Space Hulk is the digital version of the classic Warhammer 40k board game of the same name. In the campaign, you take control of a squad of Space Marine Terminators as they start mounting an assault on the Tyranid Genestealers, who have managed to infest the abandoned Space Hulk. It’s a turn-based strategy game, so if you’ve played games like Shining Force, or Final Fantasy Tactics, you’ll have a pretty good idea as to what to expect. You take a turn, then the enemy takes a turn, action ensues (albeit slowly).
One thing you’ll notice when you first start playing is how nice the game looks. From the details of the Space Marines and Genestealers, whether on the board or close up when the fighting starts, to the lighting of the tight corridors you’re fighting through, everything looks great. As you lead your Space Marines through the tight quarters of the Space Hulk, you can give them a series of commands such as move, use a special attack, use a melee attack, or defend themselves, just to name a few examples. Giving your units a command will use up an action point, and once you’ve used up your action points, that units turn is over.
It’s here where some of the flaws of Space Hulk begin to show. Using an action point to fight or move makes sense, but using them just to turn around? That doesn’t seem right. I also found the overall pace of the game to be much slower than I was expecting. I could understand a slower pace in a multiplayer game, where both players are thinking between each move, but in a single player campaign? It should feel snappier. On the other hand, there is quite a bit of content available for the single player campaign. The only downside is that expanding your single-player experience means shelling out a lot of dough, as the DLC packs are priced between $2.99 and $4.99 (on top of the initial price of $9.99).
Despite some of its flaws, Space Hulk does show a lot of promise. The AI is very challenging, even on the normal difficulty, cross platform multiplayer is an addition I hope more games will incorporate down the line. Having the option to play against other people regardless of the platform they use is a nice touch, and it works well too. For fans of strategy games or Warhammer 40k lore, Space Hulk has a lot to offer, with a lengthy single player campaign and multiplayer options, there’s plenty of game here. However, for those new to the Warhammer series, the hefty price of admission and the slow pace may not keep your attention for very long.