Wot I Think: Space Hulk

By Robert Florence on August 16th, 2013 at 12:00 pm.


Emperor, forgive me for what I’m about to write. It’s me, Rab Florence. You know I love Space Hulk. You know I have every edition of the game. You know I am pure.

But it’s three in the morning, and I’ve been playing Space Hulk on PC for six hours, and that’s more than enough. It’s been a painful, heartbreaking six hours, and the thought of a seventh is unbearable. Let me tell you why.

Let’s start by quickly explaining why Space Hulk, in its board game form, is one of the greatest games ever designed. It’s a stripped down, sleek, beautiful thing. One player takes control of a squad of Space Marine Terminators. The other player controls a horde of alien creatures called Genestealers. Each Terminator has Action Points, giving them movement and attacks. You roll for Command Points too, providing extra actions that can be shared across the squad. The Genestealers are more simple beasts – playing the Genestealers is all about moving around outside the Terminators’ line of sight as a little blip token, and choosing the perfect time to reveal how many monsters are attached to that blip. Each mission throws a new scenario at the players, but there is a great deal of comfort to be found in how the game plays with such familiarity from moment to moment. Move – open door – cover corridor – activate overwatch. Move blip – lurk – reveal – ATTACK. Head-to-head, across a table, Space Hulk comes alive in spectacular fashion. It’s like one of those knife-fight in a phone booth deals, except the knives are dice, and the phone booth is a cramped room inside an ancient spaceship. And there is beer on the table, just to the right of all that.

Crucially, the Space Hulk board game feels like a distillation of the very best turn-based strategy mechanics. Just the good stuff. All killer, no filler. So why is this PC game so bad? I mean – how can that even happen?

ACTIVATE NEGATIVE ELEMENT OVERWATCH

Target Detected – Someone made the decision, early in development, to fully animate every Terminator and every Genestealer in the game. Now, okay, it’s a fancy-schmancy PC game, so maybe those animations are expected. But listen – when you start to realistically animate these big heavy Terminator dudes, you are asking the player to sit for a really fucking long time waiting for every command to resolve. All the immediacy of the board game is gone in an instant. When I play Space Hulk on my table, I can move a Terminator three spaces and turn him 90 degrees in one second. In the PC game I have to watch the little fella go THUNK-THUNK-THUNK-THUNK-THUNK for considerably longer than that. I actually couldn’t believe there wasn’t an option to turn the animations off. The recent Nintendo 3DS game “Crimson Shroud” features 3d-rendered miniatures, mounted on little bases, and they look beautiful. They can also be moved as quickly as lifting a miniature and placing it onto another space. There’s no reason why there couldn’t have been something similar here. Space Hulk is an adaptation of a board game after all – would it hurt to give us the option to simplify all that fancy, fussy video game crap?

Target Detected – I know pretty much every Space Hulk mission like the back of my hand. Because I know Space Hulk, I know where the doors are on every map. Someone coming into this game fresh is going to miss doors. I guarantee it. You will move a guy, then a door will open somewhere, and you will say “OH SHIT. I DIDN’T SEE THAT DOOR.” When you miss a door in Space Hulk, you are in big trouble. The cluttered, muddy graphics and the sub-optimal camera angles make doors easy to miss. That’s just not good enough. Basic stuff too. Ugh.

Target Detected – I want blips in my Space Hulk. Not glitches. Let me tell you about something funny that happened to me tonight – by “funny” I mean “not at all funny”. In the first mission of the game, the classic “Suicide Mission”, I found myself opening fire on a group of hungry Genestealers. I took all of them down except one. I spent the next turn readying my Terminators to deal with that lone Genestealer. On the Genestealer turn, that lone Genestealer didn’t move. Weird, right? Not really. I discovered that the Genestealer I was worried about didn’t actually exist. I mean, he was there – he was standing right there – but he didn’t exist. I stared at him for a while, his little animation looping, and wondered if maybe he was one of the dead Genestealers, whose soul had got trapped inside a bad computer game as punishment for his sins. It’s also worth looking out for other “funny” glitches, such as gunfire firing upwards out of the map towards your face, and Terminators walking right off the map into the blackness of fuck knows where. Oh, and missions ending in failure when they shouldn’t. Classic stuff. It’s only a BOARD GAME you are adapting here, fellas. This shouldn’t be so difficult.

