A Grown-Up Post About Space Hulk

By Alec Meer on December 11th, 2012 at 2:00 pm.

I was under the impression that my announcement post about the new PC adaptation of Games Workshop boardgame Space Hulk yesterday was as comprehensive as can be, but it transpires that I may have overlooked a minor detail or two. For instance, what type of game it is, who’s making it and how it will work. Allow me to fill in these tiny gaps now.

OK. So we’re looking at an ostensibly faithful digital recreation of the boardgame rather than the conceptual adaptation of the early 90s team-based shooters. It’s turn-based strategy and it’s going to have two-person multiplayer – so, true to the source material, one player will be in charge of Space Marine Terminators and the the other controlling the rapidly-spreading horde of Genestealers.

For the uninitiated HERETIC SCUM, the basic setup of the game is genetically modified supermen exploring derelict spacecraft and attempting to cleanse them of not-at-all Aliens-inspired extraterrestrial monsters. It’s incredibly tense, the death toll is reliably high and the Terminators’ heavy armour and powerful weapons are terrifyingly inefficient at helping them survive the Genestealer onslaught.

The very good thing is that it is deffo happening on PC. The mildly worrying thing is that it also happening on iOS and will offer cross-platform multiplayer, so there’s a risk of compromise, perhaps. That said, the number of times I’ve read someone promising cross-platform play then eventually saying ‘actually we couldn’t make it work’ is enormous, so we’ll see.

The game will be based on the third edition of Space Hulk (that being the now rare as hen’s teeth 2009 version), and specifically its “Sin of Damnation” campaign. This will be interpreted as 12 singleplayer or co-operative missions. Co-op too then, eh?

On dev duties are one Full Control Studios, a Danish outfit whose earlier work I’m not familiar with and thus can offer you no opinions on. Other than that they’re from Copenhagen and I thought Copenhagen was a good place when I visited it last year. “Tactical Soldier – Undead Rising” and “Frontline Tactics” are the main entries in the back catalogue, and one thing we can take from them is that Full Control incline towards turn-based strategy/tactics.

And that’s pretty much all there is to know for now. There’s a website, but all it has is the trailer and a different coloured version of the image above. The game’s out next year and hopefully there’ll be more to prove it isn’t heresy that must be burned before too long.

Oh, one thing that gives me more confidence in the tonal faithfulness of this project than perhaps it should – check out their social media buttons:

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134 Comments »

  1. luukdeman111 says:

    SPACEFACE!

  2. caddyB says:

    Serve the Emperor today, tomorrow you may be dead.

  3. gibb3h says:

    Nice touch with the buttons there *nod*

  4. f1x says:

    Their previous games are a bit normal / bad, but hopefully they can redeem themselves with this one

  5. pakoito says:

    The marketing 3D render looks very….mobile.

  6. uh20 says:

    sounds like gear-up, they promise cross platform eventually, but the beta’s are windows only

  7. Sleepymatt says:

    I come to RPS to escape such self-indulgent informative verbosity.

    SPACE HULK! SPACE HULK! SPACE HULK! etc.

  8. Frosty840 says:

    That said, the number of times I’ve read someone promising cross-platform play then eventually saying ‘actually we couldn’t make it work’ is enormous, so we’ll see.

    Well, that’s true, but this will be a turn-based game. multi-platforming that should be as simple as uploading turns to a server on machine 1, and downloading them to machine 2 in order to view that turn and post your reply.

    I hope they can make this a success, and then to get some of GW’s other straight “board” games onto computers. Simulating tabletop is a nightmare. Simulating something with a simple coordinate-based grid and horizontal/vertical interaction/movement rules? Easy stuff. The Gollops managed to get stuff like that working on even clunky old Amiga hardware…

  9. cwoac says:

    Tactical soldier was actually all right. No silent storm, but not a bad game. The story was a bit clunky, but I guess that’s not going to be a problem here.

  10. Howard says:

    Turn-based? What a waste of a licence. If I want to play turn-based version of Space Hulk, I’ll unbox Space Hulk, oddly enough.

    • KikiJiki says:

      Considering it’s out of print and hard as balls to get ahold of for less than 3 figures sterling I think you’re very much in the minority.

      • solidsquid says:

        Thought they’d released the rules for it for free now?

