Space Hulk: Deathwing Enhanced Edition is out now

Space Hulk: Deathwing Enhanced Edition

Space Hulk: Deathwing must have been a dream project for little French indie studio Streum On, creators of the endearingly janky E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy. As a team they’d started their careers with making Warhammer 40,000-themed mods, so having the official key to the kingdom must have felt like a miracle, but with a famous license and a higher budget comes higher expectations.

While undoubtedly more polished than E.Y.E, Deathwing still felt like a low-budget game with a high-budget facade. After an additional year and a half of development and launching alongside the PS4 version of the game, an Enhanced Edition rolled out today, addressing many of the flaws of the original launch and for those with the original version, it’s a free upgrade.

While some of the Enhanced Edition features had already rolled out via incremental patches for the original game, the re-launch appears as an entirely new store entry on Steam, although if you already own the game it’ll pop up in your Steam library alongside the old version. The biggest new feature is Special Missions. Once you’ve completed a map in story mode, you can return there with additional routes open to complete randomly generated missions, adding a lot more meat to Deathwing’s originally under-padded bones.

Another major improvement has been performance optimisations – a requirement for the console release, undoubtedly. A quick poke around the first mission confirms that the game does run noticeably better, and performs nicely on my 1070/i7 laptop at maximum settings, where previously it would chug pretty badly once the first enemy swarms showed up. Other new goodies include a new class, more guns, new enemy variants and a well fleshed out cosmetic customisation system, because the Emperor wants you to look fabulous.

Still, some of Deathwing’s underlying flaws remain unaddressed, including the not-quite-impactful-enough gunplay and the flailing melee combat. While this is the game that arguably should have launched at the tail-end of 2016, competition has dulled its impact once more. Still, it is a lovingly detailed tribute to the setting, and will undoubtedly find its audience with Warhammer 40,000 fans, but the rest of us will probably stick to bashing rats instead of angry purple aliens.

Space Hulk: Deathwing Enhanced Edition

While the Enhanced Edition of Deathwing is a notable improvement, this feels like an ill-timed relaunch. If you want first-person Warhammer-themed co-op ultraviolence, then you’ll probably be better served by Vermintide 2. While it may be more close-combat focused, it’s hard to argue that it’s not just a better, bigger, more polished experience on the whole. While Deathwing is by no means a bad game (especially after this overhaul), this is perhaps just a case of being too little and too late.

Space Hulk: Deathwing Enhanced Edition is out now on Steam for £35/$40, minus a 20% launch discount. Owners of the original release will find it in their library already.

12 Comments

  1. JohnH says:

    I bounced right off the original version, after being hyped about it before release. So I am going to give this another go and see how I feel about it this time around.

  2. cp3oh says:

    I was interested in this game for a while but ultimately gave it a pass. The biggest reason? That camera shake and the muzzle flash when weapons are being fired. I don’t know if I am just sensitive to it but I can’t watch it for more than a minute or two before getting a headache. I know it seems a bit nit-picky but I won’t pay for a game that makes me physically ill.

    I was hoping they’d tone it down at some point but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  3. nimbulan says:

    I believe the performance improvements when I see them. There was ZERO difference last time they claimed that.

  4. Lodin says:

    [quote]While the Enhanced Edition of Deathwing is a notable improvement, this feels like an ill-timed relaunch. [/quote]I’m sure current and potential new owners on PC would be perfectly fine with only console gamers getting the updates. Oh yes they would.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      I didn’t say that this updated re-release is a bad thing. It’s just probably not going to draw the crowds it might have if Vermintide 2 hadn’t swooped in during the interim.

      • haldolium says:

        I doubt Vermintide is a large factor here if any.

        Apparently this version of Deathwing isn’t that much of an improvement as it claims to be and still has the very same issues, mainly being mediocre in most moment-to-moment gameplay.

        This has little to do with Vermintide and much more with the inability of the Deathwing dev to make a good game.

  5. DarkFenix says:

    I refunded this after seeing how awful it was in beta. The guns are wimpy, the terminators aren’t heavy or stompy, there’s no AI director (essential to keep a game like this fresh), and the close combat was crap too.

  6. shrieki says:

    i find the fun factor much improved. awesome gory mayhem – love the sound and visuals. and i find the gun-play is a blast.

  7. amcathlan says:

    Returned the original due to all it’s issue, but I picked this up in the hope they’d have gotten it to it’s potential.
    Well, performance is better.
    With the exception that the tutorial has made Steam (not just the game, Steam) crash three times.
    The guns are still wimpy.
    HOW DO YOU MAKE A STORM BOLTER UNSATISFYING?! It shouldn’t be possible! I’m almost impressed.
    Customization is a handful of…fabulous…skins in a (in-game) currency-gated menu.
    No “paint your own Termie” here, sadly. If your tastes, like mine, run more in the direction of “drab, militaristic ceramics and mean looks”, you’re outta luck buddy.
    Most of it looks like it was designed by whoever did D. Trump’s golden bathroom.

    Honestly, the death-crashes might have given everything else an unfairly sour taste, but I came to this looking for exactly 1 thing, satisfying bolters/firepower.
    Now, since all the weapons are locked to some arbitrary progression bla-bla, I can only call the Storm Bolter and the MkII *unsatisfying, jerky, line-in-air-drawing, 9mm-seeming, pew-pew disappointments to the Emperor*

    However, I shall continue to investigate.

    • Bfox says:

      When I read “Returned the original” my brain thought you were meaning Vengeance of the Blood angels, which imo has aged well.

      It’s chill running through it again on retropies playstation emulator.

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