Target Detected – Unless I’m some kind of idiot, and I hope I’m not some kind of idiot, the Hotseat Mode might as well not even exist. The idea of sitting and playing against someone at the same PC is great, but – oh, here we go. You know those blips I mentioned? In the board game, the Genestealer player has blips of different values. A blip might be hiding one Genestealer under it, which is bad enough. But it might be hiding three, which is sheer terror. A big part of the game is that tension of not knowing how many Genestealers that blip you can see actually represents. Well, in Hotseat mode, the number of Genestealers attached to a blip is open information. I mean, it says 1 or 3 right there on the fucking thing. I went back and forth with a few people, asking them if they knew how to turn that off. Surely there must be a hotkey that hides it or something? But we were all stumped. We were all mystified. We were all saying “THIS CAN NOT POSSIBLY BE AS STUPID AS THIS WHAT IS GOING ON WHAT YEAR IS THIS IS THIS ON THE VIC-20?”

Target Detected – Okay, in the online multiplayer you can’t see how many Genestealers are under the blips. Hooray! But this multiplayer is only going to work with friends. I played with a few randoms tonight, and one took so long over a turn I went and made a cup of tea, another quit out a few turns in, and the last one made one move and then just stopped playing. I think the games keep running, so that turns can be made hours apart in glorious asynchronous – OH GOD. This is Space Hulk! This is one of the most EXCITING board games ever made. This multiplayer turns it into something akin to those weird play-by-mail games you’d see advertised in old comics.

Okay – give me a moment here. Space Hulk is a board game. You know what I mean? It is a board game. It’s a game that demands your opponent is right there with you, shaking dice. You need to be able to laugh at your opponent’s misfortune, in his face, at the exact moment it happens. You need to be within punching distance. There is a LOT of luck in Space Hulk. To make that luck factor palatable, you need that thrill of throwing the old bones down on the table right in front of your opponent. When you’re playing against some slow, unseen stranger, who isn’t even rolling any dice? Those moments of ill fortune just make you angry. That’s all. Angry. Oh, and an undo button? Really? GO AWAY.

Target Detected – Another thing. Forget about all the shitty parts of this game for a moment. Even the stuff that works okay could have been executed far better. For me, the most thrilling part of Space Hulk is during Overwatch. Let me elaborate.

A Terminator is on Overwatch. A Genestealer turns the corner and starts moving towards that Terminator. He fires at the monster. It’s a miss. It moves closer. He fires again. Another miss! It moves closer. He fires again. ANOTHER miss. It moves even CLOSER! (At this point, playing the board game, the two players are screaming at each other in excitement and fright.) The Terminator fires again. His weapon JAMS. The Genestealer moves CLOSER. OH. MY. GOD.

In this PC adaptation, these moments just happen. You know what I mean? They just play out, and pass you by. There’s no wit or craft shown in how these moments are presented. The music could have changed, maybe. The camera could zoom closer with every miss. Surely something could have been put in there to say – “Hey, this is one of the cool parts of this classic game design! Sit up and pay attention!” Instead it just shows you the mechanics of the thing playing out, like it’s just another phase of the game. Or like, I dunno, like the developers didn’t really care.

And that really sums this scrappy, boring adaptation up. A lack of care. It’s about as bad as it could possibly be. I’ve played through half of the campaign missions, missions that are close to my heart, and I’ve hated every one of them. I stopped at exactly halfway, because the game told me I’d lost a mission I’d just won. And that was the final straw. What an achievement that is, to turn magic into soup. To turn a thing of such celebrated greatness into a thing of such grated celeryness. It sickens me to think that some people will play this game and think that this is what Space Hulk is – a leaden, dated bore. That’s not a Space Hulk I recognise.

Sure, you might still want to buy this expensive disaster purely because it’s Space Hulk.

But this is not Space Hulk.

I will not accept it. I just won’t.

, , , .

393 Comments »

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  1. Jorum says:

    To those saying RPS is being too harsh, worth pointing out that Total Biscuit has a review up highlighting some of the same points – it plays slow, production value seems pretty cheap (sounds, textures etc) and surprisingly buggy, and game is missing some features and polish that you would expect for a pretty much full-price game and a big licence.

