From HeroCraft Ltd and Games Workshop comes Warhammer 40000: Space Wolf, a grid-based, tactical, turn-based strategy game, where players will have to use their head, and their skills, to survive a hostile world and crush their enemies. Originally released on Google Play for Android phones, the game has now made its way to PlayStation 4, with a bevy of content added for console owners. While there may be other tactical turn-based games currently available on the PlayStation network, Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf is one of the strong ones.
Shot down, stranded, and surrounded on an alien world, the enemy closes in. The evil Chaos Marines, emblazoned in their crimson blood-red armor, hunt their prey within the alien jungle. They have conquered many a foe and spread their scourge across mankind, but they have never met you: The Space Wolf. Like any predator on Earth, you hunt in a pack. Your skills are far superior to everyone else on the battlefield. You bear your fangs at the sight of the enemy and crush them with impunity. You preserve your family of brothers on and off the field. You are a Space Wolf.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf takes place on the planet Kanak of the Segmentum Obscurus region. It is a vicious jungle planet, but the Chaos Marines call it home. Your objective is to wipe them all out and take the planet to achieve victory against your arch-nemesis. The Chaos Marines, embued with dark magic, threaten you and your team, known as the Sons of Russ. Shot down and scattered, you and your team work together to fight back and complete the mission. However, deep in the alien jungle, other threats to you and your team lie in wait. If you do not have what it takes, you will not survive.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf plays as a grid-based, tactical, turn-based strategy game, with card combat elements. The game initially follows the traditional basics of the genre. Players are given action points which can be used to move, attack, or defend. What sets Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf apart in the genre is the use of cards. During each level, a row of cards are displayed along the bottom of the screen. These cards each contain either an offensive or defensive ability, as well as a few special cards that can be used to equip special weapons or execute special moves. Offensive cards are how the player attacks, using heavy bolters, rifles, or small handheld bolters. Once players select an offensive item, they may attack a target within range.
Players can also use defensive cards can be used to heal themselves and their units, as well as deploy shields to boost their defensive stats. Special cards appear less often, but they allow the player to equip weapons, such as plasma cannons or can be used to help cause extra damage. The key to the card system is deciding when to chain attacks together for more critical hits, and when to tactically skip turns to save extra action points for later. Not all cards chain together, so players must customize their card decks for the later levels to allow better access to preferred combat abilities.
While the planet may appear to be entirely jungle, each board will be completely different, Players will also be required to complete various objectives from map to map. Some objectives require you to rescue a comrade and hold out against the enemy. Others require securing a certain item or destroying a specific target. The player will traverse various terrain from ruins and thick jungles to volcanoes and secret bases. Scattered throughout each level are also secrets for the player to uncover for more skilled players. When on the battle grid, one note is that players can only shoot what is directly in front of them. They can’t shoot diagonally on the tile. Combat can get extra challenging, as action points need to be spent moving their Space Wolf into a position to properly open fire.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf does take getting used to, but after some practice, it is a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding tactical experience. The Chaos Marines come in a variety of forms and being able to outsmart, outwit, and outplay the enemy is absolutely satisfying. During some attacks, the camera will provide a more cinematic shot as players watch their weapons pierce their enemy. The wide array of weapons and discovering new ways to exploit them is incredible. Building chains is rewarding, and seeing that special card come and save your Space Wolf from a tight spot is always incredibly fulfilling. Each battle won is a fist-pump for the player.
Some things were lost in translation, though, from Android to PS4. While the game looks and sounds sharp on a higher display, the text is small and difficult to read. Voice acting or changing the size of the text boxes could have benefited the overall experience. The game also does not have any checkpoints, meaning that if a player fails towards the tail end of a mission, they will have to restart the entire mission all over again. Some of these missions can last upwards of 15 to 20 minutes, and it can be a painful restart. A checkpoint or the ability to save would have been nice.
While those two attributes would have been appreciated, their absence is a small price to pay for the overall content and enjoyment Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf provides. The game packs in a ton of content, including several campaigns across which player can gain new cards, wolves, and fight the Necrons, an entirely different enemy from the original campaign. Meanwhile, each level of the long and varied campaign has secrets to find, as well as secondary objectives to complete. There are also multiple challenge maps to test the player in their offensive and defensive tactics. Ultimately, Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf packs in a lot of content.
There will be other tactical strategy games debuting soon on consoles, such as Wargroove and Fire Emblem: Three Houses, or Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble from earlier this year. But, smaller titles like Warhammer 40000: Space Wolf shouldn’t be overlooked. There is something genuinely special about Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf. The tactical combat is solid, the sense of danger and excitement is high, and the content of the game leaves players coming back for more.
Warhammer 40000: Space Wolf is available on Steam, Google Play, Apple Store, and PlayStation 4. It is priced at $29.99 for the PlayStation 4.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf
- Rating - 8/108/10
There is something genuinely special about Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf. The tactical combat is solid, the sense of danger and excitement is high, and the content of the game leaves players coming back for more.