I am a huge fan of Warhammer 40k and I still dabble now and then in the tabletop game. I’ve even read a few books about it. Space Marines however never really apealled to me I always went for Eldar or Imperial Guard as a result I never tried the Space Hulk Minitures game.. As a fan of Warhammer and Games Workshop as a whole I have loved mostly every single computer game from the company so I was excited to give Space Hulk Ascension a try. In SHA you play as squads of Space Marine Terminators with powerful weapons to navigate through Space Hulks; giant space ships eradicating the Tyranid hordes on-board. Its a turn based strategy game that bring the tabletop game to the computer gaming community.
The gameplay is everything you’d expect from a turn based 3D strategy game. You have a certain amount of action points per unit and everything you do costs an action point or two or even three in some cases. So you can move, turn and shoot. Or you can shoot move and turn. Or move and stick on Overwatch which allows the terminator to fire on any Genestealers that may cross its path during the bad guys turn. You can upgrade your terminators which adds an RPG element to the game which is great so you can unlock new close combat weapons such as power fists or thunder hammers. I tend not to use close combat weapons however as every time I did, I always lost the roll and a Genestealer would rip my face off.
The action is slow going so if your looking for a fast pace shooter you are looking at the wrong game. With the slow action though comes an eerie sense of tension with no music and the low hum of the ship as you control your squads through the dark Space Hulk to your goal. I felt attached to my marines especially after levelling them up and giving them new gear so I found myself surrounding myself with crappy ,marines and forming a marine shield around my good guys. With heaps of different chapters to choose from ranging from Ultra Marine to Space Wolves and the different types of Terminators such as Librarian or Heavy you have a lot to choose from in regards to aesthetics and campaign. Loads of different missions and the ability to upgrade makes this game packed to the brim with content.
The graphics are great! With a top down view of the battlefield that you have full control of the camera and a small screen on the top right of your screen which shows the view of the Terminator you are controlling. I had no frame rate drops even on the original Xbox One which made me happy. The camera from squad member to squad member was seamless and after a while a doddle to do quickly. The gun fire and blood are great when it eventually comes and wasn’t a let down. The only let down I had was the action if a Genestealer killed off my men. It wasn’t gory enough in my opinion and felt a little underwhelming.
The no music aspect annoyed me to start with. But after a while as I said earlier it added to the tension. The only thing in these ships are my squads and Tyranid and the low hum of the Space hulk. When gun fire happened it gives you a little fright because of the sound of the guns! They sound so huge (which they are). Your terminators voices are exactly the same as they are in other games which is a good thing. As stated earlier the game is packed with content. Missions, chapters of marines and some you need to unlock also the RPG element in upgrading your terminators will keep bringing you back to this game. This is all well worth the money you will be spending to buy this game.