  2. Wyatan says:

    I’ll repost here what I posted on the Steam discussion, because I found that review to echo my thoughts after playing the game.


    Actually, his impressions do match mine, even though I’m hopeful that some patching will alleviate some of the most aggravating issues.
    Minor thing, but first wrong impression : game has a blank icon after installing.
    Then, trying to modify key-binding (playing on an AZERTY keyboard, so WASD needs to become ZQSD)… can’t. Big bummer.
    Starting a game : geez, those animations are sloooow. Let’s speed them up or disable them.
    What ??? Can’t ???
    At that point, started to feel pretty annoyed…
    Contrary to Robert, I do bless the Undo button, because the interface is so clunky that misorders are the norm…

    Now, all that stuff can (and hopefully will) be fixed.
    Still, I’m left wondering at the game design skills shown there : spend ressources on a pretty but completely useless “shoulder camera”, and leave these glaring issues in ?

    The other worry that Robert expresses is also one that crossed my mind. I was thinking of the Assault Cannon malfunction : you get 1 chance our of 36 that it’ll explode and kill your guy.
    That’s basically a game-over.
    Over a table, with friends around, you get a good laugh.
    Vs an AI or competing against a stranger in an online match… not so fun but rather rage-inducing.
    Some boardgame mechanisms just don’t translate well to a video game.

    And that’s a bigger issue…

    I would add that I’m a bit alarmed at all the “yeah, there are bugs, but that’s to be expected”.
    Guys, there are bugs and bugs.
    The game not working on some exotic hardware specs ? Yes, perfectly excusable. Some overseen obscure edge case ? Same.
    But blatant bugs occuring within the nominal use case like termies ending up off board, imaginary opponents, and a mission blocking bug ? That’s NOT an acceptable standard.

  3. Giohunter says:

    I love the detail in this review but cant agree with it yes the terminator movement is clunky but you dont have to wait for one guy to move just move your other terminators while the first one is moving dont have to wait i am also have all 3 editions of space hulk and this game does it justice i think you do have to be a space hulk fan to get the most from it but if you are you should enjoy it not many people have found bugs think fallout 3 or skyrim IMO this is a perfect rendition of the board game

  4. mkwilton says:

    Rabid nerd clinging to nostalgia hates new version – big surprise.

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      Personally I was never all that into space hulk, so the fact that this is boring and terrible leaves me largely unmoved.

  5. Jorum says:

    The one central point here is you can translate the rules of a boardgame 100% but not translate what makes the boardgame special.

    Space Hulk is good because it has tight & simple mechanics. Done bad that could have made it dull and repetitive, but it was done well and didn’t – it made it fast and tense and nerve-wracking.
    If you make it significantly slower or more fiddly then you are damaging that balance.

    Space Hulk is good because it’s a brutal little slug-out between two players that like most GW stuff has high element of dice randomness and your whole chance of winning going up shit creek because of bad luck. When you’re at a table with someone you just swear and laugh, and they mock you cruelly and laugh, then you swap sides and play again.
    When you don’t have that direct interaction it’s going to seem too cold and those random “you lose” will show up like a sore thumb.

    I guess the issue is certain boardgames just aren’t going to translate to computer games because the social interaction are integral to making them worthwhile, not something that happens on top.

    Take King of Tokyo – the boardgame is stupidly random and luck-heavy but its FUN because you all make jokes about spanking the giant monkey and you roll huge chunky dice and call each other SOBs.
    I’m pretty sure as a 100% faithful computer game it would be pretty bad because without other people at a table what you have is violent yahtzee with so much luck involved that everyone would be frustrated all the time.

    *edit* – another point is that just as a piece of software, irrespective of licence or boardgame comparison, it’s production values are way below what you’d expect for it’s price point. Animations of genestealers being shot is pretty crappy looking, sound is meh, glitchy and runs pretty badly at times for no apparent reason.

