Cast your mind back to January 1997. A 13-year-old me was going to Toy R Us, an annual tradition in my household, to spend my Christmas money on a new game for our first home PC. With an array of games to choose from, I picked up Command & Conquer: Red Alert. Although I have played many genres of games over the years, the RTS genre is the one I will always return to since love of them first began on that day.
Somehow, maybe because of the number of games that seem to be released weekly, I missed the first Battlefleet Gothic: Armada even though it was on my “list”. I just never got around to playing it but it always reviewed quite highly.
Luckily I was able to set aside some time to play the second instalment Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 from Tindalos Interactive developers which promises an even grander full-scale battle adapted from the tabletop Warhammer 40k universe. But, how grand was it?
As mentioned before, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 has been adapted from the Warhammer 40k tabletop game that ended its run in 2013, and has brought in the 12 original factions from that game. If you are not familiar with the original tabletop game, the factions are:
- Imperial Navy
- Adeptus Astartes (Space Marines)
- Adeptus Mechanicus
- Aeldari Corsairs
- T’au Protector Fleet
- T’au MerchantFleet
The game modes available are ‘campaign’ and ‘battle’. The campaign is solo and lets you command the Tyranids, Necrons and Imperium on various missions and set scenario adventures through space. Then there’s a Battle mode which allows you to have local and online skirmishes along with 1v1 ranked and 2v2 ranked matches, though I feel some players may be out of their depths until some hours are put into practice.
Not only can you play the campaigns of Tyranids, Necrons and Imperium but there is a prologue too which I HIGHLY recommend as if you are new to the game like myself, it’s a great way to set you up for the basics.
Without spoiling too much about the campaigns, it sets up the story of the factions pretty well and you get to use to those playstyles too.
From playing Warhammer: Dawn of War for many hours, I always liked the space marines and again, I chose them here too when playing the skirmish and online modes (1v1 and 2v3 ranked).
When in the battle screen, you get to choose your faction and to add more depth (or initial confusion in my case) there are sub-factions to choose from too. Not knowing too much about the space marines, I chose the space wolf faction. Why? Sounded awesome.
From there I selected my Skills which included the Augur Probe, selecting my upgrades and finally selected an Ironclad Fleet before continuing on with the skirmish. Before you enter a match, you select the AI difficulty to which I kept it to the default 3 skulls or medium before launching my attack.
Not only can you select a skirmish against the AI but also one against your friends and online players too. This is where you can choose your ranked matches and face some tough competition online.
The graphics are superb and it looks like you are viewing the battle from space. I cranked the graphics up to High (I have a GTX 1070) and with a good FOD so I could see a good distance on screen and trying to pre-empt the attack.
There are many options to choose from, however there is no colourblind mode but there is enough hover over popups and other visual queues that do not rely on colour and I could play the game without much issue.
During my many hours of gameplay, I didn’t see any Frame rate issues or graphics glitches and the game seems very polished.
The audio is superb and sound effects match very well to the different encounters and explosions throughout the battle. The music is very epic and you just want to go battle the enemy.
How long is a piece of string? So far I have only played 10 hours of the game but there’s is more than enough content and longevity in just the Skirmishes with the AI alone without adding single player campaigns. Not to mention you can further your inner commander and play ranked 1v1 and 2v2 games. I could go on but there are so many hours you can easily put into this game and have a fantastic time playing it.
I have been enjoying every moment of it and I’m kind of sad that I let the first one pass me by but very glad I have the opportunity to play this. I just wish I had more time as the amount of fun and hours I can put into this game are endless. This can get some series ground with the ranked matches and could prove a worthy title in the competition scene too.
If you are remotely interested in RTS games, I can’t recommend this enough as you can be easily taken by and start daydreaming during the day on taking command of your fleet once more.
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 deserves the Thumb Culture Platinum Award!
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.
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