"Inside the Sanctum Imperator these impious creatures will find much to conceal their whereabouts and movements. Be on your guard, brothers"
The above is the opening line to the recently released 17ish minutes of gameplay footage taken from the Space Hulk: Deathwing PC game that will soon be released. The video of this gameplay can be found here and the image below is a screen capture of part of said video.
From the outset, the game comes across as a vast labyrinthine maze riddled with genestealers, genestealer hybrids and monstrous tyranid creatures. Almost from the outset the growls of the creatures can be heard in the background and that sets the ambience and purpose of the game straight from the word go.
The player appears to control a Deathwing Librarian. Initially, he is armed with a force sword and a storm bolter. But in later play, it becomes evident that he can trade these in for other armaments. Imagine, for instance, a Librarian armed with an assault cannon and a power fist. No problem for this computer game at all -- you get to have your cheese (and cake) and eat it here! Nice!
The video shows that as battle carries on, various portions of the terminator armour become more damages (see the centre right of the screenshot) and it is entirely possible for other members of the team (which in this video appear to be computer controlled, but can be given basic commands by the player characters) to get injured and even die during the missions. Luckily there is an apothecary with the main player character it seems!
Navigating the space hulk and twiddling doors open, closed and locked is all part of the tactics that can be employed here. But the thing is: given that you can execute pincer movement on the genestealers also means that they're going to try to do the same on you. I think this is evident at a number of critical junctures in the gameplay where the enemies come from multiple directions all at once.
The variety of bad guys is decent. Ranging from the hack and slash of the rapidly moving purestrain genestealers, through to the very ranged hybrids that tote missile launchers, and the large big bad guy tyranid monsters at the end of one of the levels (plus enemy psykers) makes for a potent mix. The space hulk itself is vast and almost more like a city than a spacecraft. I guess that's the point though!
The gameplay looks good with a nice combination of first person shooter style coupled with hack and slash of swords and power fists in addition to beautiful and potent psyker abilities employed by the main player character. The orders given to squad mates appear to be executed very nicely with the computer artificial intelligence appearing to do a rather good job of things.
In terms of negatives, I thought that the repetitive nature of squad members declaring that there is a missile launcher up ahead was annoying. Very annoying. At least, I think it would get on my nerves a lot if I played this game for a while. If only they could have more and different dialogue recorded for the game it would not grate on me as much I think.
There are some features that I don't quite fully understand either yet -- in terms of resource management and upgrading various bits and pieces. I guess that will become more apparent when the game gets fully released on Dec 9th 2016.
Overall, looks good, wish the dialogue was more, and more varied, and seems like it'll be decently challenging.