Space Hulk: Vengeance of the Blood Angels

aka: Blood Angels, Space Hulk 2
Moby ID: 2246
3DO Specs
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Description official descriptions

Space Hulk: Vengeance of the Blood Angels is a mix of a First-Person-Shooter and a tactical fighting game. It is placed in the Warhammer 40k background of the Games Workshop tabletop games. It is the successor of the PC game Space Hulk from 1993 and it tells of the fight between the Terminators of the Blood Angels Chapter of Space Marines and the Tyranid Genestealers.

You control up to ten Terminators. You give them orders in a tactical screen and/or take over one of them and then move in a 3D environment and fight the Genestealers just as in a First-Person-Shooter. So the game includes tactical planning and fighting in a good balance.

Spellings

  • ブラッドエンジェルス - Japanese spelling

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Credits (3DO version)

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 75% (based on 33 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 25 ratings with 2 reviews)

An update of the first space hulk.

The Good
Back in the days when my Amiga 600 was still functional I had a great but unbelievably difficult game called Space Hulk. It had depressing synthesizer violin music playing during the horrendously long loading periods. You actually played approximately a third of the time, because you usually died very quickly. The rest of the time you waited for the game to load the next mission. Despite this it was a very good and unnerving strategy/action game. "Blood Angels" is more or less the same thing, but with pretty good 3D-graphics and more action and without the loading sessions. In other words, it's a good game. It's not as scary as the first game, but it's scary enough and just as challenging. My heart jumped many times as the evil genestealers jumped at me from behind just as I thought I was going to get away. If you want good old fashioned strategic horror action, you'll find it here. Easy controls and nice sounds as well.

The Bad
In the old Space Hulk game you had four screens to control several space marines at once. This was incredibly difficult but great fun. In "Blood Angels" you have to complete a lot of missions and get promoted before you can command your comrades, and even then you don't have as much control over them as in the original. This both good and bad. It makes the game is slightly easier, although still way too hard, but it doesn't feel as complex and scary as the first game. Sometimes the AI of your fellow marines is frustratingly bad. It's hard enough to survive as it is, without having to babysit a bunch or morons that constantly get themselves killed. If you are up to a real challenge you should check this game out despite the complaints, but if you're easily frustrated this is probably not the ideal game for you.

The Bottom Line
Strategic horror action with quite a steep learning curve. Easy controls, difficult game.

Windows · by Joakim Kihlman (231) · 2004

Not as good as the 3DO version

The Good
Gameplay was immediately engaging and often forced me into situations in which I had to make tactical life-or-death decisions. The squad is often attacked from multiple angles by an endless stream of frightening monsters.

Space Hulk is set in a dark, atmospheric and certainly a bit unusual setting. I think both the Genestealers and the Terminators are great designs.

Visuals are relatively good for a 1996 release. Production values of the intro impressed me the most. The 3D-rendered animation is top-notch and the narrator does a great job.

The Bad
The voice action of the Terminators is bland and badly mixed.

A minor annoyance: After you complete a campaign mission and save your status, you arrive back to the main menu. If you want to proceed with the next mission, you have to load your save first. This should not be necessary.

After you played about 10 missions of the historical missions, they all start to feel the same. There is not a lot of variety in the game.

The campaign feels like an afterthought. There is no engaging story. Instead, there is a succession of missions with very short briefings. The option for the campaign is hidden in the main menu at first. You have to press right or left on the control pad to make it appear.

There is no option to save the results of successfully completed historical missions. Because of that, there is no incentive to retry them to get a better rating – unless you note down the numbers in the results screen.

Solo missions with just one Terminator can be boring, especially when you have to search for power field generators in a giant maze (like in „sang-froid“).

The pathfinding of the Terminators' AI is terrible. Sometimes missions fail because Terminators' pathways cross, they bump into each other and start flailing around. You frantically stop all active commands in order to make them stop, but it‘s too late and they get swarmed by Genestealers and die. This aspect of the game can be intensely frustrating.

Sometimes campaign missions don't end because Terminators block each others pathways in front of the target areas. This can be a serious problem in the early campaign missions because you're not allowed to give them commands yet. In those cases, you have to nudge them in the right direction in order to make them move before the mission can proceed.

Minor player errors can results in disaster. One time when I tried the historical mission „Spiral of Strife“ for the n-th time, I was down to the last mission objective and noticed one of my Terminators was about to get ambushed by a Genestealer. I selected him, switched to first-person mode and blasted that Genestealer. In the rush to save the Terminator I didn‘t notice he was equipped with a flamer. I had wasted all my remaining ammo, which resulted in an immediate failure of the whole mission.

In mission seven of the campaign ("Plunder"), you get to issue commands to your fellow Terminators for the first time. Learning a whole set of new commands would be enough of a challenge at this point, but no, the game's creators decided to throw in more new gameplay elements which make things more confusing: Whereas you exclusively fought Genestealers in the first six levels, now you're suddenly faced with Chaos Space Marines, a type of enemy you have never seen before in the campaign. Then there are mines in random places of the level that instantly kill any Terminator that steps on them. They even disable the radar so enemies don't show up on the map or the mini map. It's like they wanted to frustrate players with this sudden jump in difficulty. When I first played this game in the nineties, I stopped playing because I felt completely lost in this level. I read comments online from other people who felt the same. It wasn't until 18 years later when finally I decided to finally persevere and finish this game that I beat the level. It still took me about twenty tries. The next missions of the campaign were decidedly easier.

The last four mission of the campaign lacked variety. You‘ll know what I mean when you play them.

The Bottom Line
Space Hulk: Vengeance of the Blood Angels is a fairly good adaption of the Space Hulk board game. People who like squad-based strategy and aren‘t afraid of pressure will probably enjoy this game. Fans of Warhammer 40.000 will be pleased with how the developers used the background materials and creature designs. The Sony PlayStation version, however, has numerous problems, which is why I recommend playing the game on other systems.

I compared the PlayStation port with video recordings of the 3DO original and spotted a few differences. Here is what was changed by Krysalis Software when the ported the game to PlayStation. - made the action first-person view perform about 50 % slower - removed all Terminator models from first-person view except the one with the standard load-out of bolter and power glove (That means you can‘ t see in first-person which of your squad members is using different load-outs like flamer or lightning claws.) - made the radar effect on the map screen much less pronounced - changed the map transparency (This sometimes makes objects in the background difficult to see.) - removed experience rankings for Terminators in campaign mode - removed ambient hum in the map screen - removed the atmospheric and useful radar blip sounds

PlayStation · by Operation Hot Zone Kill (15) · 2016

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controls stephen wilson Mar 17, 2009

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by xcom1602.

PlayStation, SEGA Saturn, 3DO added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: n][rvana, Big John WV, Kayburt.

Game added August 26, 2000. Last modified September 16, 2023.