Wednesday 25 March 2015

Space Hulk Ascension: Salamanders DLC

Following on from the Imperial Fist DLC comes a yet larger chunk of new content. If the last twenty hour add on campaign wasn’t enough then this massive new one should keep even the most hardcore Space Hulk fans happy for months to come.

This time it is the Salamander chapter that is thrust into the lime light with their own set of strengths and weaknesses. The new marines like fire and as such can take two heavy weapon marines into battle with them. They also have improved immunity against flame.

The Salamander campaign is based around using the heavy flamers to block strategic areas and cleanse the inside of the hulks. The Salamander hulk has been given a volcanic makeover as well with lots of glowing magma and embers filling the inside and it makes it look like a sort of metallic hell. The campaign is not for the faint of heart and is probably the most difficult yet.

Having two flamers in play certainly changes up your options but as they only have six shots each you find yourself trying to pull off the same defences manoeuvres with three marines that you would normally be doing with four.  This makes it incredibly strategic and any small error can spell disaster. There also seem to be many more Genestealers in play right from the off.

Indeed, the new levels are more like intricate puzzles that need to be solved. This is further emphasized with levels that become flooded with lava or contain rotating bridges and walls of flame. It's a new direction for the game and one that offers something different.

We did find this DLC really chugged away as well. No matter what we did it really slowed down quite considerably at times and there was noticeably missing frames and stuttering as the turns unfolded. This is the first time we have encountered this with the game and going back to the previous campaigns revealed none of the same problems. If this is down to the new flame and magma graphic effects is hard to tell but it needs looking at.

Assuming the stability is sorted out then this campaign is another worthy addition to Space Hulk. It certainly has a unique feel and look to it and the huge running time will certainly keep you busy. The new way of playing requires even more careful thought. If you are up for a challenge and can forgive a few technical issues then this represents another solid expansion.

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