Battle with the Imperial Navy in Battlefleet Gothic: Armada

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada
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I want to start off this review by saying that this is an amazing game. At first I was not sure about it just from playing the prologue but once Chapter one began and I continued to play this game it just got amazing. Based off of the Games Workshop board game of the same name, it is a Real Time Strategy based PC game with a good solid story and single player. It also has the most fantastic space ships and interesting characters.

Battlefleet Gothic, is a mix of steampunk, Sci-fi, and fantasy. The ships and cybernetic implants of the human characters have a steampunk style while the fantasy aspect comes in with the villains and the culture of the imperium. The imperium is made up of humans with a lot of cybernetic implants, and some of the main villains, which a predominantly different alien species, encountered are the Orks, Eldars, and Chaos forces.

A cruiser in transit. All the ships are beautifully rendered.
A cruiser in transit. All the ships are beautifully rendered.

In the main single player game, players control an imperial navy fleet lead by Admiral Spire, a dedicated and loyal imperial officer. The Imperial characters are well written and not boring with their own little personalities. Adding the voice-overs and conversations between protagonists made the game personable and progressed the story.

The game is a real time strategy title where a player must use a selection of ships from battleships, cruisers, and escort vessels and then strategically position them on the map. There is an option to auto deploy or deploy manually. A player must then maneuver the ships to confront enemies and use different skills. The game is not just players attacking enemy ships but there are also scenarios to play out like assassinations, defending allies, recovering a relic and boarding ships. You also have the option of ridding ships of traitorous captains by mutiny.

A battle scene being played out in realtime.
A battle scene being played out in realtime.

A big part of the game is the story and it’s based on victories and defeats. Both move the game forward but the main protagonists Admiral Spire interacts with have dialog that reflects either a victory or defeat. Every dialog is a pop up with the character’s picture, and the level of art and detail put into each was well done. There are also different ranks and classes with typical naval ranks and then societal ranks like Tech-Priests and Inquisitors.

Changes to ships can be made at Port Maw; this gives a player access to upgrades, skills and crew promotions. It also allows access to new ships. To purchase upgrades the game uses renown points that are acquired following battles. Both victory and defeats give renown points.

Admiral Spire giving orders with the main map in the background.
Admiral Spire giving orders with the main map in the background.

The player starts each turn in the gothic sector map, were each mission is highlighted. I found each map similar in style with asteroids and gas clouds, but its space and the background art generated an authentic feel. The map does includes a highlighted area for deployment and directional arrows for where a player needs to send the fleet. This game could have been more original with the sci-fi tech terms. For example the ships all had warp drive, but the creativity with the different races, planets, dialog, and artistry makes up for this.

Each turn begins at the Gothic sector map with character dialog. Multiplayer plays pretty much like single player with the ability to choose your faction. You have a choice between 1 v 1 and 2v2 player mode, or to invite a player to join. This is worth playing and pairs well with the single player campaign.

A ship at ready for upgrade at Port Maw.
A ship at ready for upgrade at Port Maw.

The playability is good. There were some issues with the camera moving to fast or not centering on my fleet. Also the cinematography was glitchy at times, even though my PC was above the recommended specs and playing at 62 fps. Overall the game was smooth with no lag. It is advisable to play it on a PC with the recommended specs or better. Overall the game is great, good story, outstanding artwork, and graphics. It was very creative and one of the best-developed Real Time Strategy games I have played. It’s a Sci-Fi space battle game with a fantasy feel. Great game for anyone who wants to mix fantasy with Sci-fi in a Real Time Strategy based environment.

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