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BK Blog Post
Publishing games on the universe Warhammer (as a fantasy version, and "sorokatyasnika") is gaining momentum frightening pace. Among the most notable releases of the outgoing year, you can recall Eternal Crusade , Battlefleet Gothic: Armada and, of course, Total War: Warhammer . In the coming year, we are waiting for Dawn of War III and Inquisitor - Martyr . And now it's time to get acquainted with the first-person shooter Space Hulk: Deathwing , to which fans of "Wahi" had very serious views, despite the fact that his creation was not done by the most experienced and very few known team Streum On Studio(albeit with the help of a handy adaptation for the "desktop" for video games studio Cyanide ).
As you know, not always the lack of experience becomes a hindrance in the development. Let's see if the French have succeeded in releasing a worthy embodiment of the "table" and at the same time do not offend the numerous and very picky to any changes "not according to the canon" community.
What is Space Hulk? This is a desktop strategy game from Games Workshop in the setting Warhammer 40,000, dedicated to battles inside abandoned spaceships, where one of the players controls the detachment of the Space Marine, and the second - the enemies, the genocraps: these are not the most pleasant creatures, whose appearance and behavior easily traces the hints on the classical xenomorfs from the "Aliens". Deadly battles take place in close corridors, where you can not turn around and not part. Space marines in a special "terminator" armor cut, shoot and burn the genocrapies, which, if possible, try to answer the enemies the same. "Desktop" has gained a certain popularity, so it is not surprising that Deathwing is far from the first attempt to adapt Space Hulk.
In 1993 the yearElectronic Arts released the same mix of strategy and shooter for the Amiga and DOS platforms, and a couple of years later published a sequel. Relatively recently (in 2013 and 2014 respectively), there were two parts of the new series, already from Full Control Studios (yes, another company not known to anyone): Space Hulk and Space Hulk: Ascension . In both cases, we had a step-by-step tactic with a top view, but if in the first part it almost completely copied the rules of the desktop version, then in the future the developers decided to more freely handle the original, at the same time completely getting rid of the multiplayer. The decision is bold and, judging by the responses, it is completely justified.
Before the French from Streum On Studio(as well as their colleagues from Cyanide ) there was no such problem - the genre of the classic shooter chosen as the basis completely excluded any "desktop" rules. However, without battles in narrow corridors and tight compartments, the militant could not be called Space Hulk . The very skirmishes and hand-to-hand fights in a limited space in Deathwing are enough, the spirit of the original is preserved to the fullest, but the game is impressive in the first place completely different. It is about the external correspondence of the source - the universe of Warhammer 40,000. In this regard, Deathwing can safely be called one of the best models for imitation.
Space marchers here really look as it should - they are deadly fighters, clad in heavy power armor and armed with powerful weapons. Armor, huge and durable, decorated with protective runes and signs of the Order of the Space Marine, is forced to move in a measured step, the sound of which echoed through the compartments of the abandoned ship. Already this one adjusts to the right mode - there is no constant fussy bustle, Space Marines are like a real death machine, unhurried and inexorable. Armament is also very impressive looks and sounds - from bolters and energy-resistant to flammers and plazmagans.
And what are the locations here! "Vakha" in each texture, in each pixel and each polygon. Narrow corridors are replaced by cabins, long abandoned by their inhabitants, and empty halls, storing the remains of former luxury. Still functioning power units and dust-covered prayer halls, ventilation shafts and sleeping rooms covered with age-old dust - everywhere one can feel attention to detail. The design is not confused with anything - before us as if numerous (and, most importantly, diverse) interiors from the pictures devoted to the universe of the "forty-tail" are coming to life. It's terrible to think how much time and effort it took to create such levels.
The genecrades also fully correspond to their "ancestors" - the same toothy, caustic-clawed, dangerous and numerous. These creatures prefer to attack with a quantity - starting from a dozen or two at a time, less for less. Stupid cannon fodder (with rare exception) - they certainly do not think about some cunning maneuvers. Like the surf on the rocky shore, waves of attackers crash into a small detachment of the Space Marines - the fight from the side is a real meat grinder. In different directions, limbs fly, entrails, blood flows. "Dismemberment" here is quite on the level - to smear enemies on the walls, especially at first, while this process has not become boring - it's a pleasure. But then ...
Sadly, on scrupulous attention to detail and their compliance with the source, as well as on a good impression from the first hours of the game, the pluses of Deathwing end. It is not clear that the fault: the small experience of developers, lack of time or budget, and perhaps all of this together - but it is only necessary to look at how the flaws climb from all the cracks.
For example, the same power armor and weapons: it would seem, what scope for creating gameplay functions associated with them - the failure of individual parts of the armor, different modes of fire, "customization" of equipment ... There is nothing here - armor, it seems which is a very complex device, it turns out to be a common counter of "life points", the gift that in the interface is displayed a scheme with damages of individual elements. And the interface itself is not ideal: the decision to create a radial menu for giving orders is debatable - it is inconvenient to use it in the heat of combat without pause. "Pleases" is that there is not much point in ordering (in fact, there are only four teams - "go", "stop", "follow me" and "treat") - any fight turns into a banal one shooting of those who are fleeing to certain death.
Different weapons allow you to act differently, but in the overwhelming majority of cases, the genocraps are selected for the strike distance, and then a mishmash arises from the flashes of shots flying in different directions of the scrapes and sweeping blows of the enemy. To understand exactly what is happening at this moment is decidedly impossible: it remains only to survive the buttons of the attack, expecting that the enemies will end or they will not survive the armor.
Bugs and their diversity are worthy of a separate conversation - there are a lot of them, starting with trivial "flights" and ending with exotic things like disappearing sound or non-working task triggers.
Comparison with Left 4 Dead , which was used in relation to Deathwing to the place and out of place during the development, is completely untrue. The French game is much inferior to the creation of Valve literally in everything - there is no room for tactics, no dramatic battles to save the fallen fighters, or colorful skirmishes. Shoot everything that moves, but move to the next control point. In another insurgent on the "wah" (albeit in its fantasy part), The End Times - Vermintide , to achieve an interesting gameplay the authors succeeded, albeit at the cost of copying the same L4D .
Although, to be honest, it's worth asking: is it possible to make an interesting game with the mechanics of a shooter on this "desktop", avoiding "gagging" and not turning preemperation in narrow corridors and compartments of abandoned starships into a banal action movie? Take away this kind of shooting and make the gameplay more dynamic - and it will not be the same. If you do the opposite, that is, to the maximum correspond to the original, you will end up with a very dull and inexpressive result. So, actually, and it turned out - yes, this is an adaptation of the very Space Hulk, but in the form of a shooter (albeit with attempts at tactics) it is completely unplayable.
It does not even save the possibility of cooperative passage - now there are quite a lot more quality products "imprisoned" for a joint game. You can admire the excellent design of locations in the "single" - the rest in Deathwing , unfortunately, you do not have to spend your time.
The miracle once again did not happen - it has long been impossible for Warhammer to acquire a truly high-quality game in a genre different from strategy. Paradox, but Games Workshop continues to give licenses to create entertainment in its universes, usually little-known and inexperienced studios. The result is natural - and he can not please either ordinary users, or fans of "wahi."
Pros: excellent design locations, corresponding to the original source; the first few hours of the campaign.
Cons: bugs; an unsuccessful attempt to add tactics; The battles quickly turn into an incoherent meat grinder; monotony and stupidity of opponents.