Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus Review PC
key review info
- Game: Warhmmer 40,000: Mechanicus
- Platform: PC
- Gamepad support: No
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
Ever since Games Workshop water-downed the requirements needed for a third-party entity to make use of its owned franchises, there have been lots of game studios that jumped the Warhammer bandwagon. Unfortunately, most Warhammer games don't make the franchise justice and are nothing more than cash grabs meant to rip off fans' wallets.
This lead to two things. The first one is that fans of the series now think twice before spending money on a new Warhammer game. Secondly, due to point one, it's now harder to sell a Warhammer title, so game studios aren't that keen on buying the rights to use it f they're not sure they'll make some profit out of it.
Although we're getting far less Warhammer titles, they are much better than games launched a few years ago. Lately, I've been playing two Warhammer games that are worthy of the franchise's name: Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Relics of War (Proxy Studios) and Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus.
Although both tackle the same game genre – turn-based strategy, they offer different gameplay experiences. As the name suggests, Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus focuses on the half human, half machine faction known as Adeptus Mechanicus.
The best way to describe Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus is a team-based dungeon-crawler with RPG elements and tactical/strategic combat. Each mission that you tackle gets you closer to the main objective, but there are benefits and drawbacks to postponing that final confrontation that will end the game.
One of the game's strong points is the story, which is written by Ben Counter, the author of multiple Black Library novels, but if you're not a Warhammer afficionado, let's just say that he's a prolific writer who greatly contributed to the Warhammer universe with his work.
In Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus you'll take control of a so-called cohort, a mixed team of Tech-Priests and various other troops. Allured by a distress signal sent from the planet Silva Tenebris, Magos Dominus Faustinius, aboard the Caestus Metalican, decides to head course for the long-forgotten colony in the hope that whatever knowledge his crew will manage to scrape will help the Imperium contain both the internal and external conflicts.
Once you land on Silva Tenebris, you'll find a barren planet quite reluctant to giving up its secrets to the first visitor. Suffice to say, the entire plot revolves around you trying to prevent a whole army of Necros from waking up and wrecking havos throughout the galaxy. The catch is you have limited time before enough Necros wake up to make it impossible to be contained on the planet, so it's kind of a race against time.
Between gathering resources, improving your own troops and completing various objective, you'll learn more about the Adeptus Mechanicus and Necros, two factions that are shrouded in mystery.
Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus plays like a turn-based dungeon-crawler that requires some finesse. Tech-Priests are your most powerful weapon since they can be augmented with powerful abilities as they level up. Although you start with just two tech-priests in your party, you can take missions that award you additional tech-priests. It's true that the other troops you take with you are mostly cannon fodder, but as you progress in the game, the so-called Skiitari Rangers become amazingly effective against Necros elite units.
The secret of a successful campaign lies in the way you specialize your tech-priests. There are six classes that you can choose to train your tech-priests, but you can take points in multiple classes if you want, which opens up a myriad of powerful builds.
Before you start a mission, you're given an objective, but once your team is deployed, you'll have to make some compromises between roaming for a longer time throughout the map and gather potential resources or gear and having to face more Necros in the final battle, or get to the objective quicker and have an easier time finishing the mission.
It's a nice addition to the game that requires some strategy and a little bit of luck. What I really liked about it is that you can make your game easier or harder at any given time during a mission by trying to visit all points of interest on the map or going straight for the objective.
Your team will contain a mix of tech-priests and other type of troops, which are disposable. Some of the most powerful troops like the Skiitari Rangers require resources to deploy in the field, but they are totally worth it. These troops can be upgraded only by doing certain missions throughout the campaign and they require a special resource to be deployed on the battlefield.
Unlike games like X-COM, Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus uses a special resource called cognition, which is required for special abilities or powerful attacks. Also, most of the weapons in the game require points of Cogs to be used, which makes the management of the resource crucial to your success. Cog can be extracted from special nods that are spread throughout the map and you don't have to be near one since your tech-priests are equipped with servo-skulls that can be send anywhere on the map to gather Cog points.
Besides being able to augment your tech-priests some of the weirdest robotic components, you can outfit them with many skills that seriously boost their melee and ranged damage capabilities.
There are plenty of things that you must take into consideration during your deployments, which makes Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus much more interesting than a standard turn-based strategy game.
- Dark, gritty atmosphere true to the Warhammer sci-fi universe
- Lots of customization options, multi-class builds
- Enticing story and narrative
- Satisfying rewards when taking risks
- Good overall presentation
- Balancing issues (starts rough, but becomes too easy after a while)
- A bit too repetitive
- Needs a more comprehensive tutorial for newcomers
The game admirably blends dark Warhammer motifs and a wide array of tactical and strategic decisions on the battlefield. Although Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus is not without faults, it's one of the few games in the Warhammer sci-fi setting that I wish it had a sequel.
The high amount of customization, the appealing story and narrative, as well as the deep turn-based strategy elements make Mechanicus a must-play title for all Warhammer and TBS genre fans.