  6. Allenomura says:

    What I saw on the WTF is… earlier, kind of brings to my mind the niggling issues with the first release of Blood Bowl by Cyanide, but made all the worse by the point that unlike that game, the concepts here are eminently familiar. They’re easily conveyed. Maybe, my disappointment is in the way that the game doesn’t incorporate many of the benefits of being a video game.

    • Jorum says:

      I think the big difference is that with Blood Bowl if had flaws but you got the impression that Cyanide put a lot of effort into the thing – there was of nice little presentation bits, a full single player campaign, lots of cups and tournaments, pretty nice multiplayer tournament design and concept. The niggles were mainly to do with rules implementations which are ironically easier to fix and patch.

      Space Hulk in comparison is rules-mechanic wise good but the entire thing just seems somewhat perfunctory. The minimum amount of work to implement the boardgame and job done. The fact that they didn’t seem to realise hotseat is broken as implemented and the campaign couldn’t be completed due to bug seems to support this.

  7. Nim says:

    I can see this being a 10-dollar game if they fix some of the outstanding issues at the moment.

    • Jorum says:

      I think at $10 would be OK. A faithful and functional digital version of the boardgame for people who want exactly that, and with the kind of production value you’d find acceptable for a cheap game.
      At the moment $30 seems a piss-take as it simply doesn’t look like it’s had $30 price point kind of money spent on making it.

  8. victoriandad says:

    Unfortunately this is not a review as I would call it. Though many of the above readers have seen it as such and decided not to buy this product on that basis. This is clearly a rant by someone who had very high expectations, due to his ‘love’ of the original board game and most likely because of a very frustrating late night (3am) which, in my humble opinion, has led to this unfortunate tirade.

    However, I can sympathise with the disappointment that Robert has endured, I’ve previously seen him extol the virtues of the original board game on video – he clearly is a fanatic, and this is where I think it’s all gone sour for him. What I’m getting at is that I think his elevated expectations have had nowhere to go except south regardless of the outcome. I don’t think he would ever have been happy with this product even if the bugs and the ‘hot seat’ tile counter issue had never been there. As a result I think he’s done the game a great disservice by issuing this scathing attack after spending mere hours on a product that was fresh off the production line. I think he could’ve given it a few more days and allowed the developer to fix bugs and for himself to have calmed down and viewed it and analysed it in the cold light of day.

    To finish off, I’ve just spent 4+ hours playing this game and whilst I’ll concede there are a few bugs (none of which were show stoppers), I still thoroughly enjoyed the game. Why? Because it lived up to my realistic expectations.

    • Shadowcat says:

      I’ve never played either version of the game, but the review came across that way even to me, so I ended up with very little impression of how good the PC game actually is. All I really know is that there are some bugs, and that it’s different to the table top game (and I had been assuming the latter point already). Maybe different is fine; maybe it isn’t. I do think having Rab review the game was useful but, given the outcome, I also think RPS is probably doing the game a disservice if they don’t add a second review by someone who hasn’t played the original.

  9. Loftydreamer says:

    “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.”
    Rock Paper Shotgun

    Nice of Steam to use an early look from Alec as a review. Then this shows up with some rather hefty condemnation behind it and actually is a personal review of it. So we just going to let them bamboozle perspective customers with a respected site’s words used unfairly as a favorable word for the end product and not the early look it was?

    Thanks for the valuable input on the title. I unfortunately am now very skeptical after such excitement has fallen completely flat. This game has moved from my wishlist and current hot buy to wait for a special.

    • Shadowcat says:

      Well in fairness you would need to see a review from Alec, rather than Rab, before concluding that using that quote was unreasonable.

      • Loftydreamer says:

        The idea is that they are casting an early look as a review. To me that seems a bit disingenuous.

  10. Tsarcastic says:

    Sounds like Cyanide’s adaptation of Blood Bowl to me. GW really needs to get better companies to adapt these things. They’re pretty straightforward yet they always get fucked up bad.

  11. Wombats says:

    >I think he could’ve given it a few more days and allowed the developer to fix bugs and for himself to
    >have calmed down and viewed it and analysed it in the cold light of day.

    If the developer wanted reviews done on non-buggy code they could have delayed the release until the bugs were fixed.

    I love how the slightest positivity in any of these comments is by someone talking about the review, not the game.

    Its almost like someone’s linked this article so people can come add positive comments.

