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.
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.