Warhammer 40K: Space Wolf is a turn-based tactical strategy game published and developed by HeroCraft. You take command of a squad known as the Space Wolves, joining the fight against servants of Chaos and the sinister Necrons. Starting the game, you’re put on a map that acts as a tutorial of the game. You start with Commander Valgard and as you progress you meet other allies to aid you in the battle against the Necrons. Combat progresses with you taking turns and using cards. You also have two action points for each character per turn. Once each character has taken their turn, your enemy does the same. However, playing is slightly more complicated than moving, picking a card, and attacking.
Your cards are your source for moving and attacking so you have to think about which cards you want to sacrifice to move your character and which card to use for maximum damage. Each action card has a number on the upper right side that indicates effort points. While turned based you can try and secure a second turn by strategically using cards that give you a low effort value. I found many times using a card to move closer to my opponent and when my characters turns came around again, unleash as much damage that I could to thin the herd.
In Space Wolf you have different classes and while you cannot change your allies’ class you can do so for Valgard, squad leader. There are three to choose from. Scout, Power Armor, and Terminator. Each class has a skill tree that you can unlock in between maps to further the effects of your cards. Scout is your sniper class and you’re able to call a companion to the battlefield that lasts until it is killed in battle. Power Armor seemed like your jack of all trades and you acquired rage much faster, allowing you to do more damage. Last, you have Terminator and from trying it out it seemed like there were more melee than ranged weaponry. Out of the three, I really enjoyed Scout. You’re able to summon a wolf to fight alongside you. This definitely adds to the numbers of characters you can control and they make for a good decoy. It definitely helped distract the enemy so I could regroup hurt characters and get them to safety.
I appreciate Space Wolf’s unrelenting combat. Each map I would think I was done and close to an objective and more enemies would reappear or the objective would change. Campaign is a bit lengthy. Due to the difficulty of the game I was not able to finish by the time of my review. There are four acts and within each about four to five chapters. From what I could accomplish in campaign, maps took place in a variety of biomes, like jungles to dilapidated towns and cities. Combat is easier to learn but can take a while to master.
As an avid gamer who loves strategies, I usually rush in with some tact but in this game I needed to be extra careful. In the first few maps, you had to keep your squad alive, if a single one fell in battle it was game over. In some strategy games, you could choose any character to move, however in this game, each character has designated turns. You can not move very far and the enemy constantly applies pressure. I found a mixture of offense and defense worked best and applying pressure when there was only one enemy isolated at the time. I was happy that you can replay the tutorial however after you have come across the information you needed to review you could not abort the mission.
Warhammer 40K: Space Wolf is a solid game however it has its flaws. Reviewing this on the Nintendo Switch, I was shocked that I could not take this game on the go. You needed to always be connected to the internet. When trying to check out Co-op mode, you can only do so locally. Unfortunately, I did not have any friends on my list that played this game to try out this function. The constant need to be connected to the internet was very confusing. Coupled with very slow response and clunky menus this almost turned me off from the game entirely. However, I spied in the settings that you could speed up gameplay and that made all the difference. The menu selection was still a bit clunky but it made my experience with the game just a tad better.
Despite all its flaws, Warhammer 40K: Space Wolf delivers some solid gameplay. It forces you to slow down and think about every move and action. And when you get into a good rhythm, it’s pretty satisfying when you see the victory banner and it’s onto the next map to do it all again.
Warhammer 40K: Space Wolf is available now Nintendo Switch.
Warhammer 40K: Space Wolf
Despite all its flaws, Warhammer 40K: Space Wolf delivers some solid game-play. It forces you to slow down and think about every move and action. And when you get into a good rhythm, it’s pretty satisfying when you see the victory banner and it’s onto the next map to do it all again.