        • KikiJiki says:

          Not sure about that but the box is quite a bit more than the rules and I’m a lazy sod :(

        • TimEatsApples says:

          I found my old 2e box a while ago, with both the rule book and the mission book missing. I tried to find replacements online, and no dice – apparently GW are all kinds of litigious when it comes to people uploading copies of the rules. Which is weird when you consider they host the Blood Bowl Living Rulebook free on their own website. In the end, I was able to get both books for £3 each from Oxfam, but I think I was pretty lucky.

          • Baines says:

            Litigious over people uploading copies of the rules? They’ve been litigious over people uploading *pictures* in the past. That might have changed some in recent years, though.

      • Snidesworth says:

        This. Space Hulk is a lovely game, but getting ahold of a copy requires a pretty significant investment. Far better that there’s something you can pick up for a few quid. It’s not quite the tabletop experience, but it lowers the barrier of entry considerably.

        • plugmonkey says:

          I can’t help feeling they could possibly stop being so overtly mega-nerdy about it and just reprint the damn thing.

          Adopting a policy that guarantees the vast majority of people will never get to play it doesn’t really help anyone. What’s the point of it?

          • KikiJiki says:

            Not sure why, but in the past 20 years I think there were what, 3 editions?

            The last one was gone in less than a week :/

          • Snidesworth says:

            I think Games Workshop would rather charge huge amounts for a very exclusive item than actually trying to sell to people outside their core market. Which is all sorts of stupid, since Space Hulk could sell very well to those who don’t habitually spend hundreds of pounds on miniatures but will quite happily pick up a self contained board game.

          • plugmonkey says:

            Yeah, it’s mental. No-one’s after a new edition even, just a new print run of the last edition.

            I might be wrong, but I’m pretty sure when they update the rulesets for 40k or Bloodbowl, they don’t then print off one run and then tell everyone that’s it.

            This whole idea of deliberately creating a collector’s item out of something you know there’s huge demand for is monumentally wanky.

          • strangeloup says:

            They’ve done pretty much the same thing with every game that isn’t Warhammer Fantasy or 40k (with, I suppose, the more recent addition of LotR). Necromunda, Battlefleet Gothic, Epic, Warhammer Quest, even the odd mad thing like GorkaMorka have vanished because you don’t need to spend a bazillion pounds on models for them.

          • theleif says:

            The reason I’ve heard to not reprint it is that it’s actually cheaper to buy Space Hulk than to buy the miniatures separately for WH40K. And as it seems against their religious belief (or something) to sell miniatures for less than a small fortune they won’t reprint it.
            In any case it’s a pity.
            I want Space Hulk.
            I want it very much.

          • Baines says:

            It is a practice that also gives them guaranteed returns on those limited run editions. They know that every copy will sell before they even start production. No leftovers, no returns, no such issues to worry about.

            And it keeps the image that they seem to like for high price exclusives, which arguably helps them move their expensive minis even without the concern of people ransacking more reasonably priced games for their minis.

        • KilgoreTrout_XL says:

          Unless I’m missing something, I think you can get it for $50.00?

          http://www.ebay.com/itm/SPACE-HULK-Board-Game-Games-Workshop-2nd-Edition-1996-Warhammer-40k-/221157426653?pt=Games_US&hash=item337e0285dd

          I’m still interested in the game, mind you. But if you guys are looking for a copy…

          • KikiJiki says:

            No minis makes me a sad neckbeard.

            I’d love them to reprint the 3rd edition really. It was popular enough that another run would make bank and the miniature sculpts were exceptionally high quality. I doubt they still have the moulds though.

          • Stellar Duck says:

            No miniatures though. So either you have some other 40K miniatures or you pay through your nose to get some. Or use use bottle caps.

            Either way, 50$ is not completely right.

      • Howard says:

        For fucks sake… I didn’t know it was out of print, so fucking crucify me already (not just posting at you, KikiJiki)
        And yes, I would rather they did something more interesting with the licence.

        Christ – so much sand in so many vaginas on this blog these days…

    • The First Door says:

      You want them to take a board game licence and have them not recreate the board game? That seems a little odd. More importantly though, as other people have said it’s incredibly difficult to get hold of in some places, and it might be nice to play with a friend in another country!