    This is the second time a random developer has slouched in and screwed up a GW game (Bloodbowl) its not like this isn’t a pattern.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Mitthrawn says:

    Bought it last night, played the first three (tutorial) missions and the first mission.

    The gameplay is solid, the atmosphere feels right. Coming in I’d never played the board game, so I started with a fresh slate.

    Haven’t had any serious bugs yet, just an animation glitch here and there.

    It’s a slow tactical game. The closest I can come to it is in new XCOM, on the missions where there are tons of chrysalids, and the game sort of turns into a puzzle game. “Okay I have three guys with action points and I need to destroy three chrysalids- grenade, headshot, run and gun, fire, double tap, MISSED, second shot, GOT IT. Except instead of balancing special abilities here its all about mobility and sight lines. Terminators move SLOWLY, and getting them where they need to go while covering every angle is nearly impossible. On the final tutorial mission I just left one guy back, covering the other four’s escape. He killed maybe seven genestealers, and then was subsumed by the horde.

    Overall I’d say it’s a lot of fun. The campaign is basic yet enjoyable. Compared to something like XCOM there is not as much progression or different abilities/weapons, but the challenge is different. Movement and speed is slow, sightlines are very very important, and the flamethrower rules over all.

    I’d recommend it, maybe not at its current price, but something like 15 to 20 dollars feels right. It sounds like Rab faced a couple serious bugs and one super egregious bug and so had a pretty bad experience. But as someone who also played it last night and didn’t, I can say that almost everything he had a problem with is either an easy bug fix or a more (IMO) nitpicky problem from the crossover from boardgame to PC.

    One other thing, you have to go into the game expecting a slower, almost plodding pace. I know that sounds bad (plodding is never a compliment), but really, you have to think about most of your moves. It does not feel like a fast paced anything, and it seems from the review that Rab expected that, as it seems the board game is more like that? In any case, it is not, it is better approached as a thinking man’s tactical game, rather than an adrenaline junkie’s. Don’t get me wrong, it is perfectly tense, just slow burn, not red-hot.

    • Shadowcat says:

      I guess when you’re not expecting this to be identical to the table top experience, it ends up being a much better game.

  13. Tei says:

    It seems the author of this article knows more about the game than the dev’s. And the devs know less than the game deserve. And some bugs.

  14. Mathonwy76 says:

    I’m extremely glad I played the game before reading this review. This review might so easily have biased me as I generally respect the opinions on RPS. However having played the game before reading it, I can only assume that the review was based not on the qualities of the game released, but on it’s deficiencies as compared to some platonic ideal of space hulk games. Yes all of the mentioned flaws are real, and are minor detractors, but to suggest that they are sufficient to make the game as a whole bad is so daft as to be almost comical.

    My suggestion to anyone reading this review is this, consider the game to be an almost perfect rendition of the board game except the ways specifically mentioned in the so called review, if the game being so close to perfect is good enough for you then go forth and enjoy it.

    Clearly Rab’s standards for converting media are meaningless, and I shall be taking any other “reviews” in a similar vein with at least a Mole of sodium chloride…

  15. adrianw says:

    Registered just to say:

    ALEC, YOUR BABY KILLED SPACE HULK.

  16. Wombats says:

    >but to suggest that they are sufficient to make the game as a whole bad is so daft as to be almost comical.

    You’re absolutely right.

    Auto-failing the player on a mission for no reason is just minor glitch.

    I am so glad you’ve played this game before and didn’t come here to talk about the review.
    I notice you don’t refer to anything in the game not mentioned in the article.
    I don’t think you’ve played the game.

  17. DigitalAdhesive says:

    I have to say, I’m really surprised by this rant. I played Space Hulk the day it came out and had a decent time, or at least I thought I did. I was about to go to bed, but after reading this post I was wondering if he had played the same game I had. I had to go back in game just to be sure.

    I played through another mission, and… I had fun. I’m not a Space Hulk zealot; I played the board game back in 1995 or so, but hadn’t touched it since – though I enjoyed it as a kid. I knew this game was supposed to be a faithful adaption of the board game, and though my memory may be a little faulty, as far as I was concerned it played just fine and even brought back some memories.

