Battlefleet Gothic: Armada Review

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By: Thomas Riccardi

It is the 41st millennium and mankind knows only war. The forces of the Imperium are besieged by powers that look to destroy everything in their path. However, the Imperium has one of the best weapons known to mankind and that is the Imperial Navy. Will you be able to preserve mankind in the depths of space or will you wind up a twisted, burning wreck? This is the premise of the new real-time strategy (RTS) game released by Focus Interactive based on the Battlefleet Gothic universe called Battlefleet Gothic: Armada.

There are three types of gameplay in Battlefleet Gothic: Armada: campaign, skirmish, and multiplayer. In the campaign, you are put into the boots of the newly-promoted Admiral Spire. You are given a ship to command during the 12th Black Crusade as you start out dispatched to the Nexos System. It seems the Imperium has lost contact with one of the orbital stations there and you are sent to find out what has transpired. While this is the prologue and shows you how to play the game, for me, it was engaging and added to the storyline. As you make your way through the campaign, you will encounter all sorts of threats to the Imperium. Orks and Eldar do pose a threat, but the biggest one has to be the forces of Chaos. These forces are controlled by Abaddon the Destroyer and could spell doom if their forces get a foothold in this sector.

The difference between skirmish and multiplayer is that one is against AI and the other is against real, thinking people online. You are given a point system in the game (as you were during the campaign) and each ship has a point value. The points need to be spent wisely as you make the choice to either go with a bigger ship or a smaller one with some support vessels. This allows you the freedom of playing the way you want to and developing your own strategies. As you make your way and survive battles, you are given experience and a chance to find some equipment that you can use in your fleet. However, if you lose a ship, that ship is gone from your fleet and you will need to start from scratch. This makes gameplay a bit more interesting as you will need to plan your attacks accordingly and keep your ships alive during combat. You will also manage every section of your ships from defense, weapons, and the variety of sub-systems that are on each ship. Each of these unlocks not only new weapons, but also new abilities that can be used in combat, so you will need to balance this out in order to achieve victory.

Controlling your ships in Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is a snap, especially if you have ever played an RTS. You can click on and control individual units or drag and select a group of units. What I loved about the gameplay is you can also slow down the action if it becomes too frantic. This allows you to pinpoint and control your units with an accuracy that has never been seen before in other RTS games. Battlefleet Gothic: Armada utilizes the power of the Unreal 4 Engine and the game looks amazing. From how the ships look (especially when they get destroyed, resulting in a satisfying explosion) to the environments of deep space, the game has a great look and feel to it. It actually reminds me of playing the game with my friends at a local game shop when Battlefleet Gothic came out from Games Workshop.

With a great single player campaign, in-depth customization options, and a challenging AI system, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is a game you should check out, especially if you love the 40K universe or real time strategy games. For more information on this and other games, head over to http://www.battlefleetgothic-armada.com and get ready to fight for the emperor!


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