Space Hulk is the new-and-improved turn-based tactics video game of the original 1993 classic, developed by Full Control and released on 15 August 2013. This version of Space Hulk is a 3D digital turn based strategy game that recreates the classic claustrophobic board game experience for single player and multiplayer cross-platform play between PC, Mac and on iOS.
This version of the game features the Blood Angels Chapter of Space Marines battling the grotesque aliens known as Genestealers. Space Hulk has received mixed to average reviews. Review aggregator Metacritic has estimated an average score of 58 out of 100 based on 22 reviews, with most reviewers citing a lack of polish and a too stringent adherence to the tabletop game rules.
First released as a board game in 1989, Space Hulk has seen multiple expansions and editions up to the limited 3rd Edition in 2009. Space Hulk is based on the "Sin of Damnation" campaign from the Warhammer 40,000 (3rd Edition) board game which includes a robust 12 mission single-player and co‐operative campaign. Recreating the tense battles of the board game, multiplayer mode will allow players to go head-to-head as one player controls the Space Marines and their opponent the Genestealers, in the ultimate fight for domination. Cross platform functionality in multiplayer mode allows players to compete against friends whether they play on PC, Mac or mobile. The Space Hulk level editor will enable players to design their own levels, share them with others online and in a central hub explore creations of the community.
- Blood Angel Terminator Squad
- Fearsome Genestealers with challenging AI
- Thematic 3d environment
- Single player campaign based on the "Sin of Damnation" hulk
- New coop multiplayer levels against the Genestealer AI (upcoming)
- Multiplayer head-to-head recreating the board game experience against a friend
- Cross platform multiplayer between PC, Mac and iOS
- Level editor with ability to share creations (upcoming)
- Game expansions in the future as DLC
- New Co-op Game mode added supporting up to 4 players
Plot and Setting
The new version of Space Hulk is set in the isolated corridors and tomb-like chambers of an ancient vessel known as a Space Hulk, lost in the graveyard of space. Players lead a small army of fearless Space Marine Terminators into battle in a ferocious fight for survival against hordes of predatory alien Genestealers. This version of Space Hulk, like its predecessor, is set in the fictional Warhammer 40,000 universe.
The Space Marines are the most powerful warriors of Mankind, defenders of humanity and guardians of the Imperium. All of the Space Marines in the Space Hulk game wear thick Terminator Armour and are equipped with awesome firepower. Only Space Marines are brave and determined enough to enter the horror-infested space hulks and face the dreaded Genestealer menace that lurks within. Opposing the Space Marines are the insidious, repulsive and horrific Genestealers. These alien creatures come from deepest space with one purpose: to destroy. They are savage, six-limbed beasts with fangs and claws that can rip through the thickest ceremamite armour with ease. Incredibly strong and lightning fast, supremely adapted for killing, Genestealers are virtually unstoppable.
- First Captain Michaelus Raphael - Captain Raphael is the former commander of the 1st Company of the Blood Angels around the time of the late-500's.M41. He led his company to many glories and is most notable for having cleansed Genestealers from innumerable Space Hulks. His most notable engagement occurred in the year 596.M41, when he led a force comprised of eighty Terminators in an assault upon the notorious Space Hulk codified as the Sin of Damnation.
- Librarian Calistarius - As a young Lexicanium, Brother Calistarius served as a battle-psyker of the Blood Angels Librarium, and served as an honourary member of the 1st Company under Captain Raphael during the cleansing of the infamous Space Hulk, Sin of Damnation. Calistarius would later on, become the mythical and powerful Chief Librarian, known as Mephiston, after he successfully defeated the genetic curse known as the Black Rage.
- Sergeant Lorenzo - Sergeant Lorenzo served in the elite 1st Company under the command of First Captain Raphael. At the time he was over 650 standard years old and was a veteran of more wars than any other Terminator veteran in 1st Company. Despite his achievements, one day of failure still haunted him. As a Battle-Brother in a squad of the 3rd Company, Lorenzo was one of only 50 warriors to escape the disastrous boarding action 600 years earlier aboard a Space Hulk in the Secoris System. His Battle-Brothers were butchered around him and though absolved of all responsibility, he continues to question his own courage and commitment. Every day Lorenzo is haunted by these thoughts, and every night for six centuries he has prayed for a chance to redeem himself. His chance finally came after six centuries when the opportunity came for the Blood Angels to expunge this sad event in their Chapter's history during the boarding action of a second Space Hulk, codified the Sin of Damnation.
