Smashing Hulks: Space Hulk – Deathwing

Whee! A new Space Hulk game that converts the claustrophobic tension of the boardgame into some sort of action-packed shooty-punchy experience. I’m not deeply versed in 40K lore, although I could have told you a thing or two about the Codex Imperialis when I was a teenager. I made an army of chaos marines by gluing bits of toy animals onto my Space Wolves because I wanted a change of pace. Unfortunately, I’m not the most gifted person when it comes to modelling so the height of my achievements was a heavy weapons chap with a hoof for a codpiece. Let’s look at Deathwing.

Oh lord, I’m feeling grumpy. The blame isn’t entirely on Space Hulk: Deathwing’s trailer and it’s far from the first to use the phrase ‘in-game footage’ so liberally, but it’s the first to do so on this particular day at this particular time. In the trailer’s defense, it’s Friday and I’ve had a week of obnoxious muscle pains that have made me more bitter than Lemony Snickett’s lemon juice and tonic chicory mixer. I wish it was much later than it is so that I could be in a pub with my fourth or fifth pint of fizzy fool-juice and a couple of chums to talk nonsense with.

But instead, here I am, wondering whether this ‘in-game’ footage means that the game will sometimes be controlled from the perspective of an ant, dodging slow motion bullet casings as they fall to the floor. Lots of daft angles and fast cuts do not tell me anything about the game, unless it’s absolutely impossible to follow anything that’s happening in the game while controlling it at the same time. The trailer tells me that there will be Deathwing Terminators and that they will be shooting Genestealers. I don’t know what perspective I’ll be controlling them from or even if I’ll be controlling anyone at all.

Maybe I play the cameraman?

This first in-game video, created using the game engine (Unreal Engine 4), plunges you headlong into a Space Hulk, with the game’s main character – a Librarian of the Deathwing,and a squad of Deathwing Terminators, in their a head-on confrontation with the merciless Genestealers. A clash that will prove deadly for the elite warriors of the Dark Angels and the outcome of which has a HUGE surprise in store.


You can see the incredible level of detail on the smallest game elements: the Tactical Dreadnought Armour of the Deathwing Terminators, their weapons, the Genestealers, and the backdrop are all rendered with a care that will astound any fan of Warhammer 40,000!


Space Hulk®: Deathwing™ is a First-Person Shooter experience of Games Workshop’s classic Space Hulk boardgame set in the universe of Warhammer 40,000, developed on Unreal Engine 4 by Streum On Studio, the team behind E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy.

Ah, so it’s a first-person shooter, which goes some way to explaining why none of the in-game footage was from that perspective. Pass the chicory mixer. Toodle pip!


  1. herschel says:

    And again, the Storm Bolters sound like .50 cals.


    • toxic avenger says:

      Why is that so hard to do? (The sound AND making an awesome 40k PC game)

      • herschel says:

        I think it´s a pop culture thing. Rapid-firing guns need the sound of a .50 cal.

        An explanation for the uninitiated: following the fluff, Bolters are slow firing, maybe 1 round per second. Storm Bolters are basicly two Bolters in one weapon, increasing the firing rate to 2 per second. The trick is the accuarcy and the devestating effect when hitting the target, since the shells are small RPGs.

        But I guess, no 40k game will EVER get it right, because making it right wouldn´t appeal to the audience.


        • Detocroix says:

          You have some false information there, heretic scribe, bolters are assault rifles that can fire in full auto or burst fire. Warhammer 40k (rules, 3rd edition style) just doesn’t do very good representation of high fire rates… of any type of weapon. Even the autoguns and heavy autoguns (literally modern assault rifles and machine guns) only use few dices to represent their full auto capabilities.

          • Volcanu says:

            Oh I don’t think it’s too bad as an abstracted representation. But I agree it doesn’t immediately demonstrate which weapons are capable of firing on automatic.

            I’m just imagining for a minute how many dice you’d need for an assault cannon if they decided to base dice rolls off RPM :-D

          • Koltoroc says:

            Space marines could shoot their bolters twice in 2nd edition if they remained stationary and I strongly assume that the actual rapid fire rules from 3rd edition on are modeled to replicate just that. They are not really actual rapidfire weapons and representing them as such is not justified. Comparing autoguns to boltguns here is misguided, while the autogun and hvy stubbers (actual rapid fire weapons) rely on actual volume of projectiles to do damage, the same damage is done by a single shell from a boltgun.

