Space Hulk: Deathwing E3 Hands-off Impressions

Playstation 4 Previews Xbox One PC News E3 2015 Focus Home Interactive FPS Action

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Another game with its inspiration in the 40K universe also being released by Focus Home Interactive is the tactical, first-person shooter Space Hulk: Deathwing. The basic premise of Space Hulk is that you play as a space marine (super soldier) in terminator armour (heavy duty protection) exploring and clearing a space hulk (Space shipwreck) of whatever scum infest it. Space Hulk has had another series recently released with a more direct adaption of the original boardgame developed by Full Control. Deathwing however, developed by Streum On Studio, is completely different kettle of Tyranid fish which I was able to attend a demonstration for at E3. Here are a number of elements which I noted during the playthrough and discussion with the devs there:

-The game will feature a single and multiplayer (up to four players) experience wherein you play as the eponymous Deathwatch terminators as they investigate a space hulk. Each player plays as their own class and fulfill their own role within the fire team. Choices include classes like the psychic Librarian and the healing Apothecary.

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-Classes will unlock skills and equipment through play which they’ll then be able to equip in their loadout before deployment on each level. They appear have a large selection of the space marine arsenal slated to be available including lightning claws, force weapons, stormbolters, assault cannons to equip.

-Before the level starts, you are given overview of the map of the level. However, this is based on the old schematics of the ship before it became a hulk and so the map might be drastically different to the level you’ll actually walk through. You also be able to seal doors behind you to prevent enemies from attacking from your rear, but these doors will not be able to be opened again except by being smashed open.

-The enemies that you’ll be using these weapons against will largely be variations of the Genestealer enemy. There will be various genestealers who have mutations which alter their attacks in a number of ways to keep things fresh but largely they will be trying to eviscerate you. There will also be genestealer cultists who will be armed with less melee-orientated weaponry… but will nonetheless not be a match for you in your tactical dreadnought armour.

-The gameplay itself is very reminiscent of the Left 4 Dead series with the Space Marines working as a team to get to their objective and then possibly fight a final big boss for the level. The 40k universe is thoroughly ingrained throughout however as during one sequence whereupon the team had to wait for Mechanicus prayer to complete it’s sequence to open a door. The Mechanicus prayer in this instance sounded like the noise of an old dial-up internet connection as it was performed in binary (as is in keeping with servants of the Omnissiah).

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-Upon death in multiplayer, the player swaps teams and plays as an adversary genestealer. I was not able to see anything of this mode in the demonstration so I cannot comment more.

In the current build, which is VERY early, there was a lot to see but also a lot which needed to be worked on. I would like to see what other levels the team are working and what they’re planning on putting in to keep the game fresh after a couple of levels.

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