There is an abundance of Warhammer games spread across all the gaming platforms and what I really like about them is they don’t all offer identical experiences and differ in the style of gameplay. Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus launched first on PC way back on 15th November 2018 and has recently made its way to Xbox One, Playstation 4 and the Nintendo Switch. Developed by Bulwark Studios and published by Kasedo Games, Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus is a turn-based strategy game and for the purpose of this review I shall play this on Nintendo Switch.
It’s fantastic that Nintendo Switch appears to even be obtaining some PC ports and strategy games on differing scales. I hadn’t played a strategy game on Nintendo Switch before this one, so I was intrigued to see how the limited power compared with PC and consoles worked out. It’s clear to see that Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus is inspired by the famous tabletop game that has been around for decades, but how does this convert to video game format?
You start off in Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus as the Adeptus Mechanicus faction attempting to eradicate regenerating enemies known as Necrons. I couldn’t help but think of the liquid man from Terminator 2: Judgement Day when I first encountered them. If you have some extensive knowledge of playing Warhammer, then the story and its universe will more than likely click and make sense to you straight away. Some may struggle with its storyline and find it very confusing at first as to what is actually taking place, as it doesn’t do a great job of explaining how you got to this point in the beginning. Whilst confusing, but further reading online allowed me to understand the story some more, I was keen to delve into the turn based gameplay.
Warhammer 40,000 Mechanicus boasts 50 missions and I already I knew I was in for a lengthy ride before I even booted up for the very first time. Missions appear to be played in two phases, you’ll start by exploring the top down map traversing your troops from room to room through corridors. During this time you’ll have several encounters, most of which you’ll have choices to make as you progress through the mission. The choices you make are quite fun, even though there isn’t much complexity to them, for instance, you stumble across certain technology and you can choose whether to explore, destroy or ignore it. Rifling through the technology can trigger enemy attacks so it is handy to always be wary that a battle may proceed based on your personal choice. I did find that even though these elements were fun, the majority of the time it can become extremely repetitive when you have already worked through many missions.
The meat and potato of the game is clearly the combat, which was to be expected. Combat is turn-based and very XCOM-esque. If you enjoy games of this nature then you’ll be right at home with the mechanics here. All the combat revolves around what the game calls cognition points and these need to be accumulated to strengthen your combat techniques. These can be acquired through simply exploring and scanning the world map or collection from slain enemies along your way. You will want to keep the points bar as full as humanly possible as this will put you in control of everything, having a low amount and stumbling across several enemies will leave you under-powered and weak. Personally, I enjoyed the experience of ensuring I always had my bar full as possible. It really makes you think how to proceed through the mission rather than just attempting to plough through it as quickly as possible.
So you’d think killing an enemy would be then taken care of, wouldn’t you? Sadly not, Necrons will start to regenerate and you must slay them further to wipe them out of the world map. The Necrons are very clever as they can also be healed by their team so it is always useful to be observant of your surroundings so that your attacks are as effective as possible. I found out the hard way that if you don’t survey what is happening, you can almost immediately be on the back foot in a real challenging situation and potentially come out of battle worse off than if you planned accordingly. The developers have done an exceptional job of making the player think more than some other turn based games. I don’t think I’ve played a turn based game where enemies can regenerate and come back to life.
Of course with any game of this calibre there are going to be upgrade systems, abilities and skill trees and they are all here and plentiful in development on Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus. This will grant you options to use new weapons, new armour and new gear as you plod along the missions. I was actually surprised to see so many options, even on a Nintendo Switch version of the game. This added some real longevity to getting the missions done, as you’ll have great fun tinkering with the skill points and abilities.
Graphically Warhammer 40,000 Mechanicus isn’t particularly mind blowing with blends of green and light blue dominating the screen, but I actually found this aesthetically pleasing.
Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus is a great turn based game for the portability of the Nintendo Switch and it keeps me entertained for my commutes by train and it converts well when docked onto the big screen. Sure, it may be a little rough around the edges in comparison to the PC version, but the fact it has even made it to this console is an achievement. If you’re a big fan of turn based strategy games, then I would say it’s a must buy for sure, the sheer amounts of hours can be spent playing this title. You may want to note that it is available on other consoles at a similar price point if you’re considering purchasing on those.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus Review
Gameplay - 7/10
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Replay Value - 7/10
Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus is a great turn based strategy game that works well on Nintendo Switch, its 50+ missions make for hours of tactical brilliance.
- 50+ missions to work through makes for plenty of hours gameplay.
- The choices from room to room make it exciting.
- Surprisingly visually pleasing for a basic title.
- Newcomers may find it difficult to grasp the storyline.
- If you don’t plan properly, it can be very unforgiving.