The Adeptus Mechanicus is a faction of cybernetically enhanced warrior priests. They seek divinity through the pursuit of knowledge and consider organic flesh as a form of weakness. Your enjoyment of Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus will hinge on how you engage with a fusion of religious iconography and cyberpunk. The Tech-priests of the Imperium have one of the most unique aesthetics in the Warhammer universe, with grotesque fusions of machine and man adorned with rich finery. The story sees an expedition of Mechanicum awaken the warmongering Necron army.
Bulwark Studios has a perfect grasp on the style this particular faction demands. The priests speak in grandiose soundbites, welcoming damage with utterances like “through pain, I find wisdom”. The electronic pulse of the score piles on the atmosphere. Story decisions ask you to choose between the pursuit of knowledge and complete eradication of a species. Likewise, the interplay aboard the Ark Mechanicus is moody and rich in lore.
Mechanicus’ gameplay offers turn-based tactical combat in the XCOM vein. Action is split between the exploration of overworld nodes and fights that play out in grid-based arenas. A readying phase has you arrange units into tactical positions before a turn. This makes skirmishes close in spirit to the tabletop origins of the licence.
In-keeping with the nature of our man-machine protagonists, there are rich customisation options available. There are some generous difficulty tweaks, alongside Iron Man and perma-death modes. Each hero unit has myriad augment slots, upon which they can attach a plethora of weapons. It pays to be armed to the teeth because arenas are often dangerous close-quarter scraps. Cognition Points are the resource that dictates movement and abilities. Starting CP can be boosted with nodes scattered across the arena, which adds a tactical edge to positioning. Critical hits prevent the Necron from using their regenerative abilities, while certain weapons offer escalating buffs that give extra damage multipliers the more you use them. These elements combine to make fights satisfyingly varied from mission to mission.