Thanks to HOPLITE for the review code
Title: SPACE HULK
System: Wii U (eShop)
Release date: 01/14/2016
The main game/story
Based off of the complicated Warhammer strategy game, this is a port of the video game adaptation of the board game of the same name. Confused yet? If so, then you’ve been pretty much the same way that I have been for the past six months now. Anyways, when it comes to the plot, you are in command of a group of Space Marine Terminators, who must destroy the Genestealers! Really a simple plot of good guys versus bad guys, but there is a bit of an overarching plot to the whole thing.
One thing many folks pointed out when I recorded this game for my Gameplay Footage series is that the overall visuals are dark, and I mean really dark. If you have a composite setup similar to that of the one I used for the video, then good luck being able to see anything in this game. Thankfully its a bit better on an HD TV, and there are some settings to mess around with as well. Unfortunately, there isn’t any off-TV play that I could find in this title, but thankfully instead of the gamepad simply going blank, you get a nifty first person perspective of your current character, which is a pretty clever use of the Gamepad.
Music and Sound
Outside of a few themes in menus, Space Hulk barely has much of a soundtrack to speak of, with the battles only consisting of ambience as their background noise. This is probably to make the surroundings feel desolate and isolated, but in all honesty it ends up making the game feel empty, especially when you know there are enemies nearby, making the lack of in-battle music even more noticeable when you go to attack. There is some voice acting here and there, and the voices would sound decent if it wasn’t for the deepen effect that they added to them, presumably to give the characters an almighty robotic feel.
When it comes to the gameplay, newcomers may be put off at first due to the seemingly complex tasks at hand. You have Ability Points to monitor, along with making sure to keep an eye on the Genestealers and prepare for when they spawn. However, once you get the hang of the basics and learn each of the Terminators’ commands, it ends up being an assortment of “Defeat enemies, go to a certain location” missions. After a while, the game does begin to drag and feel very repetitive really quickly, but thankfully there is another fun part of the game that I found more engaging; the multiplayer mode. In this fun mode, one person controls the Terminators while the other controls the Genestealers, essentially making it a one-on-one confrontation where both sides have to plan accordingly to ambush the other. Out of the time I spent with the game, I had a lot more fun playing the local multiplayer with a buddy than the main campaign, although I do wish the multiplayer had online support.
In conclusion, Space Hulk is a game not for the faint of heart. Folks who expect an easy to adapt strategy RPG will find a game with a surprising amount of depth to it, and more than worth the high price tag, especially if you have a buddy around to play the multiplayer with. However if you’re unsure about the title or worry it’ll be too complicated for you, then it’s probably better to wait for a sale. I know I was unsure for a long while on how to even analyze this game, but after a while I decided that simply confessing to this big learning curve was mandatory. Fans of Warhammer may find things to like, but others may be unsure. I give Space Hulk a 5 out of 10, and only recommend it to hardcore fans of the board game or folks interested in the multiplayer mode.