    • zachdidit says:

      Absolutely agree. This should definitely be an FPS with online death-match and persistent leveling. >_>

      • Sassenach says:

        Well, I don’t know about that. But maybe they could make a team based multiplayer FPS. There are more tyranids then genestealers so we could broaden that out, maybe a flying alien, a fat worker alien, an alien that stealthily moves around and does a lot of damage and a big tanky alien. They could spread through a level and build ‘hives’ to capture territory as a gameplay mechanic and have an hivemind like player directing them all.

        Similarly the marines could be tasked with clearing them out in a pseudo symmetrical territory war, thus allowing a two way struggle in tonally harmonic fashion. They could integrate some suitably space mariney hardware into this, e.g. jet packs, chain gun/claw wielding suits of super heavy armour. That sort of thing.

        They could maybe call it Natural Selection 2.

    • Ovno says:

      You appear to be that one mythical gamer that when a company says it’s doing a licensed game says

      ‘Great! I look forward to seeing how they change the core mechanics that made the game good in the first place…’

      As opposed to the rest of us who say

      ‘Please don’t cock it up, please don’t cock it up, please don’t cock it up, please don’t cock it up, please don’t cock it up, please don’t cock it up…’

  11. KikiJiki says:

    Obligatory video for ALL 40k posts:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=cO3MttgvHUY

    I hope that Space Hulk will have some equally cheesy voice acting as truly befits a product of the Imperium.

  12. b0rsuk says:

    Mission in Space: The Lost Colony is a free flash game at kongregate. It’s a tactical squad-based space marine game. It feels like a mix of X-COM (action points) and Space Hulk (numerous melee aliens that keep spawning and coming out of the walls, sequential scenarios).

  13. solidsquid says:

    I don’t know, running something like this on a tablet might actually work pretty well, especially if you have two tablets with different fog of war. The genestealer forces would gradually expand their vision of the area while the terminators gradually work through it, hoping not to miss anything that might come back and bite (or claw) them in the ass

  14. Radiant says:

    Hands up who still thinks Frozen Synapse on Ipad is still happening.

  15. Nabobalis says:

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    • Jad says:

      I do love how on most websites and most articles, a comment like this would be spamming and trolling and would be a cause for deletion and banning. Here, it is thoroughly in the spirit of both the subject and the original article.

      Good post.

      • plugmonkey says:

        I’ve just put my finger on exactly what it is that’s changed around here. I don’t think it is just me getting old.

        RPS used to frown on things like people posting “FIRST!” in the comments. “We don’t do that here” would be the measured response.

        Now it’s all *something*FACE!, and even the contributors are posting walls of spam.

        RPS has…

        ***eerie theremin music***

        …joined the internet!

        ***screams!***

        • mouton says:

          Face is a homegrown meme which came out of genuine video game criticism. Also, it is usually restricted to one thread.

          And we still don’t have anything like “FIRST!”. Or “Mine”, urgh nerf now.

          • mouton says:

            Well, you can always loudly protest when it happens. This is a community where it actually might work. Or at least curtail it.

  16. DoctorAllosaurus says:

    Being a proud owner of almost all the first edition stuff (missing weapons for the hybrids) I’ll be looking forward to this. Can’t wait to spread the genestealer orgy of infestation across some more hulks.

  17. caddyB says:

    Exploring a Space Hulk huh? It takes some kind of tactical geniu-
    CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!

  18. Kollega says:

    I came here to register that even though i detest Warhammer 40k and i’m really annoyed that it only gets more popular, those social media buttons are just ACE. If only because they seem like a sort of self-parody. It’d certainly be funny if Facebook swapped it’s “like” button out for “venerate”. So, hail to the Emprah, i guess.

  19. Fiddler says:

    I hope we’ll be able to place numerous beacons allowing for multiple, simultaneous and devastating deep strikes.

  20. liquidsoap89 says:

    Alright, I’m not an expert on Warhammer lore, so maybe somebody can fill me in a bit. Is Space hulk WH 40k? I’m familiar with Terminators and the Blood Ravens as Space Marines, so am I right in assuming Space Hulk is like… A side story in 40K or something? Also what are the aliens, Tyranids?

    If so, I’m definitely excited! I haven’t played a proper WH game in years (back when I played with Tomb Kings in Fantasy WH).

    And on a relatively unrelated note. Are there any good 40K books to read?