    I really don’t understand this negativity. Again, I’m not a cheerleader for this game or anything, but I do hope more people who are on the fence will give it a chance, or at least watch some Lets Plays before making up their minds.

    It’s a fun game.

  18. jonahcutter says:

    Seems like it might not have been such a hot idea to have someone so into the tactile nature of board games review a video game.

  19. Thathanka says:

    I’ve played 5 hours of this game now and by and large I’ve enjoyed them. Here are some facts though:
    – the game has very low standard textures, animations and art
    – it is clunky (bullets fly through walls, genestealers/marines clip through doors and each other
    – there is hardly any music and therefore atmosphere in the missions
    – there are bugs and bugs and bugs and bugs – sound bugs, graphics bugs, achievement bugs, ui bugs, crashes, mission bugs – hell I once started a mission and found that I was playing as the genestealers as well as the marines! WTF??
    – maybe they will fix the bugs but they haven’t even kept their own website up to date
    – there isn’t really much content just about 12 campaign missions
    – the customisation options are tiny (basically it’s just a banner you can change a bit), you can’t even edit the loadouts of the individual marines or what guns they carry
    – there is no continuity between missions, nothing to make you attached to individual marines and therefore no sense of risk or loss

    In all the game is very cheap, feels rushed and incomplete, it doesn’t work properly and doesn’t offer much depth or content. It is quite fun however (which is why the review is quite harsh).

    Buuuut, the fact they have sold, what would be a decent little $10/£5 title with scope for improvement, for £23 as a full priced game release is nothing short of a disgrace. It makes sense now why there were no previews allowed, no let’s plays or developer’s diary. They knew what they were doing.

    I hope they continue to support and improve the game and that it becomes a really nice title over the next year or two but, like I said, they haven’t updated their own website or bug tested their own game, so what are the chances of that?

    When you can pick up so many amazing games these days for around the £10 mark it really is criminal that they’ve done this.

    • Ganrao says:

      The game has been patched twice in the last 2 days and they talk with the player base on the Steam forum. I imagine the price was dictated by Games Workshop, not this little indie studio.

    • jonahcutter says:

      Criminal?

      Charging money for Aliens Colonial Marine was criminal. Ride to Hell Retribution ever being released was criminal. The writing in Far Cry 3 was criminal.

      Space Hulk is pretty much providing exactly what it says it will: A very loyal video game version of the board game. They shamefacedly admitted their game-breaking bug and rapidly fixed it, along with lesser bugs. A mission editor will be free.

      It’s hardly criminal if they’re charging $5-10 more than you think it’s worth.

  20. Pneuma_antilogias says:

    Disclaimer: I’ve only played the patched version (1.0.1 if memory serves) and only the 3 tutorial missions and the 1st from the main campaign.

    Yes, animations are slow.

    No, I haven’t missed any doors so far.

    No, the phantasmal genestealer has not graced me with it’s presence, yet (at least).

    No, I don’t see an easy way to fix the “revealed blip” issue on hotseat.

    No, I find genestealers advancing on my lone Terminator with that jammed bolter quite stressful as is. No, I haven’t resorted to screaming as yet (but I wasn’t screaming playing the boardgame either, so maybe I’m not much of a screamer to begin with).

    The bottom line is that the game I’m playing (and enjoying so far) with its slow animations does not deserve the bashing it has received from RPS -and I do hope other reviewers will get the chance to do their own WIT’s -it’d be a shame if this rather poor review (“Unless I’m an idiot”? Really?) goes down as RPS’s “official” view of the game.

    It may not be perfect, but it is not the complete and utter disaster it was made out to be.

  21. Shagnasty29 says:

    Robert Florence > FACE SULK

  22. James Murff says:

    So.

    Your first point – that animations are glacially slow – is perhaps the only point I can really agree with. It’s Space Hulk’s most glaring flaw. Terminators take FOREVER to move, and there’s no option to disable movement animations when there should be. It makes the multiplayer games way longer than they should be, especially for the Genestealer player, whose animations are all whip-quick.

    You also touch on something else – the multiplayer doesn’t show the dice rolls – that is annoying as well.

