Despite the vigorous activity of the Games Workshop company , which makes it possible for almost everyone to create games in the universe of the “forty-thousand”, we have seen few really good tactical strategies. One of them is Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach , which I wrote about four years ago. And in July, Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector was released from Black Lab Games , the creators of Battlestar Galactica Deadlock . Both of these games turned out to be surprisingly similar (there is even one publisher – Slitherine , well known to all connoisseurs of wargames) – both in their pluses and minuses. It is the Battlesector became the first computer game where the new generation of Space Marines – Primaris – appeared.
Primaris on Secundus
If in Sanctus Reach we played as Space Marines from the Order of the Space Wolves, who defended the planet Aleric Prime from the orcs, then in Battlesector their brothers from the Blood Angels are in the foreground. They cleanse Secundus from the tyranids – a satellite of their home planet Baal. This happens after Baal attacked the Hive Fleet Leviathan, and the sudden appearance of the Crusade of the reborn primarch Roboute Guilliman became salvation.
There is only one campaign in the Battlesector ( there were two in Sanctus Reach ), it has only Space Marines and Tyranids and fewer missions, but almost each of them is intense and unique in its own way. Including due to the fact that the events unfold on a variety of maps – there are ruins, and industrial complexes, and desert lands, and much more.
Even in the snow you have to fight.
The tasks are typical and understandable – to capture something (for example, a bunker with weapons), then hold back, repulse, accompany the Librarian to retrieve the gene-seed of the fallen Space Marines, free and protect the dreadnought, and at the end, in almost all missions, you need to beat the remaining tyranid forces. The plot is presented with static pictures and dialogues, but in them, and in general, the game feels a very correct degree of brutality – also thanks to the extremely expressive voice acting, atmospheric music and competent work with sound.
The art is also atmospheric.
Well, in general, the campaign is interesting – a new threat of the return of the Leviathan appears, the Primaris are involved, and new allies are gradually joining the main character, Sergeant Carleon, for example, the sanguinary priest Aeturo, the Techmarine Kroginax and others. And dialogue unfolds between them, in which, in particular, doubts about Primaris slip through – loyal fans of the Warhammer 40,000 universe will be pleased with this attention to detail.
The game has been translated into Russian, but those unfamiliar with the universe will not really understand anything.
As in Sanctus Reach , before each mission we form our army, starting from the point limit, adding some units, and removing some. The limit is gradually increasing, but still it significantly limits – you have to reluctantly leave many in stock, focusing on the cost of the squad. It is also influenced by more advanced equipment, which we unlock for tokens issued at the end of missions. So, the dreadnought can replace the standard weaponry with a flamethrower, the Destroyers can be given a heavy plasma burner, and the Aggressors can be given fire gloves that will replace rocket launchers.
There are many improvements, but few tokens.
For the same tokens in the “Headquarters Upgrades” menu, we open active and passive skills, which, for example, increase the number of Primaris units or, when used in battle, give bonuses to accuracy and damage in a melee attack. These bonuses are divided into branches, for which the main characters of the game are responsible: for example, Sergeant Carleon, among other things, pumps out patron squads, the sanguinary priest Aeturo improves the Primaris and the Annihilators, and Brother Quindar – dreadnoughts. You can also learn individual abilities for each hero.
At the same time, specific units are not pumped and do not become veterans – the aforementioned bonuses, skills and new equipment generally apply to one or another type of troops.
The explosive grenade launcher is immediately available to the Aggressors.
The main achievement of the Battlesector , as was the case with Sanctus Reach , is the actual tactical battles. They, of course, are step-by-step: first we walk, then give the go-ahead and wait for the enemies to take their actions. Each unit has separate movement points and action points, and the heroes have more AP.
Before starting the mission, you can choose how to place the units.
It is important to decide where to move the fighters, given that the distance affects the accuracy of the hit, that there are cover, zones of control that allow you to attack moving opponents, as well as the observation function. As a result, if you correctly arrange the troops, then the opponents can be pretty worn out on the way, until they really did nothing.
This is how it looks like.
Pleases and the abundance of types of troops, each of which has its own characteristics, skills and specializations. Someone is more vulnerable to poison or melee attacks, someone poisons everything around, someone knows how to fly on their jetpacks or bombard enemies with bombs. In addition, the tactical tension is introduced by the cover – we see how some shots hit them, while others reach the target.
Plus there are heroes, heavy vehicles and unique elite units. It is clear that some fighters may seem more useful than others – for example, dreadnoughts. But they are not given out immediately, and, in principle, the main thing is that the game gives a rich choice.
The battles look big.
All units accumulate momentum points for killing enemies, and when they have accumulated enough, then these points can be spent on improving the ability or on an additional action. If the units end their turn in observation or with unspent AP, then the momentum points are removed – this is how we are forced to act actively.
The more momentum, the higher the chance of a critical hit.
In turn, the heroes accumulate command points – they are given out when allies die or we complete important plot tasks. For this resources, we call for air support – as an option, powerful artillery strikes with Typhoon missiles.
First, all this needs to be learned for tokens between missions.
We want more
Just like Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach , there are only two factions in Battlesector . Moreover, for the tyranids you can play in the “skirmish”, as well as replay the story chapters – this is really interesting. The Tyranids, of course, have their own units with unique features, and among the elite, the Tyranid Hive and Exocrine stand out (among the Blood Angels, the Death Company and the Baal Predator can be noted). But they all accumulate momentum in the same way.
Tyranids love poison and claw.
One campaign, two factions, the absence, as in Sanctus Reach , of a global mode – yes, the game gives reason to scold her for a small amount of content. Plus, it is unnerving (as you yourself know where) the need to wait long enough for the enemies to descend. Being able to speed up this process doesn’t help much.
The game can be beautiful.
Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector , like Sanctus Reach , is not the most catchy and polished, there is not much content in it. But full of pathos, brutality, units and heroes (including Primaris themselves!) And there is a real tactical tension. And the fact that the game is a niche, in this case only for the best – in it people will feel at home.
Pros: plot you want to follow; many units with their own characteristics; exciting tactical battles; interesting impulse system; Russian translation; Warhammer 40,000 atmosphere is rendered as it should; neat picture, pleasing with details, gothic architecture and animation; almost exemplary work with music, voice acting and sound in general.
Cons: little content; poor direction; a long wait when the enemies finish walking; lack of pumping and customization of specific units that move with you from mission to mission.