Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus is surprising: it’s extremely coherent with the setting created by Games Workshop, and the gameplay reflects the potential offered by the ability to command a cohort of the Adeptus Mechanicus. There are some undeniable flaws, but overall we are looking at a refreshing new take on the turn-based tactics genre.
Mechanicus is an absolute gem ****, one that every strategy-minded Warhammer 40K fan should give a try. The graphics are pretty good, the gameplay/combat are excellent and the immersion is fantastic. But the star of the show is the sound department, with absolutely superb music and voice acting for the characters. An incredible game overall!
That's basically the underlying core of Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus - it is basically a simplified version of the tabletop game, which makes a perfect entry point for newcomers but still offers complexity and depth for veterans of tabletop gaming. The ongoing war between the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Necrons is fun and engaging throughout the game's runtime, and players will most likely get several playthroughs out of experimenting with different Tech Priest combinations and strategies. Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus is a must-play for RPG and tabletop fans as a result, and another quality entry into the franchise's expansion into the video game industry.
A highly praiseworthy (although a tad too easy) variation of XCOM 2 with an interesting turn-based combat system. There are two reasons why Mechanicus engraved itself in my memory. The first one is great writing done by Ben Counter, British author of novels and short stories set in the Warhammer 40,00 universe. The second one is amazing audio, including outstanding soundtrack by Guillaume David. [01/2019, p.76]
This very good turn-based strategy utilizes the unusual setting of Mechanicus Tech-priests and offers a broad selection of modifications, abilities and gear. Among other positives are the time-limited campaign and impressive enemy variety. The game is, however, missing difficulty settings and will therefore appeal only to less demanding players.
In the end Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus is enjoyable, but it’s also a bit of a let down when it comes to the actual combat. Truth be told I was expecting more of an XCOM-style experience with unit management and perhaps even some base management. The simplicity of individual encounters means that Mechanicus can be frustrating, where simple mistakes can cost you the entire mission. Again, these painful lessons in failure help you learn what works and doesn't. Like, say, bottlenecking your units when the enemy has a powerful AoE weapon.
Mechanicus is a good turn based tactics foray into a rarely heard-of corner of the 40k universe, but it has a slight problem with the difficulty curve
The game lets you play as a Magus, a ship commander of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the A. I.-worshiping religion existing within the Imperium of Man in the grim dark of the far future, where there is only war. If this sentence was complete **** to you, be prepared to do some googling before you fire up Mechanicus, because the game expects you to be familiar with the 40k Universe. Be warned, though: that particular rabbit hole is without end.
Assuming you know what you’re about, the day-to-day of a Magus are not that complicated: having just arrived over a Necron Grave World (basically a world where Skynet won and all the Terminators went into hibernation), you send a cohort of two to Six tech priests to explore grave complexes on the surface of that world to fight alien robots and steal all their juicy tech. The exploration is done on a pretty simple map of the grave, where every room you enter lets you make a decision that might hurt or help you, or it let’s you fight the aforementioned Necrons.
The fighting is done via turn-based tactics combat, but with a few wrinkles. Your characters share an action pool. That sounds constricting but actually it’s not, because there are dozens of ways to fill that pool: You get points for killing enemies, points for touching stuff on the map, some skills reward you with points… It’s a points bonanza out there. The constricting factor is that every skill has a cool-down and can be used at most once per turn. This means that, for example, one of your characters can move across the entire map, fire off four attacks, heal himself and an ally, and maybe buff the entire team.
Also, remember the rage-inducing attack misses the Xcom franchise is famous for? They are not here. The cyborg of the Adeptus Mechanicus hit what they aim at.
Between missions you get to level up your Tech Priests and kit them out with all manner of gear you borrowed from the Necrons. Most of the skills and guns are kind of meh and do little to change the fighting experience, but they do add up. Boy, do they ever.
So what do the Necrons have to stop you? Well, when exploring a tomb, you’re working under a timer: The more time you spend exploring rooms and fighting Necrons, the more Necron buffs accumulate. The counter increases incurred during an expedition also get transferred to a global percentage counter, and if that one ever reaches a certain threshold, your forces get overwhelmed and your missions fails.
I say a certain threshold because I never even got close to it, and now we've finally arrived at the main problem this game has: Challenge, the lack of it (on normal difficulty, with the Heretek DLC in effect). Things were moderately dangerous in the beginning, but in the second third, with a couple of level ups, the difficulty curve started to droop. In the last third, it broke like a twig. I cleared out whole maps on the very first turn, without the enemy ever firing a shot, and my builds were pretty far from optimized. In fact, that's what kept my interest during that last third: How much can I own this army of eldritch merciless killing machines, this supposedly galactic threat? The answer: I killed their grand overlord in two turns. They are my mop now.
Mechanicus made me understand and appreciate, yes, appreciate why XCom made my guys miss occasionally.
With the challenge gone out of the game so completely, I don't even think a higher difficulty would make much of a difference. Maybe deactivating the Heretek DLC might have helped, but losing the story additions and missions in there would have hurt the game, too.
There is one other thing that held my interest: The characters. The story is solid b movie plot material, which is good enough, but the characters are very interesting.
Production values are a bit uneven. Sound production is fine, the score is more than fine, but the art direction is a bit muddled, and I'm not sure how but somehow they make the whole picture seem grimy and dusty. There is little variance in both enemy and level design, and even little variance in the design of your own troops. So it's serviceable, for an indie game like this, it's even fine. But don't expect to be wowed by Mechanicus' graphics.
So who is this for: 40k enthusiasts and people interested in dipping a toe in a very fringe area of the lore. For those, I recommend Mechanicus. Fans of turn-based tactics games will be turned off by the lack of challenge.
TLDR: This is a fine AA game with one fatal flaw. Get this if you are a 40k lore hound or you desperately need to scratch the turn-based tactics itch and have exhausted the market, but in this case, crank the difficulty up to eleven. Everybody else should enlist with XCOM first.
Good game with amazing atmosphere (sound and visual). But I always felt like something is missing... maybe a decent story and not just talking portraits? Maybe bit more diverse gameplay and not just clicking through same rooms repeatedly? Who knows.
Still a good game with very atmospheric sound and visuals. For WH40k fans - a must have.
This is a very promising game ruined by being far, far too easy once your mech priests start getting upgraded and having loads of ways to get CP + powerful AoE weapons. Even the later boss fights and final battle are trivial.
Gets very repetitive fairly quickly and relies heavily on RNG. It's not hard because you have to make hard decisions, come up with a clever plan or need good skills, it's just hard because sometimes the dice won't roll your way and the game is stacked against you to provide a challenge that the game design can't. Of course that can be solved by playing on 'casual', but then repetition sets in from the start. It's well-designed, has good flavour, good graphics for this type of game, but in the end it's just not worth your time.
SummaryTake control of one of the most technologically advanced armies in the Imperium - The Adeptus Mechanicus. As Magos Dominus Faustinius, you'll lead the expedition on the newly rediscovered planet of Silva Tenebris. Manage resources, discover long-forgotten tech, plan tactical operations using the Noosphere technology and control your Tech...