Purge The Non-Believers

HIGH New maps and characters.

LOW The additional story is a bit lackluster.

WTF The class that “hurts so good”

Warhammer 40000: Mechanicus is a turn-based tactics title where players control the Adeptus Mechanicus tech priests as they stumble onto a planet with one of the deadliest enemies they’ve ever faced.

My review of the base game can be found here, but the subject of this review is the latest update and newest addition, called Heretek. While the priests are fighting the Necrons on the surface of the planet, rogue priests are starting to organize on the spaceship orbiting the planet. Not only must they defeat enemies outside, but enemies within.

So what’s new with this add-on? Mostly a new mechanic — stealth.

Many of the new items and enemies utilize energy fields that will make a unit untargetable until they strike an enemy. Another addition is the acid ability on weapons that will eat through a character’s health each turn. Previously only available to enemies, now usable for the tech priests of the Mechanicus. Heretek also adds a new discipline of the Xenarite. These tech priests use forbidden xenotech to sacrifice their own health and empower themselves, with some even being able to cheat death.

Heretek has also added a few melee guns, which helps make one of the tech trees more viable as an option. Tech priests are allowed to equip one melee weapon and up to two ranged weapons, but one skill tree requires a priest to only use a melee weapon. These new options allows players to make those units more useful in a fray.

Along with the new tech comes two new troops. The tech priests can now employ Sicarian Infiltrators (assassins) which start in stealth when summoned into battle. The new, deadly Ruststalkers are a class that can bypass enemy armor when they strike.

Sadly, though, the stealth makes a game that was already easy to break even easier to break. Equipping stealth on every priest is simple and cheap, and it allows players to move with little resistance — it’s such an advantage that most missions in this strategy title can now be completed almost without thought.

Despite the overpowered nature of the stealth, Heretek does include enough new content to whet the appetite of Mechanicus fans and gives them good reason to come back. The new battlegrounds are a nice reprieve from the planet scenarios of the core campaign, and the new items and units give players more choices. All in all, it brings glory to the Omnisaiah once again. 

Rating: 7 out of 10

Disclosures: This game is developed by Bulwark Studios and published by Kasedo Games. It is currently available on  Steam. This game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on Steam. Approximately 10 hours were spent in single player mode, and the content was completed. There is no multiplayer.

Parents: The content’s ESRB rating is currently pending according to the developer’s press kit, but in my view it contains Violence and Language, same as the original game. Teenage audiences and up advised.

Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers:  All dialogue in the game is done through text boxes, but none of the text boxes are resizable. There are no audio cues needed for play. It’s fully accessible.

Remappable Controls:  Controls are completely remappable.

Eugene Sax
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3 years ago

You talk the game being too easy and easily broken but what about difficulty levels? How do higher difficulties affect the experience?
I just recently started the base game and it’s challenging enough for me so far. I’ve read that since launching the game the developers have “fixed the difficulty” with an update. I don’t see you adressing this though. Has nothing changed since your first review?

Eugene Sax
Eugene Sax
3 years ago
Reply to  Wim

Honestly, not really. I have read the same as well, but I never really experienced anything that would really affect the difficulty. Sure, enemies can do more damage, but it seems like I was getting the same weapons and items at the same time. Playing cautious at first and focusing on generating cognition points seemed to serve me well no matter what difficulty I was on. With the right build, I could fire a spread gun and hit 3-4 enemies turn one. Hard to argue with that.

3 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Sax

Either you’re really good at this or I’m really bad because the difficulty is good what I’m concerned. I don’t know how you could possibly play it cautious when all the enemies are coming straight at you and you’re on the defense from round one. Going out there and collecting cognition points is dangerous stuff and hasn’t worked well for me yet. So far my best strategy has been to use low damage and low-cost weapons so that I can use every weapon each turn. Even with the spread gun, enemies usually have a really high armor and I’d have… Read more »