Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus was one of my more pleasant surprises this year. While held back by being a bit easy and buggy, it was still one of the most creative and charming 40k games released in ages, if not ever. Today's 'Tiresus patch', out now and noted here, goes a long way to hammering out the kinks in Bulwark Studios's game of tactical techno-monk versus alien terminator mummy combat. Bugs have been squished, and while still a bit easy (difficulty options are planned), steamrolling the Necron is harder now. Arguably more important, they've added another seven hidden missions and a new boss battle to the game.
While I've yet to dig into this update for myself, playing through the game fresh with the new update is part of my holiday plans. Interestingly, the new missions and boss battle will take some unearthing. They feature a new character, and the promise of "a rather spectacular surprise at the end of the adventure". I'm hoping that future updates are as ambitious. Looking over the patch notes, the changes to balance seem good. Tech-priests are no longer melee gods, many weapons cost more Cognition Points to use, and the the Enhanced Analytics skill only gives a Cognition Point when the gauge is empty.
I'd also like to take a moment to smuggle in an addendum to any Game Of The Year stuff I may write over the holidays - Mechanicus's soundtrack by Guillaume David is amazing. Not many tracks, but every one is buzzing with cyber-gothic religious fervour. No other soundtrack could get away with dubstep wubs and breakbeats mixed into an achingly slow pseudo-Gregorian war chant, but Mechanicus manages it. I might not be one for praising the Omnissiah, but I sure do like its taste in music. Get an earful of it above, ideally with the volume and bass cranked.
The Tiresus patch is live now. Mechanicus is on Steam and Humble and costs £23/€30/$30. You can read Nic Reuben's full review here, where he calls it "so close to being fantastic it hurts" - another patch or two like this, and the pain and frailty of flesh will once more be forgotten, replaced with the sanctity of silicon and code. You're doing okay, Omnissiah.