- Sergeant Gideon - Sergeant Gideon served in the elite 1st Company under the command of First Captain Raphael. He took part in the famous cleansing of the Space Hulk known as the Sin of Damnation. Sergeant Gideon was considered to be something of a maverick individual, happy to flaunt doctrine and tradition if the need arose. This was no more evident than his choice of weaponry. Gideon was once a member of a Terminator Assault Squad, but upon being promoted to Sergeant replaced his Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield with the customary Storm Bolter and Power Sword. In the next battle, his armour seized up after being hit by a round from an Ork gun and Gideon declared that its machine spirit had been offended by the change of armament. Ever since, he refused to relinquish his beloved thunder hammer and storm shield again.
- Brother Claudio - Brother Claudio served in the elite 1st Company under Captain Raphael. He most famously took part in the cleansing of the Space Hulk known as the Sin of Damnation. A warrior in Terminator Assault Squad Leodinus, Claudio was skulled at close-quarters combat. His preferred armaments were a pair of Lightning Claws. Thousands of foes had fallen beneath Claudio's blades over the centuries and he was lauded amongst his battle-brothers for his unflinching dedication to his brothers. Aboard the Sin of Damnation Claudio's fellow squad members were slain by a surprise Genestealer attack, filling him with a cold fury and bloodthirsty desire for vengeance.
- Brother Deino - Brother Dino served in the elite 1st Company under Captain Raphael. He most famously took part in the cleansing of the Space Hulk known as the Sin of Damnation. By that time, Deino had fought alongside Sergeant Lorenzo for the best of part of a century. He had been awarded the Chapter Marksmanship award many times over the years, displaying an almost supernatural accuracy on the firing range and in battle. Like his fellow Blood Angels, Deino took pride in himself in the pursuit of perfection and had raised marksmanship to the state of art. As well as his Badge of Marksman, he carried the customised Storm Bolter that earned him such reward. Deino combined quick reactions with nerves of steel, and his battle-brothers took great pride and comfort from his calm and effective shooting.
- Brother Goriel - Brother Goriel served in the elite 1st Company under Captain Raphael. In his former life on the irradiated planet of Baal, Goriel was the leader of a vicious gang of brawlers known only as the Murder Elite. Though his morals were questionable, the psycho-conditioning processes of the Adeptus Astartes fused his natural ferocity with the discipline of a true Space Marine. He earned great honours as an Assault Marine, once serving with dedication in the Honour Guard of Captain Raphael. Since he joined the 1st Company in 569.M41, he became a highly valued member of Squad Lorenzo, and later successfully took part in the cleansing of the Space Hulk, the Sin of Damnation.
- Brother Leon - Brother Leon served in the elite 1st Company under Captain Raphael. He most famously took part in the cleansing of the Space Hulk known as the Sin of Damnation. Brother Leon was know for not saying much, but his devastating Assault Cannon was eloquent enough for both of them. For Leon, there was only one thing that mattered in battle: kill ratio. The more targets presented by the foe, the happier Leon was. When not fighting, Leon fastidiously maintained his weapons and armour, making small adjustments, adding his own litanies and benedictions to their machine spirits. This had caused some controversy with the Techmarines of the Chapter, who repeatedly requested that Sergeant Gideon ban Leon from the armoury when unaccompanied by one of their order.
- Brother Noctis - Brother Moctis served in the elite 1st Company under Captain Raphael. He most famously took part in the cleansing of the Space Hulk known as the Sin of Damnation. Bearer of the title Castellan of the Black Tower, Noctis was as solid and dependable as a rock. Sergeant Gideon had come to rely on Noctis' clear head and immovable patience over the years. Though Noctis was jokingly criticised for being boring, having little imagination and obeying all of his orders to the letter, sometimes those were the exact qualities a commander needed most. If a rusted grate or dank tunnel needed guarding, then by the Emperor, Brother Noctis would guard it to the absolute best of his ability or die in the attempt.
