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Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 explains its three grand campaigns

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 is almost here – due on January 24th – and the space-naval strategy sequel looks to be a tad bigger and more ambitious than its predecessor. In the very seriously narrated info-dump trailer below (it sounds like the man is speaking in ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME), it lays out what its new single-player side entails. While there are twelve playable factions, the story side of the game contains just three campaigns – Imperial, Necron & Tyranid – though each has their own distinct systems and even narrative style. Take a look at the shape of ships to come below.

While the campaign in the original Armada felt a little threadbare, it feels like developers Tindalos Interactive are diving a lot deeper on both the grand strategy and narrative aspects here. Playing as the Imperium gives you access to Space Marine, Imperial Navy and Adeptus Mechanicus factions under one umbrella. Their campaign sounds the most traditional – expand, build, defend. As the game it set in a new ‘end of the 41st millennium’ era, and all manner of horribleness is pouring out of the Eye Of Terror, diplomacy seems a secondary concern to building a lot of overbearingly goth ships.

The Necron campaign sounds less building-focused. Instead, they’re trying to use what ships they have to push deeper into enemy territory to unearth more lost relics and facilities left behind in eras past. Strategic, pointed expansion. The third campaign looks the simplest and most cathartic – the Tyranids are an all-consuming swarm. You eat planets, convert them into more ships, then prime your next stop with vanguard forces before sending in your bigger ships. Repeat until everything’s eaten. I’ve always liked playing swarm-style factions in strategy games, so long as they don’t require too much micromanagement.

Interestingly, the Tyranid’s mindless consumption will be reflected in how the campaign is presented. While the Imperial and Necron campaigns have traditional narration and exposition, the Tyranid story is told from the perspective of their victims. While the trailer doesn’t go into great detail on it, it does appear that the strategic layer of the game is far more complicated than before. Not quite a full-fledged 4X strategy game, but seemingly more involved than before. While perhaps not quite as sprawling in its ambition as Total War: Warhammer, it’s looking like a much-expanded sequel to a flawed but atmospheric game.

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 sets sail on January 24th. You can find it here on Steam and Humble for £31.49/€35.99/$35.99, and an extra 15% early discount for those with the first game. It’s published by Focus Home Interactive.

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