Space Hulk: Deathwing for PC is another video game based around the classic 1989 board game made by Games Workshop. This rendition of Space Hulk is a first person shooter. Being developed by Streum On Studio, who are more well known for their work on E.Y.E: Divine.
You play as member of the Deathwing squad. These are a special unit of space marine whose mission is to destroy an alien race named Genestealers and take back the legendary ship, Space Hulk. The Space Hulk is home to mysterious artefacts and technologies, who have become the target of space pirates; these are your main enemy throughout the game.
The gameplay is a combination of squad management, and hectic first person shooting. You are a member of squad consisting of 2 other members. You are able to choose how to equip the other members in your squad at the start of the mission. One of them can be a healer, whilst the other can act as an additional damage dealer or tank style character. It’s very hard to progress properly without the healer character so make sure you have him properly equipped for it. As someone who absolutely loved playing with a Space Marine army in the tabletop game, it was a huge nostalgia hit to play as one of these behemoths here. The sheer size of the marines really comes across in a number of ways, such as the way you maneuver around a level, not being able to jump over objects was a strange one to get used to though.
Gunplay in Deathwing is extremely satisfying. With a fairly large arsenal of weapons to choose from at the start of a level, you definitely get another hit of nostalgia as you see the classic Space Marine weapons make an appearance, from the Bolt Gun, to Plasma rifles. Not only do you have guns to select from, you can also spec your marine to be a fully fledged melee class, with axes, swords, maces and claws all being viable options. I personally went down the route of having a healer marine, melee dps marine, and I was the guy who sat in the back and fired grenades at my foes.
The amount of enemies on your screen at any one time is huge too. Even playing on my 1080 card, my frames dropped sub 60, but not by much. Due to also having a melee weapon and a range weapon, you can easily make the switch when things get a little up close and personal. Not only is the gunplay satisfying, but so is the melee combat. Being able to smash, hack and stab your way through a hoard of enemies still a viable option over gunning them down.
I played the entire single player campaign over the course of this week, and it took me just over ten hours to complete. The start of the game is very slow to get into, mainly due to the levels being so large, and the speed of which your marine walks. The tempo really picks up after the first couple of levels though. There is a small portion backtracking to levels you have already been in, on more than one occasion, but they do tie in with the story but some people may feel this is a little lazy on the devs behalf. The majority of levels will take you around 30/45 minutes to complete, so they are fairly long, but like I said, a lot of time is spent just walking from objective to objective.
The multiplayer side of Deathwing, is a co-op campaign mode, but you can also play this with up to three more people. Making your squad of three, now a squad of four. This will allow for players to ramp up the difficulty of the playthrough. The addition of different difficulty levels will add some replayability, whether you do it single player or co-op, personally I have started my second playthrough on a higher difficulty and will definitely be jumping into some co-op action once a few friends pick this game up.
Each level also has a variety of hidden items for you to collect. This add nothing in terms of gameplay, but hidden objects are always a good side task for this sort of game, and one that I actually found myself being obsessed with after the first level!
After reading on the Steam forums, Space Hulk: Deathwing seems to be getting a lot of hate from people, but none of the arguments people are putting forward seem to correlate with what I have experienced. Of course you have the people whining that the game doesn't run properly, but don’t buy a game in 2016 if you have a potato for a rig which is what these people will be running. I found the gameplay extremely compelling after you get past the first few stages of slowness, and being a huge fan of the 40K universe, I certainly got a huge nostalgia hit playing this game reminding me of my youth playing a Space Marine tabletop army. Even though I haven’t had many negatives to say about this game though, I still wouldn’t recommend people pick this game up at full price, $39.99 is a bit steep for a game if you only plan on playing through it once, without any pvp to keep the multiplayer scene alive, If you do have a group of friends which you can bash out a few playthroughs on various difficulties with, then for sure $39.99 is going to get you more than enough content and quality gameplay though.