Space Hulk: Deathwing Enhanced Edition Review – A Nerd in Terminator Armor – Games, PlayStation 4

So now the time has finally come. As a big Warhammer 40K and as a special fan of the Order of Dark Angels, I couldn’t believe my eyes at the announcement of Space Hulk: Deathwing. I myself have two tattoos of “my” order on my body and was always a little jealous and disappointed when other Space Marine orders got their big appearance in video game adaptations. Now the Dark Angels are finally in the limelight with their first company, the Deathwing, and after a few escapades, the finished game has finally been released, at least for the PlayStation 4 in its Enhanced Edition. So finally the dream comes true to destroy hordes of Tyranids in the name of the Emperor in a gigantic terminator armor. But not all dreams are always positive and beautiful, so you can find out in the test whether Space Hulk: Deathwing is more of a nightmare or a nerd dream come true.

Dark secrets and a lot of blood

In terms of media, this combination is somehow already standard. Where secrets are rumored, the red lifeblood will eventually flow. It is no different with our friends of the first order of the Dark Angels. During the Great Fraternal War, the warriors of the planet Caliban were divided internally as to whether they should remain loyal to the Emperor or join Horus and his revolution. In the end, there was a bloody feud within the order, causing their own home planet to be destroyed and their primarch, Lion El’Jonson, to be dragged to another dimension by mysterious beings after being severely injured. This background is the foundation of the story of Space Hulk: Deathwing. In addition to their normal task of fighting bloody conflicts for the empire of mankind, the Dark Angels try to keep secret this internal strife of days gone by. Old relics or records are meticulously searched for, archived or destroyed.

A signal from a Space Hulk

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For the not so Warhammer 40K savvy players: A Space Hulk is a large interlocked lump of several gigantic space cruisers. In the middle of one of these, the Dark Angels have located the signal of some kind of black box from one of their old ships. So that any unpleasant information does not fall into the hands of other curious people, one is willing to get to the bottom of the matter very properly. In the game you take on the role of a high-ranking psyker of the first company, the Deathwing, and you are one of the absolute military spearheads of mankind. Members of the Deathwing only wear the so-called terminator armor, which is basically a kind of armor on two legs. By the way, the game manages to convey exactly this feeling perfectly. You stomp sluggishly like a colossus through the narrow corridors of the dead spaceship and you can almost feel the heavy steps in your feet. In general, Space Hulk: Deathwing is really great in terms of atmosphere. The designers have perfectly captured the world around the theme of Dark Angels, Space Marines and the Empire. For connoisseurs, the title is visually a feast for the eyes. Fans of dark and melancholic gothic architecture can sometimes be very enthusiastic.

Three terminators for a hallelujah

1650772812 544 Space Hulk Deathwing Enhanced Edition Review – A Nerd inTogether with your two brothers, Barachiel and Nahum, you mix up the Space Hulk in first-person style. Barachiel is the man for the rough and favors the really big guns. Plasma cannon, assault cannon or a heavy flamethrower, he likes it when it really hurts. Brother Nahum, on the other hand, doesn’t like it that much when it hurts. He is a so-called Apothecary of the Space Marines and therefore takes on the role of medic in the squad. He has eight healings to give per level, which can be refilled by using the psi gate. You have four chances of returning to your secured main camp through a psi warp portal. As already mentioned, Nahum regenerates his healing here and you have the opportunity to customize your weapons. A little different than in the tabletop game, as a Scriptor you have an almost unlimited choice of weapons. You can also lead a fully automatic assault cannon or other heavy equipment into battle as you wish. And you’ll be able to use pretty much anything in the armory that the Techmarines churn out. In addition to the massive shooters, you still have the obligatory Psi attacks such as flashes of light or blast. The entire Space Hulk is inhabited by thousands of tyranids who want to create a new gigantic nest out of it in order to quickly build a world devourer. So two birds are killed with one stone here. You prevent the emergence of a Tyranid invasion and skillfully wrap a cloak of silence about unpleasant old Order secrets.

mass instead of class

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This all sounds like a fabulous setting for a really hot shooter. That’s true so far, if it weren’t for the many small inconsistencies that also made it into the game. Tyranids are inherently numerically superior. However, they don’t think much of tactics or general thinking (swarm intelligence sends its regards). So it is, purely from the background, absolutely normal that the developers Streum On Studio and Cyanide throw dozens of stupid enemies in front of your crosshairs, but in terms of play it only makes you feel good to a limited extent. While there are a few Genestealer Hybrid versions that also wield firearms, they’re usually attacked by locust-like swarms of claws and sharp teeth. Nevertheless, the feeling of simply pumping massive projectiles into this mass with your storm bolter is very entertaining for a short time. Unfortunately, your AI battle brothers also make a negative impression. As a reminder, Space Marines themselves are genetically optimized super soldiers who are about 2.50 tall, have reflexes and physical strength like demigods and also carry several hearts, lungs and other necessary organs in their bodies. First Company members are veterans with many battles and centuries of experience. And the Deathwing has the toughest and best first company of any Space Marine Chapter in the galaxy.

Dumb and Dumber

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Anyone who now plays a round of Space Hulk: Deathwing offline will immediately understand why the description was previously a mockery. Anyone who thought the AI ​​companions were annoying or bad support in the first Halo parts does not yet know Brother Barachiel and Brother Nahum. The two elite veterans trudge stupidly and leisurely behind you. When enemies appear, they act with a reaction time one would expect from a land turtle or a sloth. By the time they decide to open fire as well, you’re at the first reload animation. If they are attacked in close combat, they will turn helplessly in circles, do nothing or just try to shoot back somehow. As a huge Deathwing fan and ruler of a tabletop army, it’s a shame to witness these sadly funny moments. This can be remedied by working together with real other players. Online, your squad can be increased to four members and then at least the stupidity is limited.

Adjustments until the Apothecary comes

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In terms of fan service, the title sets the bar quite high, as already indicated. With the points you earn, you can customize your models for special missions and online battles. Various armor and weapons with all kinds of decorations make the fan heart beat faster. Warhammer fans will definitely be offered a lot here. Technically, the game doesn’t necessarily go wrong either. The loading times are a bit annoying, otherwise the game at least runs quite smoothly. There is a lack of play, especially for non-experts, but there is a lot of variety quite quickly. A bit like Left 4 Dead in narrow corridors, that’s the best way to describe Space Hulk: Deathwing. In addition to hearty shootouts and fights, you occasionally hack a turret or barricade a door. There was definitely more to it than clearing wave after wave of cannon fodder and selecting rudimentary healing commands via speedwheel.


Space Hulk: Deathwing Enhanced Edition is a very double-edged (energy) sword. Fans of the Warhammer 40K universe, especially the Space Marines or especially the Dark Angels, will be much more lenient with the title. The gameplay isn’t a total failure, but it really doesn’t offer any highlights either. But the title knows how to implement the wishes of the fans very well. The design, the adjustments, the character models – everything is right here down to the smallest detail. And this is exactly where the strength of the game lies. If you’ve always wanted to stomp through a narrow space hulk like a running tank in tactical cybot armor (Terminator armor) and give continuous fire in hordes of Tyranids, you can perfectly pursue this wish here. If you expect good storytelling and varied and modern gameplay, you will be disappointed.

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