    • KikiJiki says:

      To answer your questions :) :

      1) Yes Space Hulk is set within the 40k universe. It’s essentially just a xenos kill team exploring a hulk and fighting for their lives.
      2) The aliens are Genestealers, a type of Tyranid
      3) There are good books set in 40k, and a lot of bad ones. Dan Abnett and Graham McNeil are the good ones (imo) and C.S.Goto (aka MULTILASER ELDAR SEXUAL ASSAULT) and Gav Thorpe (self narrating protagonist offs himself, in first person) are to be avoided.

      • Stellar Duck says:

        I’d like to second Dan Abnett and to a lesser degree, McNeil. I find the Gaunt books to be quite well done for what basically is pulp fiction.

        CS Goto is dreadful. I never managed to finish the first Blood Ravens book. It’s not only his MULTILASER ELDAR SEXUAL ASSAULT that’s the problem, but rather that I find his prose terrible.

      • Totally heterosexual says:

        Wait, the “hulk” does not mean the marines, but the ship?

      • strangeloup says:

        To be fair, the Sundering trilogy by Gav Thorpe was pretty bloody good, and it’s a bit of lore that until then hadn’t been properly explored.

        Also, the Ciaphas Cain books by Sandy Mitchell are pretty amazing. They’re pretty much Blackadder (or Flashman, if you’d rather) IN SPAAAAAACE!!!! which is an inherently entertaining prospect.

        • Tiax says:

          I highly second that, the Einsenhorn trilogy and Ciaphas Cain were both really nice readings.

        • KikiJiki says:

          Oh God-Emperor how could I forget Cain?! Those books are fantastic fun even though the formula never changes from ‘foreboding end of chapter leads to hilarious almost-death’

  21. Beybars says:

    Funny how I read the entire article with a regular monotone voice, then it immediately changed to that of the Space Marine’s voice from Dawn of War when I read HERETIC SCUM….

  22. squareking says:

    I’ve played through all of Tactical Soldier – Undead Rising on my iThing and, while it’s a bit samey, these guys have a great engine and pretty decent attention to detail. This should be a big hit.

  23. revan says:

    First article was far more illuminating.

  24. Ultra Superior says:

    Ok I’ll be the one to write it out loud:

    IT LOOKS FRAKKIN TERRIBLE

    Can anyone explain on what basis does Games Workshop provide licenses ? It looks so outdated and bad, cheap. It reminds me of the Ultramarines film.

    TB W40K game is DREAM COME TRUE for millions of players and they make THIS ???

    There are W40K mods that look 1000x better.

    *Sigh*

  25. Ultra Superior says:

    You are so right. I can’t believe this.

  26. scut says:

    Why couldn’t Games Workshop have licensed or hired the Teardown crew to update their excellent Alien Assault (aka thinly veiled Space Hulk fan game)?

    It was a really good game, and would probably work on mobile devices.

    http://www.teardown.se

  27. Syra says:

    SPACE HULK SPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULKSPACE HULK

  28. -Spooky- says:

    ‘DEATHWATCHDIEHARDFACE!

  29. Reavergold says:

    “not-at-all Aliens-inspired ” Funny, because Space Hulk came out many years before Alien.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I’ve totally had to run up and downstairs twice to able to log in via special RPS phone magic, just because I wanted to go DUDDDDDEEEEE!!! at you so badly.

      DUDDDDDEEEEE!!!

    • Shadram says:

      DUDDDDDEEEEE!!!!

    • AmateurScience says:

      I am only here because Kieron tweeted about this. But I will also add my DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDDDEEEE.

      DDDDDDDDDDDDDDUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDDDDDDDDDDEEEEEEEEEE.

      I am going to bed now. Sleep tight everybody.

    • JB says:

      DUUUUUDE.

      Do your homework.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      He’s right – Space Hulk was released by J.B. Fenton’s Games Manufacturers in 1889, as a remedy for syphilis, while Alien came out in 2002 and was just some crappy videogame no one cared about – UNTIL NOW?

    • Lars Westergren says:

      “Fallout: New Vegas was ok I guess, but it didn’t live up to the brilliant vision of the original Bethesda game!”

      Alien the movie: 1979. Space Hulk boardgame: 1989. Space Hulk videogame: 1993.

  30. cpt_freakout says:

    Well, Games Workshop has a shaky history with its licenses (read: Blizzard)… thankfully a lot of their games have been really good (read: WH40k ones), but they’ve got some terrible titles in their catalogue, especially when it comes to their WH Fantasy license. Might as well have a bad one for 40K at last! :P

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