Today I will be looking at the console (specifically, the PS4) port of Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus, released on 17th July 2020. Now, as much as it pains me to say, I have never really been a big fan of turn-based strategy games (of which Mechanicus is). But something about the trailer called out to me. So, I thought, “Screw it. Maybe this is the game to help change my mind about the genre.” Let us get to it.
What Is Mechanicus?
Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus is a turn-based strategy game developed by Bulwark Studios and published by Kasedo Games. You play as the Adeptus Mechanicus, which is basically a mix of advanced technology, a cyborg fetish and the religious aesthetics of medieval Catholicism. Also known as “The Mechanicum” and often shortened as AdMech.
You are put in control of an array of AdMech forces, which allows you to lead tech-priests and other troops into battle, allowing you to pillage ancient technologies from the vast catacombs of the Necron tomb world of Silva Tenebris. As head honcho Magos Dominus Fastinius of Mars, each decision you make will impact future missions, as well as the consequences that go with them.
Generic Start, But Wait!!…
As previously stated, I have never really been a big fan of turn-based strategy games. The last game I played of the genre was XCOM, which for me wasn’t bad. But it was not exactly good either. This was not really any different. In my opinion, it is essentially just another generic turn-based game but with a Warhammer skin slapped on.
There isn’t really anything in this game (gameplay-wise) that you likely haven’t already seen in another. This guy can move X amount of spaces, this guy has a ranged attack of X amount of spaces. Explore this whole dungeon that is almost the same as the one before, just in a different shape. I could go on, but I will not.
That being said, I enjoyed myself. Not so much the gameplay but the enticing and compelling story written by Black Library author Ben Counter, which was specifically crafted to fit the unique personality of the AdMech faction. If there’s one thing I tend to put most of my focus on, it’s the story. Your choices affect the outcome of the game, as well as when it comes to the missions you are given, which is something I’ve not really seen in a turn-based strategy game before. Although, I am sure it’s not unheard of.
Customisation or augmentation, as it’s called in-game, is vast. As your augment capacity increases, you can attach a variety of different weapons to your priests, from melee weapons, such as the power axe, to powerful ranged weapons. Then there are the support items, which can also be equipped to the priests and give you that slight edge in battle that you might need. The perfect example for this is the Refractor Field Generator, which can shield your allies from dangerous attacks, and the Sanctus Canister, which gives you a damage boost to your next attack.
There are an almost infinite number of ways to customise yourself and your tech-priests, an incalculable number of combinations…the choice is yours, along with being able to “paint” the characters any colour you like, just like your Warhammer miniatures at home!! You can also rename them with anything that pops into your possibly immature mind *cough* Phil McCrackin *cough*
Disciplines, these are what make your tech priests even more unique. There are 6 different disciplines, each focusing on a separate aspect of your priests, and are as follows:
Explorator (melee) – Take on quests for knowledge more than the other disciplines.
Secutor (commander)– They are masters of man and machine who wield the rare trait of charisma.
Tech-Auxilium (squad buffer) – They take on tasks that other tech-priests would otherwise avoid.
Lexmechanic (cognition collector) – Rigorous cataloguers, they compile, analyse and run data entry tasks.
Enginseer (healer) – These guys see to the well-being and maintenance of all things mechanical
And finally, Dominus (ranged damage) – The Dominus are heavily trained in the art of war and can calculate complex manoeuvres in battle.
There really is no end to the amount of detail that has gone into the customisation of this game. So please, leave no stone unturned when building your own priests as you may miss out on something spectacular.
Even with the generic genre gameplay, Warhammer 40,00: Mechanicus was a rather enjoyable experience all round for me. I suppose someone with a more enthusiastic interest towards the turn-based strategy side of it would have a better time than I did. But nonetheless, I still had fun. If it wasn’t for the gripping storyline or the seriously in-depth customisation, then I probably would have just stopped playing after my first hour.
Developer: Bulwark Studios
Publisher: Kasedo Games
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, Switch
Release Date: 17th July 2020
Gaming Respawn’s Copy of Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus was provided by the publisher.