brethren.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 60/100[3]
Review scores
Publication Score
GameSpot 4/10[5]
IGN 6.4/10[4]
PC Gamer (UK) 60/100[6]

Critical reception for the PC version has been mixed, holding a score of 60 on Metacritic.[3] Reviewers have criticised the game for numerous bugs, a lack of polish and optimization, clunky menus, poor AI, and a lackluster story.

TJ Hafer, reviewing the game for IGN, said that "The glorious moments of fervent xeno-purging are too fleeting, and often left me standing in dark corridors, surrounded by my slain foes, looking for any kind of context or sense of lasting accomplishment . . . [Despite] a lot of potential for simple, squad-based fun in multiplayer, it never moves beyond being a stripped-down and poorly running prototype for the kind of game I wish it had been."[4] Gamespot's Brett Todd especially criticised the game's AI and menus, noting that "For every impressive set piece and “wow” moment in combat, there are a dozen befuddling rules or mechanics that make you scratch your head in disbelief. . . AI Space Marines are prone to shuffling in place, turning their backs on attacking enemies right in their faces, and standing in the middle of doorways when you’re trying to seal off a room full of aliens . . . [They] don’t do anything on their own, either. You have to tell your apothecary marine to patch himself up when his health is low—otherwise he just lets himself die. A radial order menu allows you to give rudimentary commands like Follow, Defend, and Heal, but it’s impossibly clunky to use during combat unless your Deathwing trooper has a deathwish."[5] Tom Mendelsohn of Ars Technica took the game to task for its dense, lore-heavy storyline, writing that "Sometimes you stomp through duct systems and cramped reactor cores, and sometimes you let rip in massive stone cathedrals erected to the decrepit god-emperor of humanity . . . But all this atmosphere is nothing without context. The game dumps you in the thick of it, with a minimum of exposition. This isn't always a bad thing, but in Deathwing players are bombarded with references that must be absolutely baffling for anyone without a childhood spent poring through Games Workshop codices."[7]

In contrast, the game's level design, atmosphere, and graphics have been positively received. Brett Todd noted that "Deathwing thankfully nails the look and atmosphere of the Warhammer 40,000 universe. It's loaded with visual fan service like massive cathedrals, dissected bodies in laboratories, and humans wired into power systems. Everything is just as baroque and bloody as it ought to be, making for one of the most authentic video game interpretations of Warhammer 40,000's striking aesthetic." Tom Mendelsohn similarly praised the atmosphere of the game, as well as its non-linear level design. The game's combat has also been mostly well received, with many reviews comparing it favorably to games such as Left 4 Dead and Killing Floor.[4][7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Codex: Space Marines, 7th edition. Games Workshop. 2015. ISBN 978-1782537472. 
  2. ^ Warhammer 40,000 rulebook 6th edition. Games Workshop. 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Space Hulk: Deathwing (pc)". Metacritic. Retrieved January 11, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c Hafer, TJ. "Space Hulk: Deathwing Review". IGN. IGN. Retrieved December 31, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Todd, Brett. "Space Hulk: Deathwing Review". Gamespot. Gamespot. Retrieved December 31, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Space Hulk: Deathwing Review". PC Gamer. Retrieved January 11, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Mendelsohn, Tom. "Space Hulk: Deathwing review: In the year 40,000, there are only bugs". Ars Technica. Ars Technica. Retrieved December 31, 2016. 
  8. ^ Boonen, Sven. "Space Hulk: Deathwing Does the Warhammer Franchise Proud". Twinfinite. Twinfinite. Retrieved December 31, 2016.