          • Haplo says:

            For this sort of thing, Dark Heresy et al. tend to be a better ‘real’ representation of the sort of weapons the 40k setting uses. Bolters are vicious as hell and have a rate of fire on par with lasguns (‘Semi-auto 3’, meaning the most hits you’re going to get in a single round is 3 if you’re lucky), compared with an Autogun (full-auto 10, which translates to more hits per round).

            Still, the lasgun is a preferred option because DH lasguns are badass as hell.

          • herschel says:

            3rd edition! Ha! You submit yourself to the false gods, Heretic! The Emperor is unchanging. Realign yourself to the Codex Astartes or be consumed by His unforgiving wrath!

            Bolters are Bolters. Pop-Swoosh-Boom!

            Assault rifles are used by the expendable Imperial Guards.

        • Volcanu says:

          Yeah it disappoints me that no game to date has properly captured what a bolter impact should be like. The explosive shells should blow bloody great chunks out of targets and hit with some real weight. They are supposed to be a powerful and devastating weapon, but too often get relegated to the peashooter or SMG role in games, I guess to allow for more ‘meaningful’ weapon progression. Personally I’d be happy with less weapons, if they gave the bolter the respect it deserves and made it lethal against unarmoured targets.

          Although rate of fire wise it’s supposed to be somewhere between the two extremes mentioned. The standard pattern bolter is supposed to fire a 4 round burst with each trigger pull, if memory serves.

          I enjoyed Relic’s Space Marine but it was a shame the weapons all felt wrong to a 40k fan. I was expecting them to behave the way they did in the fluff, which meant they took me a fair bit of getting used to.

          • Bull0 says:

            “No game to date”

            …go play Warhammer 40,000 Chaos Gate, the bolters in that are exactly like you’re describing.

            The canonical interpretation is just that – an interpretation – there are constant references in the books to people firing off bursts of automatic fire from bolters, so having them more like very high-caliber assault weapons is perfectly apt.

          • Volcanu says:

            Go play Chaos Gate? Ok!

            But seriously- I LOVE Chaos Gate. In my view it’s the only game that managed to absolutely NAIL the atmosphere of 40k dead on, and I play it annually. Relic’s take is pretty damn good but the aesthetic is a touch cartoony and Chaos are quite pantomime evil rather than genuinely disturbing. Nice to find someone else who remembers Chaos Gate though. The audio- both sound effects and music is so atmospheric.

            Anyway, I digress, you have a point there. I overstated things rather. I must say that when you hit a cultist with a bolter in Chaos Gate the effect is hugely satisfying, what with them exploding in a shower of (for some reason) green giblets. They do become rapidly obsolete however, by virtue of you facing ever increasing hordes of Chaos Marines, Bezerkers and terminators etc and doing 90% of your killing with close combat and heavy weapons.The Heavy Bolter in Chaos gate is LETHAL mind you.

            So, correction – The vast majority of 40k games fail to replicate what a bolter should be like.

          • herschel says:

            Oh yeah… Chaos Gate, one of the few games, that get it right. I play it from time to time and rejoice.

          • Spacewalk says:

            How does Chaos gate fare under Windows 7?

          • Bull0 says:

            Quite badly, but it runs. It’s been a while so I don’t remember anything more specific than that. I think it crashes quite a lot.

          • Volcanu says:

            @ Spacewalk

            It is certainly playable, if a touch unstable. Best way to get it working is download the 1.2 patch (which can still be found online easily enough) and then run it in compatibility mode – either Win98 or XP Service pack 2.

            So not a hideous faff

        • Koltoroc says:

          actually, for all its other faults, THAT is one of the things the old Firewarrior game did right.

        • Haplo says:

          I personally felt that the Dawn of War 2 Bolters were pretty damn close. They had a deep, roaring drum-like sound, and the projectiles themselves were quite hefty and solid.

          Firewarrior’s bolters were also not at all kidding around; being amongst the best weapons there was due to its relatively high rate of fire and lovely damage spread, as well as sounding more like a propelled rocket than a machinegun.

        • bill says:

          That previous 40k FPS (Firewarrior??) seemed to try to do Bolters correctly.
          But it actually turned out to make them very difficult to use. Firing at one round per second is actually pretty slow and it make it very hard to hit moving targets. Once I finally got the hang of it, it was reasonably effective due to the damage, but it was still very easy to shoot at a moving target for 5-6 seconds without actually hitting it.

