Watch: My Hands & Your Eyes On Space Hulk

By Alec Meer on June 28th, 2013 at 9:00 pm.

Hands, check. On something, check. Space Hulk, check.

At Rezzed, I managed to say hello to Full Control’s Thomas Lund, who you’ve met in text form before here, and then talk him into dereliction of duty. And so it was that he abandoned the Space Hulk stand on the show floor to let me have a play with and a natter about this new adaptation of Games Workshop’s timeless humans vs aliens boardgame in relative privacy. I now choose to SHATTER that privacy by sharing a half hour of me stomping down corridors and burning the heretic below. Sadly we’d stopped filming by the point that we persuaded Thomas to show us how well they’d rendered Terminators’ ironclad buttocks, but I did manage to grab a cheeky photo.

Despite this being a huge license, Thomas’ indie sensibilities meant the dread forces of the Imperium did not prevent me from getting a really good look at the game. And, lo, I was most convinced by it. Obviously this is only one level, from early code, but I really think they’ve nailed it – both the strategy and the feel, retaining what makes Space Hulk Space Hulk while convincingly turning it into a videogame, not a mere boardgame made from pixels.

While I lack proper recording equipment, the video mode on my DSLR’s not bad, and so this half hour of me playing and chatting about the game has been captured by Cara Ellison – who also joins in the discussion on occasion, just in case you were wondering why my voice occasionally seems to rise several octaves and adopt a Scots brogue. I do wish I’d brought a tripod with me, though.

There are some provisos I must ask you to bear in mind in addition to the camera situation. Firstly, this is running on a -hiss-spit – Macbook so graphics are on a low setting. He did show me what it would look like on a better system later, and I can assure you that whole textureless thing is very much not an issue there: they’ve really gone to town on trying to recreate the painstakingly hand-painted miniature aspect of the game. At one point, Lund was delightedly showing me the detail and inscription on the handle of a Storm Shield – something which cannot ever be seen in game. Whatever else happens with Space Hulk, there’s no question about these guys loving the source material.

The other thing this video, and my camera’s lousy built-in mic (you’ll need to turn the volume up, I’m afraid and no, I don’t have time today to fiddle with it myself), doesn’t convey is just how good the sound is – metallic clangs and heavy clomping that really conveys the claustrophobia and the incredible weight the Terminators have to carry. It becomes clear that, whatever superhuman qualities these guys might have, they’re incredibly vulnerable and incredibly hamstrung in this environment and in their suits. I can’t wait to sit in the dark with my headphones on, thinking about the dreadful revenge I’m going to take on all the people who have ever wronged me. Then I might play some Space Hulk, and admire the vacuum chill of its steel pulse.

OK, go:

I apologise for my face, my voice, the things I said, the things I neglected to say and my gaming skills. Just be grateful the camera couldn’t capture my post-four-hour-train-journey stench too.,

Oh yes, I promised you Terminator bums, didn’t I? Oh, very well then.

That’s right, PERVERT, it’s covered by wireframe to protect innocent eyes and Space Marine modesty. What the hell kind of site did you think this was, anyway?

Space Hulk will be out later this year.

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62 Comments »

  1. Splynter says:

    So when are you doing another bum compilation Alec?

    The game looks pretty great, too.

  2. lowprices says:

    There aren’t many games I’m looking forward to this year, but this is pretty much at the top of the list.

  3. db1331 says:

    A Mac? I thought this was a PC GAMING SITE.

  4. fuggles says:

    But what about the intro? How does it compare to the original – which soft rock track have they gone for? More excited for this than chaos engine, now that’s just an Amiga emulation.

  5. TheMick says:

    Alec looks kinda like Chris O’Dowd.

  6. DrScuttles says:

    Oh, look how they clomp around! So adorable. Not that I would ever refer to one of the Emperor’s finest as ‘adorable’ to their face.
    Anyway, I believe myself to be in good, forgiving company so I have to confess: never have I ever played the Space Hulk boardgame. Nor the Amiga game. I did have Tyranid Attack (which was a kind of Gateway Game+ ?) and Vengeance of the Blood Angels on the Saturn which routinely became too much pressure as the genestealers were all in your face and everyone died and I got scared.

  7. The Magic says:

    Ugh, what is it with modern games and their stupid graphical tricks. What use does all that motion blur have? I can’t see a thing! I want to see every hair on those really detailed giant faces, but noooo the kids today wanna see blurry blur blur every day

    • Shadrach says:

      I think the blur has more to do with the shoddy camera work than the actual game being that blurry…

      Oh, it was meant as humor, I see!

  8. BreadBitten says:

    A MAC?! >=[

  9. Cara Ellison says:

    I’m so excitorized about this game.

    (Sorry about the shakiness, Alec needs to get a stand and I also need to stop impersonating an FPS character’s creepy breathing)

    • Gap Gen says:

      If games have taught me anything, it’s that you can turn off camera shake in the options, just after the option to invert your vertical axis such that your field of view shifts down when you move your head up.

  10. ecurtz says:

    Was that on easy difficulty or something? Because the Genestealer AI was depressingly poor.

    • Chris D says:

      It’s a game where the genestealers are supposed to get themselves mown down like so much wheat. There are always more behind them. It’s not really important how any one stealer does, it’s how they work together as a group that’s important, and they only really need one to make it through for things to start going very bad for the space marine player.

      • ecurtz says:

        I’m old enough to own both first and third edition. That was what you’d get from a Genestealer player who was still learning the game.

        • Waltorious says:

          Didn’t they say it was a tutorial mission? That would imply that it is easier than the other missions.

          • ecurtz says:

            The name of this tutorial level is “Suicide Mission”…

          • WrenBoy says:

            To my ears he said he was going to skip the tutorial mission and start on Suicide Mission since Alec is already familiar with Space Hulk.

  11. jonahcutter says:

    ::clomp clomp clomp::

    “Cleanse.”

    ::bang bang bang::

    ::splat splat splat::

    Lovely.

    I do hope there is persistent gore though. It always adds greatly to the atmosphere when you see the accumulating results of the battle.

  12. Totally heterosexual says:

    I was really hoping for the part where you jerk off over it.

    I mean expecting.

    Yeah.

  13. Reapy says:

    Pretty excited about this bad boy, really great clumpy movement…Does the game have a lot longevity to it with the volume of time we usually play pc games vs board games? I have a 3rd Ed collecting dust so I’m not sure, but I have read how the librarian can basically sol later levels and the like.

    Will there be a mission editor? Game cries out for it, even better if it’ll divide out a home made level to be constructed from 3rd Ed tiles if there are few enough.

    Finally, multiplayer?

  14. squareking says:

    Positively arthouse filming at times. i dig it.

  15. ThomasLund says:

    Level editor coming up – free download at or right after (most likely the latter to do it right) launch.

    And lots of mulitplayer options – hotseat, network – vs and coop – cross platform with the iPad version

    :-)

  16. Shadrach says:

    Excellent stuff, looking forward to this.

    Having been spoiled by the very good XCOM, that made turn-based tactics perfectly acceptable with a controller – what plans are to do the same here? It looks like it would be wonderful to play on the big screen with a 360 controller.

  17. wodin says:

    Looks good..but what was the person holding the camera doing!!…they should have just had it focussed and on screen all the way through..we didn’t need close ups of the peoples faces..I really would have preferred to see the Marine flamethrower give out some death than someones mouth.

  18. wodin says:

    Where is it all??? A question I ask myself many times a day..in a Space Hulk where is the tons of genestealer shit?? I couldn’t imagine them having a toilet facility\janitor\cleaners etc etc…

    So I want to see my marines wade knee deep through genestealer shit.

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