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gamescom 2016

Space Hulk: Deathwing

Space Hulk: Deathwing Is Left 4 Dead In The Grimdark Future
by Mike Futter on Aug 20, 2016 at 10:44 AM
Platform PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Publisher Focus Home Interactive
Developer Streum On Studio
Release 2016
Rating Rating Pending

While I've never played the tabletop miniatures game, Warhammer 40K's lore has always been fascinating to me. Games Workshop's long-running universe populated by a humanity that fears aberration, the risk of corruption by a force vital to survival, and alien threats that borrow from fantasy but diverge severely is filled with stories of heroism and betrayal.

One of the most adored offshoots of the 40K universe is an old board game called Space Hulk. The original and its more recent video game adaptations feature a small squad of heavily armored Space Marines fending off a swarm-like alien race called the Tyranid on giant, derelict spaceships. 

Streum On Studio and Cyanide are adapting that concept into a first-person, squad-based shooter. Deathwing will feature a solo campaign that puts players in the role of a Space Marine Librarian with psychic powers and a huge, powerful arsenal of weaponry. 

In this mode, players have two AI squadmates, including a heavy gunner and a medic. They can be issued simple orders that allow for strategic placement or situation-based tactics. For instance, you can hold the rear, while your allies charge ahead to clear a path.

In multiplayer, up to four players can choose their classes and loadouts and tackle the alien menace. Because the Tyranid can't ever be truly stopped due to overwhelming numbers, you need to press on. In many ways, the result feels like an adaptation of Turtle Rock's Left 4 Dead formula.

The difference is that as you progress, you'll find relics and earn points to unlock new weapons and upgrade your skills. Throughout missions, you'll have a limited number of psy gates to use in order to return to your base ship, re-equip, and return fallen comrades to the fight.

One of the more interesting aspects Deathwing brings to the table is location-based damage for both players and enemies. For instance, taking too much damage in your legs will prevent you from being able to run. Taking hits to your arms will impact your aim. 

Unfortunately, publisher Focus Home Interactive hasn't given us a chance to play Space Hulk: Deathwing yet. It looks fantastic, and the attention to Warhammer 40K details has me excited to dig in deep. Hopefully we'll be able to get hands-on impressions to you before the game arrives on PC in November, with console versions coming later.

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Space Hulk: Deathwingcover

Space Hulk: Deathwing

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
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