Space Hulk Review
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A bunch of aliens and a bunch of armored guys walk into a spaceship and start to fight…with dice. Well, the dice is invisible and determines if attacks will actually work or not. You can also play a two-player mode with a friend. Welcome to Space Hulk: a strategy rpg that just released for the Wii U eshop. It’s a game that wants to combine dice rpgs with strategy rpgs. So, is it any good?
Space Hulk has a very confusing story. The game doesn’t introduce its universe or any of its characters. Instead, Space Hulk lays out a story, via a short cutscene, about some armored guys going to a space ship to wipe out some aliens and then its time to go on missions. The missions are introduced with a voice over that tells you what you’re about to do, but doesn’t give you any sense of why you’re doing it.
I feel like I’m missing something with this game because I don’t understand who the armored guys are or why they’re going to the space ship. The game fails to grab my attention with its story. What about its gameplay though? Is Space Hulk an interesting game to play?
On the surface, Space Hulk seems like your typical strategy rpg: you move your characters across tiles and select their actions. However, Space Hulk has hidden dice rolls that effect whether or not your attacks will hurt the enemy. For someone who has little experience with dice games, this is a bit frustrating. Sometimes, I was standing right in front of the enemy and my hits wouldn’t land.
I also don’t care for how slow the characters walked. You can speed up their movement, but then it seems like they move too fast. Space Hulk is also a really difficult game, even on easy mode. Though, if you’re not really into the single player, Space Hulk does have a multiplayer mode.
In the multiplayer mode, two players will have to trade the Wii U gamepad back and forth when its their turn. One player is the armored guys and the other player is the aliens. There seem to be a lot of levels to play in multiplayer mode too. Though I wish that you could use a second controller for multiplayer, its not too much of big deal to pass the controller. If you’ve got a friend that really loves this type of game, you’ll have a lot of fun. Thankfully, the game’s controls work well.
Space Hulk has good controls and multiple ways of changing your camera view, via the D-Pad or using the Wii U gamepad’s touch screen. I do wish the camera was a bit better, sometimes you have to adjust it a lot to get a good view of your characters, but its not the worst camera I‘ve seen. Probably the thing I like least about Space Hulk is that it has no off-tv play. Space Hulk would have been perfect for off TV.
However, the game does make good use of the gamepad. You can either have a map while playing or you can have a third person camera view on the gamepad. Personally, I liked the third person view better. The camera on the TV is above your characters and you don‘t always get a great look at what your character is doing. The third person gamepad view lets you see everything your character is doing and really throws you into the game‘s universe more. In fact, this view and the game’s presentation overall does a better job of putting you into the game’s universe than the game’s story or gameplay does.
Space Hulk’s graphics are really impressive. The third person camera view on the gamepad is especially a treat. Though, if there is one fault to the graphics, it’s the levels themselves lack visual variety. All of the levels look pretty much the same. Even so, the characters, enemies, and environments all look great.
As for the game’s audio, there is not much in the way music in the game, but the voice acting and sound effects in the game are pretty good.
If you like dice roll rpgs and video game rpgs, then you’ll probably like Space Hulk. The game has good graphics, controls well, and will challenge its fans. Though, if you’re like me and you’re not too familiar with dice rpgs, you might find the game too hard. I did like how the game used the gamepad touch screen and I did like the third person view on the gamepad. The game is actually one of the better eshop games as far as the presentation goes. I just wasn’t a fan of the actual content of the game.
I’d highly recommend this game to fans of the genre. Otherwise, you might be better off looking elsewhere for your rpg/strategy fix.
- Very good graphics
- Good audio
- Unique use of the gamepad
- Fans of dice rpgs will love it
- Confusing story
- No off-tv play
- Lack of visual variety
- Won’t covert new fans