          • KDR_11k says:

            That’s why modern weapons shoot faster than that. Bolters sound kinda like they’d be filling the battle rifle role (high single-shot damage, low ROF) that’s pretty rare today because it requires a user who’s really good at shooting and most humans aren’t so we use guns that shoot faster and find statistics that more shooting = more kills, regardless of accuracy. I guess an FPS would have to add some autoaim to simulate the augmentations that space marines receive.

        • darkath says:

          Fire Warrior (an old w40k FPS) had slow firing RPG bolters. So yeah it has been done before….

        • hurrakan says:

          I’m not up to date with Warhammer 40K anymore but here is the description for bolters from my 40K Rogue Trader rule book (printed 1990):

          “The bolt gun, also known as the bolter or blaster, fires small bolts or shells having explosive or armour piercing tips. Bolt guns are popular with pirates and criminals because they make a loud, violent and suitably satisfying noise. For the same reason they are popuolar with Orks – and represent the most common weapons used by those loathsome creatures.”

    • ceriphim says:

      *Stormbolters sound like guns
      *The (ostensibly) force sword looks like a perfectly normal steel sword instead
      *Power fists have no disruptor field

      I was really hoping Streum would crush this, but now I’m worried. I suppose I’ll have to settle with the Warmachine: Tactics beta (which I only supported because GW REFUSES to release a proper 40k digital version)

      • DarkFenix says:

        On the plus side, minor details of audio and visuals can be modded by fans (and this being UE4 inevitably will be). So long as the core gameplay is good I don’t think there’s anything much to worry about.

        • darkath says:

          On the plus side this is an early sneaky peaky trailer, and the sounds and stuff are probably not final.

  2. One Ton Otter says:

    “Developed by Streum On Studio, the team behind E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy”
    So it has come full circle.

    • Scumbag says:

      You mean they are actually making a legit Warhammer game now rather than just stealing assets from them?

  3. pmouse says:

    Heresy !

    Where is the game I wanted to play !!??


  4. LuckyLuigi says:

    I detect a note of sarcasm here :)

  5. XhomeB says:

    Really? Must the Genestealers spread their arms in such a dramatic way and go “RAAAARGH!”?
    It’s not like monsters do that in pretty much EVERY SINGLE game or movie in existence, it looks so bad and cheesy.

    • Metalfish says:

      Nimble agents must also drop down on one knee with a leg splayed out to the side.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Melee-based characters must also do that neck-stretching thing before a fight, tilting their head from one shoulder to the other. Creaking effects optional.

      Although I guess that’s kinda hard in that armor.

    • DrScuttles says:

      They ought to take inspiration from the first Alien film and be more happy-jazz-hands than all splayed out REEAAAUUHGGH. Still cheesy, but with a disarming sense of self-awareness that could unsettle the most grizzled and squarest of jawed space marine.

  6. Volcanu says:

    I have such high hopes for this. But to quote a certain Librarian “Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment”

    God I hope this is solid at the very least. I’m also hoping that they aren’t forced to stick too rigidly within the confines of the Space Hulk boardgame license, although from what I’ve heard so far it sounds as though they might be doing just that unfortunately. Fighting genestealers and the odd Broodlord will be cool to begin with, but if there is nothing else to shoot I fear it will become dull quite quickly. So I really hope they can at least feature the full gamut of Tyranids. If not weave in some orks or chaos/daemons in another part of the Hulk.

    By the same token I hope they capture the composite nature of a Hulk and have a variety of ship types (including xenos) and asteroids fused together, with corridors joining at crazy angles and interesting, warped architecture.

    On an unrelated note, pleeeeease can Relic confirm DOW 3 now that COH2 : Western Front Armies is out?

    • ceriphim says:

      FFS if they could just get the action (shooting, melee, movement, ambiance, etc) right, I don’t care if you shoot the same genestealer 400 times.

      In my heart of hearts I dream of a Space Marine fps where you actually feel like an ageless posthuman demigod warrior-monk clad in thousand-year-old relic armor living only war and fighting a never-ending holy crusade. Alas, I don’t think that game will ever properly exist unless I personally make it (which has less than a Guardsman’s chance in the Eye of every occuring).

