Reviews - Updated on April 14, 2022

Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf has already been released on mobile platforms, but, anticipating its appearance in the Early Access program on Steam, the developers themselves promised: “We want to make a cool PC game, not just a remaster of a popular mobile strategy game.” And having got acquainted with the early version, I was really convinced that Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf in this form can be interesting even for hardcore “pisishniks” and fans of hardcore tactical battles.

The main task in online duels is to kill the enemy hero.

Wolves are on the hunt…

As you know, the mechanics of collectible card games today are crossed with everything in a row. And Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf is a clear confirmation of this. But in this case, unlike, for example, Halo Wars 2, where in one of the modes maps, brutes, people were mixed up in a bunch, it looks more natural, or something.

We have a turn-based tactical strategy familiar to wah games, but all actions during the turn are determined not by a die roll, but by cards falling out of your sleeve. The latter are divided into order cards (for example, directly attack from such and such a weapon or heal yourself and allies), maneuvers (move the character) and items (you can take some kind of Stormbolter or Thunderclaws).

Three different decks are allowed to form, collect and replenish, which depend on the type of armor – it can be scout armor, terminator or power armor. Many cards are repeated there, but there are also unique ones for each deck. Well, it is clear that in the deck of the terminator there are more options with melee weapons than in the scout deck.

That is how, by shuffling and collecting cards, a squad of Space Marines from the Space Wolves Chapter, led by Valgard Twice Killed, must escape from the trap set by the Chaos Marines on the volcanic planet Kanak. It’s in the story campaign. In addition to it, there are also network duels, and in the future they promise to bring in a test mode.

QTE was not without QTE here either – they are used during attacks in rage mode.

The store left, the cards remained

Yes, everything that you thought with a shudder, my dear lovers of thoughtful turn-based battles, is present here. There is a deck editor, and “boosters” issued as a reward, and credits that are spent on creating new cards in the Forge, and the ability to disassemble unnecessary ones, and division into various leagues and ratings in online battles – everything is like in some kind of Hearthstone.

There is not only a built-in store – and this is the first reason to exhale. Indeed, the PC version of Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf, unlike the mobile version, is still working without donations. For completing story missions, they are generously rewarded with new “boosters” and credits, which are enough to upgrade and strengthen all three decks. This seems fair, because completing even the first story missions can plunge you into lingering frustration and lower your self-esteem.

And this is the second reason to take a good look at Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf – we have a really complex turn-based tactic that just works on more fashionable mechanics. From the very first missions, superior enemy forces come against you, to which reinforcements constantly arrive. And our Valgard, Twice Killed, is often forced to act alone – the comrades-in-arms are scattered around the map, and they still need to be reached in order to then jointly attack the enemy “boss” hero calling for help, protect the important Rune Priest, repel counterattacks and at the same time do not forget to search artifact chests.

The fruitless efforts of war

All this is complicated by the presence of destructible objects on the map (for now, these are only explosive barrels), fire on by default, and interesting nuances of the local combat system. On your turn, you can perform two actions – first, for example, move, and then attack if the target is in the affected area; or, conversely, first draw a weapon, and then shoot or use a card that gives additional protection, and so on.

In matches between players on the maps there are power-up points that give different bonuses.

But at the same time, it is important to remember: in order to attack the enemy, you need to look in his direction – and all these turns and turns sometimes have to spend valuable cards (for example, spending a damage card or an item card to move) and actions. That is, it is very important here to correctly plan and place fighters, blocking possible directions of attack.

The most interesting thing is that each card has a price in the so-called “effort points”. But you do not spend them, but, on the contrary, accumulate them. The more valuable and powerful the card, the more effort it generates, the later your turn will come. That is, you can, for example, use the Combi-Plasma attack card twice, having accumulated 18 effort points. And the enemy at this time will grab the assault cannon, having received 12 points of effort, prematurely end the turn and immediately get the opportunity to perform two actions in a row again.

This is a very interesting feature that needs to be used wisely to gain a tactical advantage. In addition, the saved moves and effort points in the presence of the appropriate weapon often allow you to intercept enemy attacks.

Of course, a lot here depends on the random factor, that is, on the cards that fall out. Therefore, on your turn, it is often more useful to discard any two and get new ones. Also, before the battle, both in the campaign and on the Web, it is important not only to choose armor (and deck), but also to assign current bonuses to it. What should you bet on – to accumulate rage faster to carry out critical attacks, or to get +1 defense when killing an enemy?

Alternate armor upgrade trees unlock as your character gains levels and skill points. The latter are also spent on “pumping” the companions of the protagonist.

The graphics in the computer version were really pulled up.

***

So far, Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf lacks a lot – a test system, a full-fledged story campaign (there are no cutscenes now), a polished interface and balance. Yes, and arenas for battles between players literally once or twice and miscalculated. In the release, the authors, of course, promise to add, fix, expand and deepen all this – in particular, new arenas, modes, missions, weapons, armor, and opponents will appear. The system of dividing weapons into classes will be brought to a workable state, and the best examples will be given out for special merits.

But even now, without a donation, with improved graphics and interesting mechanics at the junction of turn-based tactics and TCG, Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf is seriously addictive. Suffice it to say that I could have turned in this article much earlier if I had not been constantly distracted by online duels in the process of writing it. But in the process he moved to a new league …

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