I am faintly aware that a few people have been waiting for me to say something about Full Control’s Space Hulk, which I had been highly impressed by very brief encounters with but then unable to review the thing due to being on paternity leave. Rab, stepping into the breach (possibly the wrong choice of words for that context) was most distressed by what he found. But what of me? Did I love the finished game as much as I’d hoped, or had I sold my soul to the Chaos god of preview hype, and tricked you all?
I’ll reveal all below, along with sharing details of expansion pack stuff.
Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasically, I did feel a bit let down by it, but it didn’t hit me as hard as it did Rab, and I was able to derive some measure of enjoyment from the game even though it regularly annoyed me. The root of the problem was that what looked good in a 20 minute press demo, all that satisfying metallic, clanking walking and meaty Stealer-bashing animations, quickly lost its pallor when it simply repeated itself again and again across the course of the full game. I was expecting more variety from that stuff, but the repetition was grating and the initial atmosphere created by the ponderous movement gave way to PLEASE JUST GET ON WITH IT irritation. Also, the bugs. They sure didn’t help. But I certainly didn’t hate the experience, just felt deflated by it, and I’m genuinely sad that I’m not going to close out 2013 saying that this was one of my games of the year. I really thought it would be, but I was wrong.
The Games Workshop adaptation has seen a fair few patches and updates since launch, which I’ve not had the chance to look at, so I can’t tell you whether they’re improved the state of affairs meaningfully. What’s also now happened is that two new campaigns have been released as DLC, for £3 each. Until now Genestealer skins were the only DLC available, which ain’t particularly exciting. Plans to release new Space Marine chapters for the game have yet to see fruition – perhaps as a result of the muted response to Space Hulk – so we’re still Blood Angeling away in the new DLC campaigns, but they’re based on original Space Hulk set-ups and promise a few tweaks to the formula.
For instance, Defilement of Honour (missus) introduces air ducts, which can be used by Genestealers to get the drop on Terminators, while Sword of Halcyon has bulkhead doors, which enable Terminators to seal off parts of the map.
Each campaign contains five missions. I’m not able to tell you if they’re any great improvement upon the core campaign, but I wouldn’t mind taking a look if I ever find a quiet moment.