      • TomxJ says:

        Randomly enough i thought Bioshock 2 felt alot like being incased in Ancient Terminator Armour.

      • Mulletor says:

        You hit the nail on the head with that one. Nice work.

      • Rindan says:

        This a thousand times over. There are so many fucking games where you play a one man army of d00m where it makes no god damn sense. The one setting where it actually makes sense to be a one man army of god damn doom… aaaaannnnd… nothing.

        Hell, there are all sorts of 40k games that I would love to play.

        Give me a Mass Effect style game where I play an Inquisitor snuffing out heresy with my motley crew of pyskers, mercenaries, elite guards, and thieves. Do you want to play as an Inquisitor only concerned with the bigger picture, or a brutal Inquisitor whose faith is absolute and tends to burn alive people who don’t express their faith in such equally absolute terms?

        Give me Planetside skinned with 40K.

        Give me Battlefield like game with MOBAish elements. Your squad of Space Marines support and help your NPC trash guardsmen break through and capture points.

        Just make a freaking big budget 40K where you are a Space Marine. Make the weapons meaty, not like those shitty weapons in Space Marine. A bolter to the head makes pretty much anything that isn’t armored dead. You get to have all of your epic action sequences of a normal AAA, including a drop from space, a ship boarding, and mowing down mass hordes of corrupt guards, tyranids, orcs, or whatever. Fight everywhere from space, to open fields, to ruined cities, to underhives, and hulks.

        Give me a Supreme Commander scale RTS.

        Why of mother fucking why is there a 40K tower defense game but none of the above!? The only explanation I can think of is that there is no god, just a corpse rotting in a sarcophagus.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Given Relic’s inability to stick with anything people like, expect DoW3 to be announced as a MOBA.

      • Lemming says:

        I have to reluctantly agree here. I love Relic, but their creative nature gets the better of them and they end up screwing around with stuff that they perfected the first time round. To this day I still have no idea why Space Marine wasn’t as good as the Dawn of War games.

  7. Gap Gen says:

    link to


  8. oldkc says:

    Comments for the Comment God!
    The Warhammer cares in this section are giving me feels.

  9. Bull0 says:

    A whole article about the fact that a team with english not as their first language used “in-game” where they should’ve used “in-engine”. Hmm. I mean, that video doesn’t give you much to talk about, I suppose.

  10. Stevostin says:

    Looks pretty neat to me. Not a W40K fanatic although I did play it a bit and know (and like) the lore. Still, this looks more exciting than most announced FPS. To bad we kill Genestealers instead of Eldars. Oh, crushing Eldars. That would be nice.

  11. kompan says:

    These ugly developers should be ashamed of this video. There there are no women space marines in it.

    • mashkeyboardgetusername says:

      What gender are the genestelers?

      • Jackablade says:

        They’re worker class beasties in a hive hierarchy thingy, so they’re quite likely female. You know, assuming they’re like bees or ants.

  12. Lemming says:

    FFS, three – count them – THREE Genestealers doing generic monster roars ruined that trailer for me utterly. They are meant to be like Xenomorphs from Alien, not stock-video-game monster. And the Stormbolters sound like shit as the top comment says.

    Note to devs: Just…just do your crappy generic SPETH MARUNS PEW PEW game for the focus-group drones and don’t bother using the 40k license in future, kay thx bye.

  13. SkittleDiddler says:

    Stop it, Games Workshop. Just fucking stop it.

  14. Phasma Felis says:

    “That giant monster is about to eat us! Quick, shoot it before it strikes!”

    “No, you fool! We’re still in a cutscene!”

    “Ah, quite right. Safeties on, then!”

  15. bleeters says:

    Part of this trailer made me think of Alien Swarm due to the camera angle, and now I really want a 40k version of that game :(

  16. MikeStarkweather says:

    Oh look, a generic cinematic/cutscene trailer that shows no actual gameplay and is, as such, almost entirely unrepresentative of what the final product will be like.

  17. Tasty Pete says:

    WHY THE FUCK IS IT FIRST-PERSON? What is the goddamn point of putting me into the ridiculously awesome tactical dreadnought armour and then never letting me fucking look at it? You ridiculous clowns, congratulations on discarding the entire aesthetic appeal of 40k units in favour of drawing the FPS dudebro crowd. Get fucked.