Warhammer 40,000 Deathwatch: Tyranid Invasion – Review

Rodeo Games have entered into uncharted territory when they decided to utilize the power of the Unreal Engine 4 for their recently released Warhammer title. It is in this sense that we commend them for being a Columbus to the platform of mobile gaming. Warhammer 40,000 Deathwatch: Tyranid Invasion [$4.99] is one of the rare Warhammer games that has not hidden behind the facade of a much respected name. This title actually delivers quality content that honors the Warhammer history, gameplay, and universe. Rodeo Games, best known for Warhammer Quest & the Hunters series, stayed true to the vision of Games Workshop in conceptualizing the mechanics of the game.

Your Space Marines will battle against the Tyranids in various 3D environments, from within ruined cities to Tyranid spaceships in a campaign composed of 40 epic missions. You will control the Deathwatch, an elite, secret order of the Space Marines. Under your command, they will attempt to thwart the alien Tyranid invasion. With over 200 different weapons and wargear relics, you will be able to create a powerful force and test it in a strategy-driven campaign mode that can take you up to 15 hours to complete. Although it was initially advertised that the game will have a multiplayer mode, the multiplayer was not available during the release of the game. It is expected, however, to come in early August based on what the Rodeo Games team told us. According to the developer’s official website, the asynchronous multiplayer mode permits 2 – 4 players to simultaneously battle online and it is our understanding that it will play similar to that of XCOM: Enemy Within.

Moreover, you can have your own unique collection of the 38 best Space Marines from different Warhammer chapters. At first, we managed to unlock Lemartes, Leandros, Darnath, & many others. These names probably sound alien to you if you are not familiar with the Warhammer lore but that is not a bad thing; if anything it introduces you to a rich universe loved by millions that was unknown to you before.

The gameplay takes on the form of turn-based strategy where you start with your own Deathwatch characters; each has a number of action points that can be exhausted. So you start with 4 AP for each character, this means you can use 4 action movements for your characters turn. This can include moving your character, firing at an enemy, or placing your character on overwatch. Like XCOM: Enemy Within, Overwatch mode keeps your character in place but vigilant for any enemy in sight and if any of the Tyranids cross your line of vision your character reacts immediately and shoots back at them. This move seemed best to use when you are heavily surrounded by a vast number of Tyranid invaders – which will be the case in most of the campaign missions.

Our combat strategy was to place each of our characters facing one angle of the map and setting them on Overwatch – this turned out to be a massacre for the enemy characters. However, you cannot stay in your place for long as the missions require you to go to certain areas to slay monsters, to throw an agent inside a biomass pool, and other types of missions you are asked to perform – all varying in style & difficulty.

With each successful campaign you earn XP that can be cleverly spent on upgrading Abilities, Traits, & Wargear. Your stats can be boosted as well where you can increase Health, Accuracy, & Critical Hit. In addition, new weapons can be equipped for different characters and upgraded as well. Some characters specialize in carrying secondaries such as ChainSword or PowerAxe that can interact with the enemy in close range encounters. Due to the uniqueness of each Deathwatch Space Marine, you need to understand your character to best equip him with the most effective gear. It’s the plethora of customization possibilities that brings out the RPG spirit of the game and this certainly spices up the experience. Luckily, if your character dies during the mission he is not gone for good (as the case is in XCOM) – so there is no permadeath in this game.

While the game is not based on in-app purchases, it still allows you to purchase cards to collect your 38 unique Space Marines at a faster pace. Nevertheless, they can be obtained through playing the campaign, so you will find no reason for spending your money – unless you have extra money and feel like spending to support the developers for such a fine piece of art.

The graphics are absolutely gorgeous. How can they not be when it’s using the Unreal Engine 4? For a top down strategy game, the 3D visuals are solid, if not stunning. It plays pretty smoothly on the older devices such as the iPad 4, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 5/5C & iPod Touch 5. The characters and environments are exquisitely modeled and vividly colored. You can change your view during the game by rotating, pinching in, or pinching out. Moreover, your collected Deathwatch cards can be viewed in astounding 3D visuals by simply swiping your finger.

We were very satisfied with the control system for its uncluttered design. You select each character by tapping on him and then choosing what type of action you want him to do. There are no control settings because you don’t need any. It is designed to be as ergonomic as possible and you will love it.

Essentially, this title chronicles momentous developments that cannot be argued for so many others. For its pathfinder role in utilizing the Unreal Engine 4, genuine portrayal of the Warhammer universe, combination of unique Space Marines from various chapters, & complex tactical depth with interface simplicity; Warhammer 40,000 Deathwatch: Tyranid Invasion stands as one of the rare Warhammer games that the uninitiated player will authentically enjoy. While we are disappointed that it was released without the multiplayer mode & to be honest it is what we looked forward to the most, we still enjoyed the campaign missions immensely. Hopefully, we will see the release of the multiplayer update in early August and the experience will surely improve even more. This game is for you if you fancy turn-based strategy, Warhammer in general, or games that are rich on customization and collection. Finally, due to their impressive work and novel leadership, we invited Rodeo Games to talk about this new title on The DN Show. You can check the trailer for this game below.

We rate it 9.4/10

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