I have been waiting to put that sentence into some form of context over the years, at least I found the right audience this time around. Love or hate it, the Dystopian ‘Warhammer 40k’ universe has been around for generations. Lighting hearts and minds of teens a fire with its rules, short stories, novels, and computer games.
Back in my Day…
I remember the good old days, Buying ‘Battlefleet Gothic’ tabletop ships and painting up one’s fleet, only to watch the final edition being launched just as I finished it off. Don’t be too sad for this writer, ‘Forge World’ and other enthusiasts kept the game alive in our hearts. With that all being said, I’ve never actually played it!
‘Battlefleet Gothic II: Armada’ has been a tremendous ride for me, to the point where I have started to collect the tabletop again (Damn you Citadel!). Currently, I am laying waste to enemy space as the ‘Chaos’ faction (On the tabletop game, not this review. Take my money Games Workshop!). Deploying grotesque ‘Nurgle’ space cathedrals to spread plague throughout the galaxy, ultimately doing ‘Abaddon the Despoilers’ evil bidding in the 13th Black Crusade. Yes, I’m a 40k Nerd.
An Introduction to the 41st Millenium
From the outset, Gothic II throws players straight into some introductory lore which covers parts of the 13th crusade and enemy factions. This was a sound decision by ‘Tinderlos Interactive’ when considering any player who isn’t familiar with the 40K universe, or super glueing their fingers together. Ultimately, it provides a satisfying level of immersion as the Chaos legion descends on the doomed planet Cadia.
Battlefleet Gothic II: Armada offers a whopping amount of content, continuing the trend of the first game left fans wanting more and more. This sequel is bigger, darker, hugely immersive and hugely ambitious compared to its predecessor. Honestly, I’m having a hard time finding a Space Warfare RTS that comes close to Gothic II.
Cadia = A 40K Gondor
Armada comes fully loaded with three separate campaigns from opposing factions in the war-torn 40K universe. Whilst Chaos serves as the antagonists of Gothic II, ‘The Imperium’, ‘Tyranids’ and ‘Necrons’ have come out to sort the Bad, the Ugly and the Ugliest on their ventures through the ‘Agis Occularis’ and ultimatly, the ‘Eye of Terror’. In an area of space that’s well known for Chaos occupation, players will find themselves enthralled exploring its various systems and ultimately blasting their way through the Eye of Terror.
This sequel has definitely tightened up the loose screws and bolts that were in the last instalment. Gameplay is solid, the multiplayer mode is fantastic and improved fleet customization including minor ship customisation. It’s a bit of a bugbear that an RTS doesn’t have a comprehensive customisation mechanic for individual ships, however the epic ship to ship combat certainly makes up for this with the execution of boarding parties and prioritising gunships attacks. This is the best Warhammer 40k space battle / dog fighting RTS we have seen so far.
Overall Score: 8/10
To summarise, players are getting The ultimate Warhammer 40,000 space naval warfare experience, the appearance of all 12 factions from the original tabletop, three solo campaigns, up to date game rules from the Tabletops latest ‘Gathering Storm’ setting and a systematically improved sequel from top to bottom.
I’ve only scratched the surface. Building one’s fleet, capturing enemy space, exploiting conquered lands to improve others or utilizing Adeptus mechanics to make your ships better are some of Battlefleet Gothic II: Armada’s stand out moments for me. This game will grab your imagination and jettison it the 40k universe, and that’s a promise from Uncle Luda!
Format: PC (Reviewed)
Price: £34.99 (Steam)
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Developer: Tindalos Interactive
Release Date: 24th January 2019
Review Copy Provided by Publisher