PC version tested
Review code provided
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 is an RTS game set in the Warhammer 40K Universe whereby you control one of three different races in this galaxy based game of war. This PC adaptation of the classic tabletop game is the vision of developer Tindalos Interactive and published by Focus Home Interactive who have a long history in this world.
After many years of playing the tabletop version of Warhammer it is amazing to actually get to see some of the epic space battles. Some of which we have played out so many times in the campaigns that we have taken part in over the years. The translation from physical and mind into a digital form is spot on and even enhanced in many respects. As for the game, there are three campaigns modes to chose from that are based around three factions – The Imperium, The Necrons and finally The Tyranids. Each of the three campaigns are prefaced by a motion graphics cut-scene that are extremely well voiced and fittingly capture the beauty and depth of this world. This is a stunningly beautiful game and absolutely nails the aesthetic bringing it into the modern world.
As with all decent strategy games there is a massive focus on the micromanagement aspect while playing. For instance, even turning one of the larger ships can involve issues such as a really long turning circle so this needs to be carefully planned out. There is a way to do a quick turn for these larger crafts but at the cost of vital resources being burnt in the process, it also affects your line of sight and becomes harder to track any ships you are fighting.
There are various different units to manage in the game which all have their own set of positives and negatives, you can command them all at once and makes you think about how best to approach any given situation. In order to be effective you have to quickly command single smaller units, who are lighter and move faster but pack less in attack, while managing the larger battleship style units that take an age to turn but pack one hell of a punch when they eventually fire. There are nice touches all over, a favourite was during the campaign for The Imperium. The main general comes out of a temporal warp after nearly 900 years stuck in it, it really brings home a sense of risk vs reward built into the game. You have to weigh up the possible side effects of using the warp function, take the risk and use it to your advantage by ramming into other ships for maximum damage. After the main campaigns are finished there’s a great online mode to keep you dipping back into the game. In this mode there are twelve major factions available to play with and compete to be number one an all-out battle. It is really quite excellent and I cannot wait to jump back in!
This is actually a superbly executed and in-depth game. With all of the options and mechanics available you can really take this to a granular level but it also allows the freedom to play as you see fit. The space battles are brilliantly epic and visualise something that fans of the tabletop game have only dreamt of over the years. Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 is stunning to look at and with the right setup, running everything on epic settings, the visuals are truly beautiful. The music that accompanies is superb adding to the intensity, tension and excitement while fighting a screen full of enemies all at once. In summary, a superb space-based real-time strategy that should get more viewership as it is an excellent game even if the universe is new to you.