    As for the rest, though, I just wonder if we played the same game. Doors are super noticeable – they are big horizontal bars across a corridor! – and glitches are not quite that frequent (although they definitely do happen). I had no problem going into Space Hulk, and the last time I played the board game was in the 90s.

    The most baffling complain is your final one. “The game doesn’t make a cinematic measure out of multiple misses and a gun jam!” you say. That’s so nitpicky as to be downright silly. The tension is already there; the misses and the gun jam happened, no two ways about it. Why does there need to be a glorification? Isn’t the sheer fact that it happened – ponderously slow, I might add, given the animations – add tension enough?

    I play the new Space Hulk on Skype with my best friend (he lives in Florida) and we have a great time. He swears at me and I cackle as my Genestealers gradually claim their blood prize. I can’t imagine playing it with some random person, so I can’t say if that’s good, but insofar as being a faithful adaptation of a board game with a few niggling flaws and a great “friend v. friend” multiplayer experience, it strikes home for me.

    To each their own, I suppose. I’m more interested in seeing the opinions of other RPS folk, perhaps in the form of a chat done while they play a multiplayer game against each other.

  23. plugmonkey says:

    “Space Hulk is a board game.”

    I’ve heard rumours to this effect, but no actual evidence so far.

    Space Hulk is some sort of pretentious, members-only nerdgasm masquerading as a board game. If it was something as simple and interesting and fun as a board game, I’d be able to buy it and play the sodding thing.

    But I’m not allowed to. I didn’t qualify. All I’m allowed is this shitty PC port of it.

  24. Cruzer says:

    I usually put more stock in RPS reviews than that of other sites or publications, but this article was more of a literary tantrum with lots of finger pointing and shouting than any kind of meaningful, even handed review. This is something that should be posted in a board game fans forum, not as a professional review on a video game journalist site.

    The author did himself and RPS a disservice with this piece.

  25. Detrian says:

    Huh… I don’t really get this review. I mean…

    -Bugs exist, but can be patched. (And have been patched)
    -There’s lots of voice work which is amazing and set the mood perfectly.
    -Tension and drama are provided by the dynamic camera angles and the awesome little window that lets you see through your terminator’s eyes.
    -Animations ARE slow but your terminators have so few precious AP and CP that it doesn’t really matter.
    -The game plays exactly like space hulk and other indie attempts to digitize the game like Alien Assault
    -The game even has some neat if gimmicky customization options with your banner.
    -Space Hulk as a cardboard game is literally dead/outrageously expensive.

    It just seems like a perfectly fine product for what it is.

  26. The Sero says:

    As a fan of the old board game as well, I have to disagree massively with all of this, and so many of the complaints seem specific to this author. “In this PC adaptation, these moments just happen. You know what I mean? They just play out, and pass you by.” Really? These moments pass you by more in the pc game than the board game? Why? That’s entirely your own fault, as for me, I feel it just as much.
    While I can see the slow thunking of the terminator could get a bit annoying in the long run, and would fully support the option to turn it off (always support more options), I personally LOVE it. It adds to the tenseness of the situation. Maybe it’s because my boardgames never go that quickly, but I’m not here trying to rush the games. I don’t l know the position of doors off by heart, and I’ve still managed to never miss one. Not has as much playtime as you, only 3-4 hours so far, but not had any glitches so far, but fair enough, I could have just been lucky.
    I’m also not sure how the video game developer can be blamed for the quality of online opponents, or the fact the internet doesn’t allow face to face contact. I’m not sure that’s their fault.
    And as for the undo button, people would complain about how easy it is to misclick. It’s only one move, even selecting another marine stops you undoing, it’s only there to make misclicks less of an issue. I played the new shadowrun game (and read the reviews), and undo button is a NICE feature. And you can’t undo if you reveal a blip or such, to prevent cheating.

    Really, the only fair point in this review is the number on the blips in hotseat, which yeah, would be better brought up on keypress or the like. But seriously, this review reads like you want space hulk to be a board game. It is. And this is a damn nice computerised version of it, which I would recommend people to by. Damn shame about the lack of demo for people to try it themselves.

  27. Robot_Joe says:

    yeah it’s so disappointing that they accomplished what they set out to do by recreating the space hulk board game for pc