In the Warhammer 40.000 universe there are a large number of factions that are not taken into account in game implementations. Often only the well-known Space Marines, Eldar, Orcs or, less often, the Tyranids come into play. One of the neglected factions is now marching in Warhammer 40.000: Mechanicus on the PS4: Adeptus Mechanicus. For the test, I immersed myself in a turn-based tactical adventure with dungeon crawler passages.

In Warhammer 40.000 universes, Adeptus Mechanicus is part of the Empire. They research, develop and procure weapons and high technology and worship the god of the machine. Cult followers are replacing body parts with machine components, and some even speak pseudo-efficient machine language with a propensity for equations. It is an unusual and creative amalgamation of technology, religion, tradition and belief with a certain tendency towards Gothic.

In Warhammer 40.000: Mechanicus, Magos Dominus takes Faustinius on an expedition to the newly discovered planet Silva Tenebris. His technological priests ("Unity Heroes") enter the Necrons graveyard and awaken an ancient robotic race full of green and black Terminator robots tasked with wiping out life in space. Now begins the race against time and against Necron to gather intel before the threat prevails.

Warhammer with full passion

The game by Bulwark Studios (Crowntakers) and Kasedo Games (Kalypso Media) is a futuristic dungeon crawler with classic turn-based battles in the successful and highly atmospheric Warhammer 40K universe. Mistake at the beginning, the full setting of the oratorical roles would do the whole thing very well - in this discipline Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is and remains unbearable. All tech priests don't speak directly, they just make metal noises while reading their texts. With a few exceptions, texts or subtitles are available in German.

The dialogue between the characters of the technological priest before, during and after the mission on Silva Tenebris would have enormous advantages from the language, because the characters are actually well dissected, whether they are talking with equations, spreading the glorious dogma of the empire, arguing with one another or consciously suppress their emotions. Although the work is very close to the original and a lot of Warhammer 40k heart-blood flows, the staging and presentation of the story could tolerate more than minimalist animated portraits and texts.

Tactics and strategy!

A group or cohort made up of tech clerics and mandatory cannon fodder was taken to what are known as the Necron Tombs to gather more information about the threat. Send your cohort from room to room on a shimmering blue holographic card. Events are addressed in each room.

Usually the picture appears to illustrate the current situation, and underneath there are three buttons with decision options. For example, if you find a mysterious machine that is running, you can ignore it, study it, or destroy it. Depending on the decision, there are bonuses (currency in the game, knowledge for tactical battles, etc.) or a rude awakening (points are reduced, necrony guard level increased). It's all a bit sparse and sterile. In addition, the results of decisions seem a bit arbitrary, especially on usable runs where you have a 50-50 chance of not having a lead.

The longer the cohort stays in the grave, the more space is explored, the more the awakening of the Necron increases and with it the challenge in the later battles (especially at the beginning of the game). Hence, you will have to think hard and decide whether you want to avoid additional Necrons appearing on the battlefields or whether you want to explore the tomb more closely to find more resources. In addition to this level of waking up to the grave, there is also a certain global awakening that ultimately triggers the finale. So there is always a certain form of time pressure that you have to weigh yourself. Otherwise, Dungeon Creep acts as a link between tactical battles.

Fast and well-thought-out battles as core elements

It gets a lot more interesting in battle. In contrast to XCOM, Mutant Year Zero or Jagged Alliance: Rage! Coverage and secrecy are irrelevant. Tech priests and cannon fodder (simple attacks only) can move up to a certain point in the tactical network and use almost / long combat weapons against Necrons. When these basic possibilities are exhausted, cognitive points come into play, which give battles a surprisingly strong tactical flavor. Cognitive points are necessary in order to be able to use a certain weapon or cannon fodder at all or to be able to move it further than was initially possible.

These cognitive points can either be brought back from the Dungeon Crawler Passage or accumulated in combat by visiting or scanning certain locations on the battlefield. Since z. For example, if the cognition points are for the whole group, a technological priest can accumulate the maximum, and the next character can use all attacks in one round - or you can sprint across the map to paint a robot in close combat.

It's a very smart and refreshing idea that you don't know your opponents' stats and you just have to know them by scanning (or other enhancements). The turn order of the fighters is also well visualized with the initiative bar at the top of the screen. Small icons help you identify when you're using a weapon at long and close range, and when a counterattack can take place. Once per mission, three hymns of praise can be used as a global lover or special ability. All of this seems well thought out and together with the ticking "wake-up timer" leads to fast fights with a good tactical basis.

But there is little lack of variety in mission objectives, since usually only enemies have to be destroyed or objects have to be scanned. Sometimes all you have to do is survive the X-laps. In combat, the computer intelligence did not always make the best impression, but also repeatedly attacked a cohort member who had full life energy instead of giving the rest to an abused technology priest.

Improving the units is important

Between missions, you can fine-tune your cohort, especially tech priests. In addition to range and reduced range weapons, they can be equipped with additional robotic weapons and other equipment with extensions that change attack strength, range, armor and the like in combat. In addition, technology priests can rise to the level, which enables targeted specializations.

There are six different skill trees available that guide development in a specific direction. Should it be a fighting machine (close to the fight: Explorator; long-range combat: Dominus), supporter, healer or mix? Specialization opportunities are expanded by the possibility of getting a bonus effect with different types of cannon fodder.

An extensive customization system and improved technology leaders - even after initial balance patches - that facilitate battles at the same time as the growing power of the tech clerics, although it also depends on which improvements and weapons are ultimately decided. This gradual increase in superiority didn't bother me too much, but it could have been a little slower.


Number of players: Solo
Age: from 12 years
Difficulty: medium to difficult
Long-term motivation: medium

Publisher: Kasedo Games / Kalypso
Developer: Bulwark Studios
Release year: 2018 (PC) / 2020 (Kosolen)
Platforms: PC, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
Language: German, English
Cost: 39,99 Euro


Warhammer 40.000: Mechanicus is certainly one of the better games in the futuristic Warhammer universe. A tactical game with Adeptus Mechanicus scores with surprisingly varied customization and expansion options for tech priests and a harmoniously captured Warhammer atmosphere with idiosyncratic characters that deserve a better representation of the story than minimalist portraits and settings.

Short crawling dungeons are similarly kept to a minimum, in which decisions in relation to the minimal background are always asked (sometimes irrelevant), while your actions have to be weighed quickly under daily pressure. Tactical rounds, on the other hand, benefit from a well-thought-out system of cognition and speed without turning back, but unfortunately their technological clerics get a little too fast.

In total, Warhammer 40.000: Mechanicus is a solid to good strategy game. Fans are approaching anyway, everyone else has the opportunity to play a tactically demanding strategy game on the Playstation 4 because there are fewer alternatives. The game is also available in the console area for Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

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