A hundred times on the job, hand over your book? Anxious to correct the numerous shortcomings of the first version of their title, the developers of Streum on Studio have just launched an improved version of their shooter in the first person Space Hulk: Deathwing . And the result is very satisfying.
Like in the previous iteration published by Focus Home Interactive the game allows the player to slip into the skin of a Terminator, an elite unit of Space Marines of the Warhammer 40K universe. In this universe where there is only the war, here is a squad of these armored machines sheltering a genetically modified man to make a giant supersoldat takes him aboard a "Space Hulk", a cluster of wrecks drifting into the infinite nothingness of space.
Yet, far inside this wreck, between various ships long forgotten, seems to be some of the secrets of the chapter (a sort of branch of the Space Marines, in somehow) to which our heroes belong. In order to uncover these Dark Angels chapter artifacts that were thought to be lost forever, it will be necessary to navigate and thwart the traps and dangers that abound in narrow corridors and cavernous halls.
Because dangers there There is, of course. In addition to a few automated defense turrets, the most important threat is the Tyrannids, a deadly insectoid species whose countless representatives are able to recover and then corrupt the genetic code of their enemies to create horrible, distorted copies of them. more lethal.
As mentioned at the time of the release of the title, in December 2016, Deathwing is visually stunning. Oppressing passages evoking Nostromo of Alien gigantic halls in the image of churches dedicated to this strange mixture of admiration and worship dedicated to the Emperor of Men or to other mythical figures of the Space Marines, rooms corrupted by the pestilential presence of Tyrannids … The developers make us see all the colors trying to represent the duality intrinsic to the imperial human order, where the old technologies are maintained in the state of the art only with the help of a mixture of ancestral knowledge and rituals that are more religious than technical. Add to that an army of supersoldates resembling vengeful angels, and you get a futuristic transposition of the Crusaders of the Middle Ages.
All this was of course in the first version of the game. What was not there however, it was an optimization of the graphics engine and technical capabilities. Unwanted slowdowns, keys that simply stop working, instability … all the ingredients were there to cause a lot of frustration. To such an extent, in fact, that after somehow persevering to reach about a third of the campaign, this journalist had put the game somewhere in a corner of his Steam library to no longer touch it.
And so, does the new version erase the old tares? Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that the game is now playable – which is a clear improvement; the movements are more fluid (as much as can be those of a human tank), the game runs well, loading times have been reduced … In short, we finally feel fully able to live the experience of a Space Marine exploring a dangerous space wreck in the depths of the universe
Despite all the attention paid to small details and improved game performance, there are still some slowdowns at times when monsters are particularly numerous. Is it the fault of the effects related to the use of the many weapons, or to the technological weight of the explosion of the various carcasses of the enemies? If these slowdowns are rare, they can however be annoying.
Otherwise, the difficulty of the game remains particularly high, especially when one tries the adventure to several. Because if the artificial intelligence is relatively well developed, it is in team, with some companions, that one will better measure the full extent of this Herculean task of killing hundreds, even thousands of enemies. Enemies who, moreover, would have gained to be more diversified. Relatively generic villains that run right on the player, that's fine, but diversified villains who use tactics other than "go into the pile", it would be even better.
Is the game worth the $ 40 claimed on Steam? It remains to be seen. If we never bought the original, probably. We will certainly draw several hours of pleasure. A pleasure perhaps a little more niche, certainly – it is not, here, a simple mode "zombies", like those which abound in the games of shooting, after all, but a transposition of a particularly complex universe and loaded with symbols – but a guaranteed pleasure and certainly assumed. To try, then. For the Emperor!
Space Hulk: Deathwing, Enhanced Edition
Developer: Streum on Studio
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive  Platform : Windows and PlayStation 4 (tested under Windows)
Interface and subtitles available in French (audio tracks in English only)
City of Brass and its oriental charm