History: This Games Workshop fantasy world title is a first-person perspective shooter. (Read that Doom Clone - Ed.). There was a 3DO game of the same ilk, that has the game cast within the space crafts hunting the bugs. The Genestealers are Sigorney Weaver Alien-like bugs, and this game is essentially a bug hunt.
Plot: You are in a maze and you need to kill some real bad guys. Yep, you were napping and all of a sudden the 41st century popped in on you. All around are enemies in a war that refuses to die in Games Workshop’s fantasy world. There are killer space orcs, and you thought you left them back in the middle ages, cruel Eldar, and other Chaotic spawned hellions.
You are the newest and youngest recruit into the Blood Angels squadron of the Space Marines, and your Terminator Battle Armor is so new it squeaks. Genestealers have an chitin-based exoskeleton to protect against your weapons. Like the indigenous inhabitants of Edgar Rice Burrows’ Barsoom, the Genestealers have four arms which end in razor sharp claws. Like the Aliens, the Genestealers need bodies of other races to reproduce.
The Blood Angels are tasked with the eradication of the Genestealers from on very large Space Hulk, a ship that is drifting in space without power or crew. Your group enters one such hulk and the remainder of the story is the chronicled eradication of the infestation of that hulk.
Gameplay: Basically doom-style game play with corridors filled with a never ending stream of Genestealers. Fast furious infinite monster generations and in-your-face fighting with intimidating aliens. The game is designed to keep up with the status of the team, handicapping you to battle against the aliens on your own, since the commands are very slow and tedious.
Missions: Included with the game are the first games missions, training missions, some missions from the boardgame, and some new missions for the Blood Angels. To bad the current interface does not allow you to use the original game interface on the new missions. Many would prefer it.
The ability to jump from one marine to another was a helpful addition, that was unfortunately disabled in the campaign game. The artificial intelligence (AI) driven soldiers will not act on their own, but simply stand there and die when they are not commanded to do something. This is not very intelligent.
Missions proceed and enemies keep coming at you until you complete your mission objectives. It is much better to get through the level quickly in a kind of run-and-fire mode. Problems with the quick movement though come when you hang up on door frames and other objects in the game. While this may be accurate it is mostly a frustrating and divisive way to make the game harder and longer, in an attempt to increase game play. This did not succeed.
Voice actors: Have a wimpy tone and say very un-Space Hulk like things. The hard core fanatical devotion of a Games Workshop game is not conveyed by "Victory is ours."
Full motion video: Well done and attractive pieces at the beginning, end and between every mission is entertaining and really draws the game player into the action.
Multi-player: Network play is supported. Each Multiplayer Gaming Kit comes with TWO versions of the game, enabling you to give a copy to a friend for instant multiplayer battling. The buddy disk is not like the sierra version in that it cannot start a game only connect to one that has already started. Many will feel cheated by this "feature."
Cooperative multi-player play allows the squad to coordinate better against the alien threat. To bad you cannot play the campaign game in mulitplayer mode with eight humans versus the Genestealers. The deathmatch play is a race to complete objectives prior to being obliterated by the genestealers. The multi-player game is significantly better than the single player, but it still has the same problems other than stupid team members.
Peter Olafson, PC Games, volume 3, number 9, September, 1996, pg. 70, B, (85%).
Games Workshop Blood Angels: www.games-workshop.com/bangels/bloodangels.html
Space Hulk Rules: www.private.artonline.de/tom/sh.htm
Space Hulk 3DO Cheat: www.mcs.net/~ala/3do/spchulk.htm
Space Hulk 3DO review: www.paragon.co.uk/3do/issue6/hulk/hulk.html
Mike Riley, www.nuke.com/cgr/reviews/9607/spacehul/text.htm, 40%.