- Brother Omnio - Brother Omnio served in the elite 1st Company under Captain Raphael. He most famously took part in the cleansing of the Space Hulk known as the Sin of Damnation. Amongst the aesthetically-minded Blood Angels, Omnio was something of an oddity; he was driven by logic and intellectual curiosity. He was analytical, distant even, a quality that sometimes raised suspicions amongst his battle-brothers but also ensured that in the heart of a fight he was clear-headed and could be relied upon for vital tactical analysis. Sergeant Gideon once joked that Omnio was a Servitor who had been promoted to the 1st Company by mistake. Unsurprisingly, Omnio didn't see what was funny about that.
- Brother Scipio - Brother Scipio served in the elite 1st Company under Captain Raphael. He most famously took part in the cleansing of the Space Hulk known as the Sin of Damnation. Scipio was a fast-acting warrior who thought on his feet and adapted to new situations with astonishing speed. He had been marked out as potential Terminator Sergeant material, but his lack of communication had held him back. Scipio was just as likely to set off on his own initiative as to pass on his insights to other members of the squad. However, Scipio's resourcefulness had extricated the squad from certain death on more than one occasion.
- Brother Valencio - Brother Valencio served in the elite 1st Company under Captain Raphael. The scouring of the Space Hulk Sin of Damantion was Brother Valencio's first combat action since his induction into the 1st Company. Having served the Blood Angels for less than one hundred years, Valencio was young by the standards of his Terminator brethren, but had earned his place amongst them with his forthright, courageous actions in a dozen wars. To the other members of Squad Lorenzo he was still an untested youth, desperate to impress Lorenzo since the Sergeant saved Valencio's life during the Threxian Cataclysm. Even for one of the Blood Angels Valencio was eager, some would say foolhardy, but his valour was beyond question.
- Brother Zael - Brother Zael served in the elite 1st Company under Captain Raphael. Zael had communed with the Emperor every day of his life since he was an infant on the rad-trails of Baal's dust sea. He rarely smiled, but within his breast burned the fire of hope. His own transformation from a scavenging mongrel to one of the Emperor's chosen was proof that the Blood Angels could overcome all obstacles. Zael carried the Squad Lorenzo's Heavy Flamer, which he used to bring purifying flame to the wretches who opposed the Imperium. Zael knew that humanity was destined to rule the stars. In fact, he intended to make sure of it. His self-belief and unshakeable courage made him a reliable and reassuring presence within Squad Lorenzo.
Disaster at Secoris
In the years 996.M40, an Imperial Navy patrol passing through the Secoris System detected a large space hulk drifting in-system, drawn by the star's gravitational pull. The fourth world of the Seocris System was a populous Hive World, inhabited by more than fifty billion humans -- a hub of commercial and military activity -- and the threat posed by the closing space hulk was immense. Wary of boarding the vessel with his crews, the commodore commanding the flotilla sent an astropathic message to the nearby fortress-monastery of the Blood Angels on Baal. The Chapter responded in full, led by Lord Commander Sangallo, and within three weeks, the might of the Blood Angels had come to Secoris. When the Blood Angels assaulted the massive space hulk, they encountered heavy resistance, and within thirty minutes, Genestealers were roused from their hibernation in great numbers.
Soon, the advancing Blood Angels found themselves surrounded by thousands of Genestealers. Under the covering fire of the 1st Company Terminators, Sangallo tried to extricate his surrounded squads and was eventually forced to send forward the Blood Angels protecting the landing zone to provide a "safe corridor" back to the boarding craft. The Genestealers quickly took note of the Space Marines' tactics and attacked to separate them from the ammunition and support personnel at the boarding site. The battle quickly descended into anarchy as some squads attempted to break through to their objective while others fell back towards the boarding torpedoes. Divided, the Blood Angels were picked off, squad by squad, swamped by the overwhelming numbers of their foes.
