You know, Warhammer games have an odd history of being hit and miss. Because some of them are exceptional like the Dawn of War series, while others are anything but great…Truth be told though, it’s mainly the mobile phone ports that have found their way to console have been somewhat disappointing...And “Space Hulk: Deathwing” also had a lukewarm reception when it initially released on PC a few years back, it lacked replay value along with some other issues with a 6/10 rating on Steam.
However, the game is back in business again with it’s “Enhanced Edition” release, there’s new customization options, special missions to undertake, a brand-new class and other enhancements which is a free update for those that already own the PC version. Nevertheless, this is Deathwing’s first outing on console, specifically PlayStation 4 as the Xbox version was unfortunately canned just a month before release. So, the big question is, does it live up to the Emperor’s name?
Now for the uninitiated if you don’t know what a Space Marine Terminator is, imagine a man with busses strapped to him as armour using a car for a gun that fires micro missiles. I’m not exaggerating either, because you’re basically a heavily armored bad ass, one of the most bad-ass badasses in the Universe. As a matter of fact, you’re built for one thing, to purge, destroy and eliminate any threat in the name of the Holy Emperor. After spending several hours blasting Xeno’s, I had come to the conclusion that this is the game “Alien Colonial Marines” should have been!
It’s the hard truth, because “Warhammer 40K Deathwing Enhanced Edition” does frantic combat better than any other Alien franchised-game released in the past. Tight corridors, big guns, molten lead and righteous fury are all key here, and there are moments where it’s utterly glorious. You can play solo campaign with two AI companions or online with unique classes with the other players, the latter being more enjoyable.
So, what about the game’s missions then? Well, each mission will have you activating terminals, hunting down signals, destroying nests and holding positions. Despite your hulking amour and weaponry, the enemy is cunning, fast and very deadly. Tyranids are the main threat in Deathwing, and they attack with lethal ferocity. So much so that a group of unprepared Terminators can be torn down in seconds.
In other words, it’s here where team-work is a must, there are six classes to choose from Librarian, Heavy Weapon Speciality, Assault Speciality, Apothecary, Tactical Speciality and Interrogator-Chaplin. It’s with these classes you need to use carefully. You see, a team of four is nothing without the Apothecary, Tactical and Chaplin classes, as they can restore fallen team mates. The others offer various buffs.
It then all comes down to the arsenal of weapons, from Bolters to Heavy Flamers, all of which can be customised to increase firepower, accuracy, reliability and to look generally bad ass. To do this you need to Earn Renown, each time you level up you get a random item and some currency to spend on weapon upgrades, buffs, cosmetics and perks for your character.
Visually, the game also looks brilliant. The detail on the Terminators looks incredible, right down to the armour variants. They actually look good enough to grind for. Furthermore, the Tyranids are well designed as well, as they run towards you, they can cause sheer panic if you’re caught off guard, they charge, climb and jump to get an advantage over you making firefights feel dynamic.
As for the game itself, “Space Hulk: Deathwing” comes alive with thanks to its murky corridors and huge open spaces that look awe-inspiring. The sound design is a different story though, if anything it’s the weakest part of the game. I mean, it’s not that the game’s voice acting is all that bad. No, instead it’s the sound effects themselves that is the problem. Why? Because there is no echo, despite being in some huge areas, sound doesn’t travel like you’d expect. I would also like to point out that the shrieking of some Xenos is just repetitive and annoying rather than intimidating.
Other than that, some sound effects seem utterly basic too, when you smash through a door, it sounds like something from 90s, just a few iron clunks. Weapon fire, on the other hand, sounds very satisfying, but as a whole the sound design has a lot left to be desired.
Of course, along with some sound issues, there are other problems that I came across while playing the game, and most of those problems has mainly to do with online. For the few days, (I had the game before release) I was treated to some quiet lobbies where I was able to enjoy the game with ease. However, on the release day, there were some huge issues on the front…
I was being disconnected from games constantly, and that was if I was lucky enough to enter one. This problem has persisted days after launch, which has thwarted my enjoyment of the game. While the gameplay is solid, some of the missions seem to go on a bit too long, and you’ll likely spend a good amount of time just wandering from A to B. Nevertheless, when things kick off the action is intense.
So in overall, Deathwing can be a fun game when it works right, there’s some insanely intense firefights that feel like something straight out of James Cameron’s Aliens. However, the online side of things needs a lot of work. As the constant disconnects can test one’s patience. So while there is a single player mode, the AI is much to be admired, because compared to the many other 40K titles on the market, this is one of the better games.
Simply put, “Space Hulk: Deathwing Enhanced Edition” is a mixed bag of an FPS game, but it could still be worthy of a try once the price goes down for the PS4.
+ Intense Combat
+ Cool customization Options
+ Great Visuals
– Sound design could be better
– Servers aren’t good enough
– Some missions overstay their welcome.
Replay value: 4/5
Space Hulk: Deathwing Enhanced Edition is a mixed bag of a FPS game with no doubt, because for every positive there’s a negative. Nevertheless, the game is a solid Co-Op shooter when it works. So my advice would be for people to pick it up when it’s cheap, and then blast some Xenos away with a couple of friends when the servers have calmed down.
Title: Warhammer Deathwing Enhanced edition
Developer: Streum On Studio
Format: PS4, PC (format reviewed, PS4)
Release date: 2018-05-21
Difficulty: Medium to Emperor Protect us
Spent time: +12 hours
Average grade internationally: 50.71% Gamerankings.com
PEGI age rating: Pegi +18
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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