Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach - Initial Impressions [VIDEO]
I had a chance to play the first mission in Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach a couple of days ago and came away pretty impressed in most areas, with a few exceptions.
WH40KSR is a new turn-based strategy game that released on January 19th, 2017. Developed by Straylight Entertainment and published by Slitherine Limited (primarily a strategy game publisher), it's the third game that I've purchased this year, but only the first release from Straylight. Here's the by-line:
"Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach is a 3D turn-based strategy game like you’ve never seen before: fast, immediate, deep, impressive to look at and incredibly fun! Fight through a dark era of carnage and endless war and lead the Space Wolves in a struggle to defend the last bastion of mankind."
While the game is decently pretty to look at, I experienced some perceived clunkiness in the animations when it was the CPU Opponent's turn. The camera flashes around the battlefield to focus on individually moving enemy units as each one cycles through its turn. But when I tried to control the camera to observe more of the battlefield as those units moved or attacked mine, there would be a hitch in that move has I tried to gain control of the view pan from the simulation; it would move a couple millimeters, stick in place, and then I could scroll a bit until it jumped to the next enemy movement as the computer took camera control back. It was not necessarily a performance hit, but just some jerkiness in the movement. It would be preferred that if I moved the camera, the computer would relinquish all control until I stopped providing arrow-key input for 2 or 3 seconds.
I need to play some more before I settle on my feelings on the graphics palette. The game is beautifully detailed, but the units don't feel as hi-res as I would hope for them to be. I played the game on my secondary gaming PC, which is kitted with an Intel Core i3-6320 CPU 3.90 GHz, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, a 550W EVGA Power Supply, and a Zotac Mini GeForce GTX 1060 6GB.
Gameplay is solid and pretty wonderful. The mission format was capped with a certain number of turns, so I only had to defend two victory points for a limited period of time. Once I'd attrited enough of the enemy force, I was rewarded with a dropship of reinforcements, which contained a mech. My strategy turned out well, and I felt buoyed from the effect of that mech dropping onto the battlefield. You can designate where that drop unit lands, allowing you to setup just-in-time troop arrival at the most crucially contested areas of the fight. I also love that this game is all about strategy and tactics, without the hassle of resource gathering. Leader units reward you with powerful animations when they just wreck shizz with their melee weapons. Minus the small knits I mentioned, I see a lot of potential here. I reckon it will play well on a laptop and could allow me to continue my campaign when on travel.
You can listen in to my commentary and further opinions in this First Boot! episode on the Rounding Off Infinity channel on YouTube. The game is currently available on Steam, and retails for $29.99.