The battle ended when Sangallo had no choice but to order a general retreat. Though kill estimate put enemy slain at close to 12,000, there seemed an unstoppable tide of creatures. Of the entire Chapter, only fifty Space Marine survived. The action had been a complete catastrophe for the Chapter. The shame of defeat would last far longer than the losses inflicted.
The Sin of Damnation
"Bountiful fate has presented us with the means by which we might repair those wounds upon our souls caused by the weakness of centuries past. It is not only our duty but our right to face the darkness again; to stare into the abyss of the unknown. This time we shall be the cleansing light in the shadow, the burning beacon of righteous war. Restore the honour of the shamed fallen through the death of your foes!"
In 589.M41, fate, or perhaps the will of the Emperor or the machination of the Chaos Gods, provided the means for the Blood Angels to repair the deep wounds to their Chapter's soul for the failure that occurred a little more than six hundred years earlier at the disaster at Secoris. The Blood Angels were contacted by the Rogue Trader Borrak Vorra, captain of the Windrush, had dropped out of Warpspace almost on top of a gigantic space hulk only a few light yeras from the Blood Angels' home system of Baal. When word came of the new space hulk the Blood Angels seized the opportunity to redeem their past failure. Under the leadership of Captain Michaelus Raphael of the elite 1st Company, the Blood Angels sent a task force to intercept and investigate the vessel. Dubbed the Sin of Damnation by the Blood Angels, the space hulk was large, made from the wrecks of nearly a dozen different vessels. Scans performed by the Rogue Trader vessel revealed high concentrations of alien lifesigns aboard and Captain Raphael treated the entire vessel as hostile territory, suspecting a large Genestealer presence. Strike Force Raphael moved to intercept the hulk, deployed squads of 1st Company Terminators via boarding torpedoes. A vicious battle erupted throughout miles of tangled corridors, chambers and ducts as the Blood Angels battle furiously against the hulk's Genestealer infestation. A force of eighty 1st Company Terminators eradicated a force of more than 40,000 genestealers, cleansing the Sin of Damnation and its secrets were plundered in the Imperium's name.
Adapting a board game for the PC is a tough task. Developers were faced with two big questions -- to play it straight and narrow and just port the basic game? Or should they take advantage of all that the computer has to offer and rev things up with fancy graphics and new features? Full Control Studios went with the "straight and narrow" option in its take on the classic tabletop Space Hulk game. This version of the legendary Games Workshop release from the late 1980s is so locked into re-creating the ancient original, that is might as well have been dug out of a time capsule. Space Hulk has received mixed to average reviews. The presentation of Space Hulk is absolutely phenomenal as Full Control Studios really crafted a beautiful, engaging interface for the game. The attention to detail is breathtaking and the voice-overs for the various Space Marine units, the interface's details and the first-person HUD display for the units enhance the game tremendously. The gameplay isn't too bad, but most people found that Space Hulk is too stringent in its adherence to the tabletop game rules. Especially in regards to the relatively punishing feeling of failure when a level goes sour due to bad roll of the dice. Another issue, is that the overall game feels too short. Although the missions are difficult, numbering 12 in all (not counting the tutorial) with only a dozen missions, most people feel frustrated by the length of the overall game. The lack of content is a bit off putting for some, as well as some modest bug issues with the game. Overall, this game caters to mostly Space Hulk or hardcore Warhammer 40,000 fans.
- Space Hulk (1993 Video Game)
- Space Hulk - Vengeance of the Blood Angels (Video Game)
- Space Hulk - Ascension (Video Game)
- Space Hulk - Deathwing (Video Game)
- Space Hulk - Space Wolves (Video Game)
- Space Hulk - Deathwing (Video Game)
- Space Hulk - Space Wolves (Video Game)
- Space Hulk Official Website
- Gamespot "Space Hulk Review," by Brett Todd
- IGN "Space Hulk" (2013) Review by Rob Zacny
- The Huffington Post, "Space Hulk" Review: Games Workshop Classic Returns, Dice and All, by Michael Rundle
- Metacritic "Space Hulk" for PC Review