Space Hulk: Deathwing

An impressive handling of the Warhammer licence, Deathwing is sadly a less than impressive tactical shooter.

Key events

Space Hulk: Deathwing just got a big new update

Space Hulk: Deathwing just got a big new update

New weapons and a raft of technical improvements.

Space Hulk: Deathwing came out in December 2016 and while I enjoyed it, it was pretty rough around the edges, with a number of technical issues and a lack of variation hindering what was on the whole a solid effort at bringing the Space Hulk tabletop to life in video game form.

The developer Streum On Studio has since then released a number of updates for the game, but the most recent is by far the most substantial. It adds new weapons, expanded class loadouts and makes a raft of technical improvements.

Let's dig into the detail. Co-op multiplayer now has the Heavy Flamer weapon and the Hellfire's explosive rounds, which should help make tearing apart the Genestealers a more enjoyable experience.

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Space Hulk: Deathwing review

Space Hulk: Deathwing review

Fly, you fools! It's another bug hunt.

I can't see it much myself, but Deathwing is supposed to be Warhammer 40k's take on Left 4 Dead. Sure its multiplayer game is co-op only (and its campaign fed by AI bots), with you and up to three others up against relentless hordes of skittering horrors, but Left 4 Dead's clever narrative framework, its dynamic stage direction and cast of sarcastic characters are hard to make out in Deathwing's grim darkness of the far future. What you get is more of a glorified survival mode stretched thin over nine large levels, with you and your Terminator Space Marine buddies under regular assault by waves of Alien-inspired creatures as you stomp a steady path from one distant objective to the next.

If that all sounds underwhelming and rather tedious, don't be put off just yet. There are plenty of reasons to be cagey over the current state of Deathwing, but the game's lack of Left 4 Dead DNA isn't one of them. In actual fact Deathwing's flimsy structure and plasterboard systems can, to a degree, be seen as a virtue; you can almost see the influence of the original board game underneath the first-person shooter design. Not enough to have compromised the action too much, but just hints here and there (to reassure the faithful) that developer Streum On Studio hold the source material in suitably high regard. As in, they properly get that 40k is more than just Lord of the Rings in space, or, in the case of Space Hulk, James Cameron's Aliens rampaging through the Mines of Moria.

An example are the spawn points and "blips" that are highlighted on the in-game map, from which the Genestealer hordes commence their attacks. Conventional design wisdom might suggest not revealing such things to the player, especially when doing so highlights the fact that they can't be taken out. But then a knowledge of where the enemy might spring from, and that it will never stop coming for you was always integral to the original game. In Deathwing, as implicit in the ancient text of the first edition Space Hulk rulebook, you have to keep moving forward lest your incomparable space knights become overwhelmed by the demon swarm.

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The promising-looking Space Hulk: Deathwing just got a 17 minute gameplay video

Space Hulk: Deathwing, the promising Warhammer 40,000 game from Streum On Studio, is out soon, and so we have a 17 minute gameplay video showing of the solo campaign.

In the video, below, we see the player assume the role of a Dark Angels Librarian who, alongside his Terminator squadmates, explores a creaking Space Hulk packed with horrible Genestealers.

To my eye, Streum On Studio has nailed the claustrophobic atmosphere of the Space Hulk boardgame, and it's done a great job of recreating the look and feel of a Terminator marine. I like the weightiness of movement, the punchiness of the bolter fire and the crackle of Psyker powers.

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Space Hulk: Deathwing in-game trailer shows off Unreal Engine 4 visuals

Space Hulk: Deathwing in-game trailer shows off Unreal Engine 4 visuals

UPDATE: Confirmed for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Out 2015.

UPDATE: Space Hulk: Deathwing will launch on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2015, the trailer below confirms.

The game may also feature VR headset support. It was mentioned that the game was demoed using the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset back in January, hint hint.

ORIGINAL STORY: There's a Space Hulk first-person shooter, called Deathwing. Didn't you know? Bertie wrote about it in May when publisher Focus Home Interactive released some screenshots.

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FPS Space Hulk: Deathwing gets teaser trailer

FPS Space Hulk: Deathwing gets teaser trailer

Play as a Librarian. Shoot some Genestealers.

There's a Space Hulk first-person shooter in development - and its teaser trailer has just been released.

Space Hulk: Deathwing, not related to Danish indie Full Control's recently-released Space Hulk turn-based strategy game, is the latest product to fall off the Games Workshop video game licensing line.

It's published by Focus Home Interactive and developed on Unreal Engine 4 by Streum On Studio, the team behind E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy, with production help from Cyanide.

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