Best answer: For fans of turn-based tactics, yes! While this gameplay is great, the shallow progression system and the lack of variety in level design keep Space Hulk: Tactics from reaching its maximum potential, but fans of the genre will find a lot to love especially at $40.
Xbox Store: Space Hulk Tactics ($40)
Set in the Warhammer 40k universe, Space Hulk: Tactics is based around a simple concept: space marines have to board a vessel within a "Space Hulk" debris field and plant a bomb in order to destroy it. The alien genebreakers on board have to stop them. However, the premise is the only thing that's simple. Within the confined corridors of ships, both sides have to use tactical thinking and strategic actions to have a chance at winning the day.
Space Hulk: Tactics is a capable turn-based strategy game that fans of the Warhammer 40k universe will enjoy. The combat gameplay is quite unique and well-polished, and the visuals are detailed and enticing.
- Gameplay is unique and high quality.
- Presentation is fantastic.
- Excellent performance.
- Mediocre campaign.
- Shallow progression system.
- Repetitive levels.
Space Hulk: Tactics falls over a little when it comes to its campaign and progression system, but over all it earns a recommendation from us for fans of the genre. For more detail, read on.
The good: Gameplay, presentation, performance
The best thing about Space Hulk: Tactics is that you won't find another game quite like it anywhere else. Whereas most strategy games tend to favor large, open environments, Space Hulk: Tactics defies the norm and opts for using the cramped, tight space of ship corridors instead. It's definitely a risky direction, but the developers made it work excellently. If you're playing as the space marines, who have better armor and damage, your best bet is to create chokepoints in hallways and have a trooper watching as many angles as possible. If you're the genestealers, who emphasize strength in numbers, flanking and ambush tactics are the way to go.
There's a lot of possible strategic encounters to have with this design, and when they happen, you won't be able to resist smiling as your assault trooper cinematically jams his electro-claws into an alien skull or your genestealer tears an unlucky marine to ribbons. Space Hulk: Tactics' overall presentation is fantastic, and both the visuals and the sound effects make each battle feel intense.
Lastly, Space Hulk: Tactics runs flawlessly on Xbox One. I experienced no framerate loss or screen hitching at any point during my reviewing process, so the game is optimized incredibly well.
The bad: Campaign, progression system
The biggest disappointment about Space Hulk: Tactics is the campaign experience. The story isn't particularly interesting, and the large majority of the levels are built too similar to one another. I was hoping to see levels get creative, but sadly, that never ended up being the case. Thankfully, the multiplayer is where most of the action is.
Progression is also flawed. There's only a handful of different items that you can unlock to equip your units with, and while earning these was cool, it didn't take long for me to own almost everything in the game.
Should you buy Space Hulk: Tactics?
Space Hulk: Tactics is a solid entry to the strategy game category for Xbox One users. The lack of a strong campaign and good progression system are unfortunate, but this doesn't hold the title back from being highly enjoyable. The unique and polished gameplay experience makes it more than worth your time.
Alternative turn-based tactics
If you like the look of Space Hulk: Tactics but want a little bit more, there are a few other turn-based tactical games on the market which might be better suited.
Fight an alien invasion
The best turn-based tactics game on Xbox One.
XCOM 2 is the best turn-based tactics game on Xbox One right now, taking place across a wide variety of terrains and locations, with tons of combat options and a large, sprawling campaign. It's more expensive than Space Hulk: Tactics, but that simply represents the title's quality.
If you don't fancy dropping $60 on XCOM 2 and instead want something with a little bit more RPG depth, consider Wasteland 2: Director's Cut from inXile.
Wasteland 2: Director's Cut
Turn-based tactics meets RPG depth.
Wasteland 2: Director's Cut is an homage to CRPGs of years past, featuring similar grid-based turn tactics to XCOM 2, wrapped in an apocalyptic setting. You'll travel across a vast landscape, exploring various locations as you fight crazed cultists and haywire robots for survival in a post-nuclear apocalypse. Pure fun.
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