The galaxy ruled by the Emperor must be protected from the endless swarms of traitors in the form of Chaos, and other hostilities such as Ork Pirates and Eldar Corsairs. Fortunately, you are in command of an entire Imperial Navy fleet, so you do have tools to work with. Such is the story of Battlefleet Gothic: Armada – an RTS game based in the Warhammer 40K universe.
The narrative in the game couldn’t be more epic and the cutscenes prove that everything is very serious in the Imperial Navy. The ships are grand and look like cathedrals on fusion engines with tons of weapons on all sides.
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is about your personal crusade against the heretics of deep space.
The events of the game take place in the Gothic sector of the galaxy that is divided into several districts. Every district consists of multiple interconnected systems. This is where enemies can appear at any moment and try to take over one such system.
Your task is to prevent them from seizing the system by sending a battlefleet of heavily-armed warships. This is what you will be doing most of your time in the game – winning tactical space battles. However, everything is not as simple as it seems.
The battle interface is quite complicated and it is necessary to be well-prepared before each upcoming battle. Every little detail should be taken into account, every gauge should be checked, and only then you can give orders.
The physics in Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is superb, and makes everything even more exciting. Bigger ships can’t go too fast and need time for a full-stop, while small ships are vulnerable to blast waves and post-explosive debris.
Most ships are equipped with three types of weapons: Macro-Cannons, Lance Turrets and Torpedo Launchers. All these weapons have different purposes, for example, Macro-Cannon can hit really hard, but the farther the target is, the lesser is the chance to hit it. Lance Turrets never miss and can reach long-range targets, but their damage is not as impactful. And, Torpedo Launchers can be used to pierce through ship’s armor, but these missiles can be easily intercepted.
The strategy is quite simple: first, you send a squadron of smaller and faster ships to break through enemy’s wall of escorts, and then your bigger boats can push forward with torpedoes to break the armor and finish them off with macro-weapons.
The tactical element of the gameplay may be simple, but you definitely can’t say the same about the upgrade mechanics. After each successful battle your admiral earns Renown points, which you can then spend on repairing and upgrading your fleet.
The list of upgrades is huge, but only a handful is really important, such as Armor Piercing that can significantly increase an ability of your weapons to break through the enemy’s armor. Another on is Hull Reinforcement, which increases the defense mechanisms of your own ships, thus making them harder to damage.
Active skills are just as important and you should carefully consider which ones you want exactly that will fit your personal playstyle. There’s a lot to choose from and the best way is to try out as many combinations as possible, which, of course, will take many, many hours of gameplay.
On top of that, every ship has its own squad of soldiers that can be deployed on an enemy ship for Assault Action. Your people need to be taken care of, but mostly through moral support, which also increases their squad skills.
The visual side of Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is breathtaking. Space looks amazing with all the nebulae, asteroid belts, and even mine traps. So, all the objects in the galaxy are also functional and not just mere backgrounds.
This requires you to be very careful and navigate through certain areas with special attention, and with all your scanners turned on. The enemy can hide behind the nearest stack of asteroids and attack unexpectedly as you pass by.
There are several game types, such as Campaign, Skirmish and Multiplayer. Campaign is really fun in the beginning when you need to learn things, and then Multiplayer becomes a real challenge when you can fight against either AI or other real players.
You can also choose between different types of missions, where each faction has its own unique tasks to accomplish, so it almost never gets boring.
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is fast-paced, well-designed and has an incredibly deep set of mechanics. It proudly carries the spirit of the Warhammer universe and if you are a fan, then you will definitely enjoy playing this game as well.
The only drawback is that sometimes you really need to spend a lot of time analyzing all the data before you can make the right decision, which can get a bit tiresome. But other than that, this game is definitely going in the top list of the best strategy games of 2016.
The game has been reviewed using the Steam code that was kindly presented by Focus Home Interactive.
You can also check out the beginner guides for Battlefleet Gothic: Armada here:
What do you think about Battlefleet Gothic: Armada? Have you played any other games based in the Warhammer universe? Share your thoughts in the comments section.