REVIEW: Space Hulk Ascension
Name: Space Hulk Ascension
Genre: Turn based RPG, Strategy
Developer: Full Control Studios
Publisher: Full Control
Type: Single player
Thank you Full Control for giving us copy of the game so that we can try this game.
Space Hulk Ascension is a 3D, digital, turn based, strategy game, which re-interprets the classic board game experience, and adds new RPG style mechanics, new weapons and missions, new enemy types, 3 playable chapters and loads of other new features to the single player experience.
Have you ever watched any Terminator movie? I bet you did, well the main characters in this game are called “Terminators”. They don’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but they maybe sound like him a little bit. Those “terminators” are Space Marines and you can choose one of three space marines chapters (Ultramarines, Blood Angels, Space Wolves). Before playing the campaign, I recommend to finish tutorial first, cause those of you who never played game like this one is going to have a lot of problems with finishing it, so tutorial first and then campaign. Just a little tip.
There are three campaigns to play: Hammer and Anvil, Sin of Damnation, Fall of Jotunheim. In each campaign you have numerous missions to do. Sometimes you’ll have choice between few missions. You create your own path in this game and that’s fine, but not important, cause the game doesn’t have really some story. Few first missions that I played are mostly very boring, some missions are interesting, but those interesting missions are very rarely. I must admit that some missions have very bad level design, for example in two mission I had to kill 50 or 80+ enemies. You’d think that’s hard, but in this game that’s so easy to do. I just put all my terminators to the doors and put them in overwatch position. 20+ turns I didn’t move my terminators, whole time they were in overwatch position, enemies were just coming to my terminators and I killed them all. That’s the best strategy that you can use to finish missions like those. Game acquires a lot of patience and that’s why I can’t say how much hours is needed to finish this game, but for unexperienced like me, probably a lot.
You have two squads: Squad Horatio and Squad Marcus (you can change the names, I think!). Each squad contain 5 members of different classes. Classes are: Sergeant, Heavy, Ranged, Librarian. Each class is of course unique, especially Librarian who has psychic powers and skill, so he is a little bit different from others. I find heavy class in first few missions very useless, you can’t overwatch with him, he doesn’t have special equipment, he only have flamethrower (heavy was useful for me only in one mission out of 4-5). You can swap your Terminators if you are not satisfied with the squad or some individual. I like this feature to swap characters. For example in most missions, heavy class is useless, so you can swap him with either Librarian or some other class and then in some other missions havey class is very important, without heavy you can’t finish the mission.
Before going to mission, you should check loadout of your Terminators. There you can change weapons, skills ( you have only three skills per terminator, no skill tree), appearance (not important!), attributes. When you get points from mission and exp you can spend them on attributes. Last thing in loadout is equipment (three equipment per terminator). Everything in loadout is unlockable with either points, experience or leveling up. I think attributes are far more important in this game than any other element in loadout. I am not saying that other elements are useless, but you should focus on upgrading your attributes in right way or way you want. Attribute: Weapon, Ballistic, Agility, Willpower, Toughness, Perception.
Now, lets talk about gameplay. As official description of the game says it’s turned-based RPG strategy game. This game is not for “stupid gamers” (I apologize if someone gets insulted), the game requires from you to be always two-step ahead of your enemy. That’s why I can’t recommend this game to everyone, only to the ones that likes turn-based games RPG strategy game or similar games. You need to spend wisely your action points, you always need to plan where your terminators should go, should you use scanner, what kind of fire to use (single, burts, wide) every decision costs you AP and always save 2 AP for overwatch command (another tip). I find overwatch command as the most important command in the game and try to always finish your turn with terminators in overwatch position, cause you’ll not survive for a long time. Try to make as little as possible mistakes, cause then, game is over my friend. Game doesn’t forgive you mistakes. Enemies are fast, deadly and very smart. Space Hulk is really hard even on normal difficulty, maybe that’s because I am unexperienced with this genre or the game is just too hard even on normal difficulty and there are two more higher difficulties!
Graphically games looks good, nothing special. I think graphics are not so important for this type of games, especially when you are almost playing from a top-down camera. Game is very dark, that’s probably how it’s meant to be, but I don’t like it, sometimes it’s very hard to see or spot the enemy and few times my terminator died, cause it was too dark. I know devs wanted to make that dark atmosphere, but I think they made it a little bit darker than it should be. If you looked the pictures, you can see a little window in upper right corner. That’s camera broadcasting for you. You can watch action and whats happening down there from first person. That’s really a nice addition to the game, especially when is your terminator in a fight.
This game is not for everyone, I recommend this game only to ones who likes this genre or to say better, those who likes this type of games. Space Hulk requires patience from you, good strategy, always be two-step ahead of your opponent. I didn’t really had fun with this game, I am planning to finish it, but I am not really enjoying it. I repeat once again, only those who likes this type of games, should buy it and play it.
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