Based on the cult classic board game, Warhammer 40,000, Space Hulk: Deathwing is a first-person shooter, that, while an impressively different adaptation of Games Workshop’s property, struggles to find a fanbase beyond devoted Warhammer players. However, while the original release had some issues users couldn’t forgive, the game’s Enhanced Edition does its best to repair them.
Expanding on the original game, and adding a myriad of new content and features, as well as a richer multiplayer mode, Space Hulk: Deathwing’s Enhanced Edition is a far better gaming experience than the first iteration, but it still isn’t perfect.
Play as a Terminator of the Deathwing – the feared first Company comprised of the elite of secretive Space Marine Chapter, the Dark Angels – and engage in a desperate battle against Genestealers, within the claustrophobic confines of a Space Hulk. Grow stronger, gaining skills, new abilities, and powerful equipment as you earn experience across perilous missions. The Enhanced Edition brings a host of fresh features to enjoy in both solo and multiplayer: a new class, an expanded arsenal, deadly new enemies, a deep online customisation system, and a new Special Missions mode bringing infinite replayability with randomly-generated missions for every game chapter.
While these new features are impressive and certainly make up for the game’s earlier faults of substandard graphics and functionality, this is still a game that has firmly divided its users, even after its enhancements. It seems to be an adaptation that is appreciated more by hardcore fans of the Warhammer 40k universe, who appreciate the small details and impressive touches, while others still find numerous issues with the overall gameplay – from the lack of close combat to the generic swarms of aliens and functionality issues.
In single-player mode, you are accompanied by two space marines as you investigate a gigantic abandoned ship, which has a ship from a bygone age at its heart that must also be investigated. However, in order to do this, you must first clear the ship of Xenomorph-like Tyranid Genestealers who have been living in the depths of the hulking ship. In terms of gameplay, Deathwing feels like more of a one-paced retro shooter, from a time when gamers could only hope for an open world, as there’s a lot of walking corridors and shooting aliens, before doing the same again, with brief breaks for sequences where for a certain amount of time you must survive an onslaught of enemies.
On the other hand, the four-player co-operative mode allows for a little more variety and something more akin to a survival game, and in the Enhanced Edition you can now play a set of randomly generated Special Missions that offer a lot of replay value, making for more exciting gameplay.
Even though Space Hulk: Deathwing Enhanced Edition is definitely one of the best Warhammer 40k adaptations out there, with crisp graphics and impressive attention to the details of the source material, it’s still lacking in refinement for the vast majority of gamers, so perhaps it is a game best appreciated by Warhammer 40k’s most dedicated fans.
Space Hulk: Deathwing Enhanced Edition is available now on PC and PS4 now.