Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Tyranids DLC
Ever since the venerable Games Workshop eased up the stranglehold on its Warhammer 40,000k universe, there have been a veritable plethora of video game developers who have attempted to create their own digitized takes on it.
So far, there have been many serious mishandlings the franchise, such as the downfall of the beloved Dawn of War series as exemplified by the horrendous Dawn of War 3. However, there have also been a few diamonds amongst all of the ashes, such as Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr, Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus, and Proxy Studios’ Warhammer 40,000: Gladius.
Out of this small batch of exceptional games set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, Gladius stands out as a fantastic hex-based, 4X strategy game. The first time I tried it out (back in July 2018), it gave me a distinctly board game type of vibe, because of the way the mechanics play out and the designs of the units, structures, and randomized maps. As a big fan of board games, that’s definitely a good thing.
While there is no diplomacy, Gladius does manage to go a little deeper than most board games, however. There is a pretty deep tech tree on hand for each of the game’s four (now five) main factions, as well as an interesting and well thought-out combat and engagement system.
Speaking of factions, Gladius comes with four of them. The Astra Militarum (Imperial Guard), Orks, Space Marines, and the Necrons. The latter was an interesting choice by the game’s developers since most Warhammer 40,000 games usually have Chaos as one of the starting factions.
Chaos is also mentioned in the game as one of the background influencers of the various goings on, but were curiously omitted from the faction roster. Fortunately, since the Necrons are criminally underrepresented in most Warhammer 40,000 games, I’m glad to see them included here. I’m sure Chaos will be introduced in a future DLC (next one, please?)
Another mainstay faction of the Warhammer 40,000 universe has always been the fearsome Tyranids, but luckily they’ve recently been added to the base game in the new, aptly titled DLC called: Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Tyranids (who would have thought?)
As a longtime fan of the Tyranids, I was very eager to get my hands on this DLC and try them out. Canonically, these space bugs of death are a very swarmy race consisting of untold legions of smaller, lesser creatures, on up to gargantuan, lumbering monstrosities. They’ve always reminded me of a combination of the aliens from the Alien film series, and some of the horrific entities from the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
For example, while most of the Tyranid’s forces like to quickly strike foes and overwhelm them with their superior numbers, there is a unit called a Malanthrope which hovers (literally) behind the main host and cleans up all of the carnage left in their wake. This includes dead and half-dead units that have been overrun, which the Malanthrope then locates, and then ingests into its large, many-tentacled maw. This monstrosity looks and feels like something straight out of a Cthulhu novel.
Indeed, a big part of the Tyranid’s strategy is to accumulate lots and lots of grotesque matter called biomass—which is the boiled down remnants of living things—and then carry this gooey guck back to its central hive mind area. Once there, this gelatinous gruel is then assimilated into the Great Feeder and converted into new units and structures.
Besides biomass, the Tyranids also have Influence just like the other factions. However, they utilize this second (and equally important) resource in an entirely different way. Influence functions as a synaptic link that extends from the central hive mind to its various units out in the field. If units stray too far afield, this link can become compromised, which can result in units become unmanageably feral.
To remedy this, the ravenous alien hordes employ large units that function as mobile synaptic relays. In this way, scout and assault forces can venture farther across the map in order to conduct reconnaissance and deep strikes, accordingly.
However, if these relay units are killed in battle, the smaller creatures surrounding them that was keeping them unified will splinter off and become uncontrollable. This makes it imperative that the Tyranids always be on the move and never settle into a single place for too long, which fits in perfectly with their hit-and-run gameplay style.
Graphically, this game looks excellent, with rich environmental textures representing Gladius Prime, and intricately designed units. There was absolutely no slowdown on my gaming laptop’s GTX 970 4G Gaming card.
The Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Tyranids DLC is a must-have for owners of the base game. It features a fifth faction which plays totally unlike the other four that are already on offer, and gives this modern strategy classic a much-needed boost in terms of replayability. Now, I’m just going to be waiting with baited breath for the (hopefully!) evil and twisted scourges of the Warhammer 40,000 universe known as Chaos.
Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Tyranids DLC features great graphics that make its 4X strategy gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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