Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is real time strategy created by Tindalos Interactive and based off of Games Workshop’s Battlefleet Gothic. Put simply, this is the game that deals with space warfare in the Warhammer 40k universe. We’ve had some good and some bad Warhammer 40k games lately and this is the first one I can think of in recent times set in space. How does it do?
Included are four factions from the Warhammer 40k universe: Eldar, Imperium, Chaos and Orkz. Each faction has pros and cons such as Orkz being good at close combat while Chaos being good from afar. The single player campaign, which is how I spent most my time, is played as an Imperium Captain named Sprite and mainly deals with fighting Chaos’s Abaddon The Despoiler. The other races can be played in skirmishes and multiplayer.
At the beginning of each mission you select the positions from which to deploy your ships and from then the mission is real time. It’s important to note that you only have a handful of ships so you must get personal and micro-manage each ship. Each ship has different weapons with different ranges, angles of attack, shields, cooldowns, etc. so one ship might be good at breaking shields from a distance while another is better suited to getting in the personal space of enemy ships in order to finish off their hull. The game gives you a bunch of tools to help with this so at the start of each mission you’ll select the preferred attack distance and attack angle for each ship. During the thick of it you have the ability to manoeuvre your ships in a number of different ways using a regenerating power pool. For example, as an Ork you may wish to boost to get into close proximity in order to ram the enemy, emergency stop to avoid mines or turn rapidly to keep your ship forward facing the opponent. On enemy vessels you can pick what to target primarily, be it weapons, power, engines, etc.
As you play the game you earn points allowing you to unlock new ships from various classes which are battleships, battlecruisers, cruisers, light cruisers and escorts. You also unlock points to improve your ships. Eventually you can assign a ‘favour’ to a ship which is a kind of deeper lore alignment which different bonuses. For the Imperium you could align your ship with The Inquisition, Adeptus Mechanicus, the Imperial Navy or Adeptus Astartes while Chaos can align to one of the four Chaos gods.
I would have liked to see a more significant impact on combat from weapons as I suspect you could probably complete some of the missions (on easier modes) by just right clicking on the enemy and making a cup of tea. On other missions I would do the same thing four times and only win the last attempt. Basically, I found that sometimes winning seem to be based more on luck than anything else and I would prefer it based more on how you manage your fleet.
The ships look stunning while the space backdrop is just okay, I think it must be fairly difficult to make space look good (Elite does a pretty good job!). I loved the audio, especially the voice acting which was top notch and spot on for the universe.
I didn’t experience any bugs.
I found Battlefleet Gothic: Armada to be excellent. I would absolutely recommend it to certain people (who probably already know about the game).