gaming since 1997

Warhammer 40.000: Squad Command

Strategy more and more comes to DS. Whether that is as much fun as playing those games on PC, is not always guaranteed.

Apparently the makers of this particular game couldn’t decide whether there would be a background story or not. In the beginning of each mission there is a short overview of the situation, but the general storyline is pretty vague.

Before each mission the objectives are shown and then it is time to prepare the team. Unfortunately there are few choices. The player has no influence on the type of soldiers and only a limited influence on the kind of weapons and the amount of ammunition. At the very start there are no changes possible at all, but as the game progresses, more weapons become available.

After that preparation phase the actual mission begins. Usually there is a kind of intro during which the closest enemies already get killed and a couple of soldiers get a little hurt. Although there is relatively a great deal of variation in mission objectives, most missions come down to the same: kill all enemies or complete your objectives while killing everyone on the way. Getting your own team killed is the only way to lose.

Warhammer 40 000: Squad Command is turn-based. During a turn it is possible to move soldiers and let them attack enemies. The cursor is moved with the DS’s buttons or the stylus. It may seem more logical to use the stylus, but it is easier to just use the buttons.

However, it still is an annoying system: it is very difficult to place soldiers in cover and it is also not possible to have no selection at all. This means that at times soldiers are moved accidentally, wasting precious Action Points.

On top of that they usually end up in a bad position in those cases, what almost certainly means death when it’s the opponent’s turn. In theory it is possible to move different men at the same time, but practically it is easier to move each soldier separately, although this takes more time. It saves you a lot of frustration.

With each step they take and each time they fire, Action Points are used. Every man has a certain amount of this AP’s at the beginning of each turn, depending on the type of soldier, the weapon and the amount of ammunition. Unused AP’s can be used to aim more accurately or for ‘Overwatch Defence’. This means that when an enemy soldier comes into view of a soldier on overwatch defence, he automatically gets shot.

All this action takes place in the lower screen. The upper screen is used for the tactical map. This is a classical minimap that gives an overview of the battlefield. The graphics are just like the music disappointingly weak, although the music rarely manages to create a certain atmosphere.

There are three multiplayer options: Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, Mutli-Card Play and DS Download Play. Multi-Card Play is the local multiplayer mode that supports the highest number of players, while DS Download play only offers a 1-to-1 game, but you only need one gamecard. The Wi-Fi Connection was not always easy to set up.

In each of these cases, there is only one kind of game, with only two objectives: kill all enemies or occupy all HQ’s for one whole turn. Differences with the singleplayer are for instance the limited amount of time to finish a turn and the possibility to call in reinforcements.

Very disappointing game. Let it pass.

Our Score:
related game: Warhammer 40.000: Squad Command
posted in: DS, Reviews, THQ
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