Warhammer's turn-based strategy games have thrived on mobile/handheld devices in recent years, but Space Hulk: Tactics now brings the action to home consoles.
The main thing that sets this apart from the similar X-com series and keep it true to the Space Hulk board games are the layouts of the stages. There's lots of single line corridors and confined spaces in comparison to X-Com's more open areas. On top of this, the game has a perk card mechanic, which can be traded on for more movement points, or used for a temporary stat boost.
As well as the usual tactical view overlooking the "board", there's also a first person view. It's an interesting idea that makes looking round corners much more tense, however it tends to slow things down a bit too much and takes away from the overall board game feel. You'd have a tough time playing much of the game like this. The view does highlight the detail of the environments in the game which look great and feel immersive. Bits of smoke sneaking out of pipes, and blurryness caused by gas are neat little touches.
The game's campaign lets you play as one of two factions - either the slow moving guns blazing Space Marines, or the fast paced close combat Genestealers. Unfortunately, throughout the campaign, the majority of your crew feel like real jabronies. It's a shame, as attachment to characters combined with permadeath can really add to a game like this. There'll be no tears shed for generic marine number 5.
Other modes include skirmish and online, as well as one of the most interesting parts of the game that really does add genuine games workshop authenticity - the mission editor. Creating your own mission was always a big part of Games Workshop, so it's cool that they've put so much time and effort into this feature. Missions can have one of twenty different objectives, so if you've got friends into this game too, getting them to play your custom missions is a pretty rad experience.
The controls have clearly been optimised for console. Operating the menus and making selections in-game is smooth and not frustrating in the slightest. There's no accidentally clicking on the wrong square or getting lost in poorly organised menus.
As far as board games to video games go, Space Hulk: Tactics is one of the best examples of how to do it right. If it can get a good online community it will most certainly thrive and be a game you keep coming back to.
SPACE HULK: TACTICS / DEVELOPER: CYANIDE / PUBLISHER: FOCUS HOME INTERACTIVE / PLATFORM: PC, PLAYSTATION 4 (REVIEWED), XBOX ONE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW