Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics
Challenge the horrifying reign of Nazi terror and battle an immortal evil in Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics; a turn-based tactical strategy game set in the award-winning Achtung! Cthulhu universe.
-Tactical Combat: direct a squad of allied heroes in innovative turn-based ground battles.
-Momentum System: perform well in combat by racking up kills and executing critical hits to earn Momentum and turn the tide of battle in your favour.
-Light vs Dark: harness the power of the light to expose and suppress the spawn of Cthulhu hiding in wait in the oppressive darkness.
-AP System: every decision is important and the Action Point System gives you the flexibility to put as much emphasis into heavy combat or nimble movement as you like.
-Psychological System: witness too many horrors of war and watch as your unit's sanity begins to unravel mid-fight.
OS: Windows Vista
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: GeForce 1050 GTX Ti 4GB
DirectX: Version 9.0
Storage: 3 GB available space
PC: October 4, 2018
PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch: Late 2018
PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Due to the popularity of the tabletop game Achtung! Cthulhu developed by Modiphius, Auroch Digital put together a Kickstarter for a 3D video game that takes place in the same universe. The world of Achtung! Cthulhu occurs during World War II. A separate Nazi cult called the Black Sun has found strange secrets from Cthulhu, referred to as Mythos. A special task force made up of Allied forces is sent out to investigate these strange happenings and put a stop to their world-ending schemes. While this would usually take place around a table with a pen, paper, and little plastic figurines, it has now been made into a strategy game made for PC and consoles. While a successful Kickstarter, how does the game hold up transitioning from tabletop to desktop?
Violence: It is wartime and the main point of the game is to put a stop to world domination through military means. Everyone is carrying some sort of gun, whether it be a rifle, shotgun, or pistol. Spurts of blood come out of both enemy and hero alike whenever they are shot. That is as graphic the game gets. Once an enemy or hero’s health is diminished, they fall down and lie still. Heroes can be revived while enemies will stay down and eventually disappear at the end of the encounter.
Spiritual Themes: The cult of the Black Sun revolves around worshiping Cthulhu and the many artifacts and secrets of the Mythos that they possess. The whole idea of Cthulhu is strange and involves a lot of myth and legends. Created by H.P. Lovecraft, Cthulhu is synonymous with madness and cultism, the fictional character itself being blamed for causing constant anxiety in people’s subconscious.
Drug and Alcohol Content: Throughout the game, there are various characters smoking, and several alcoholic beverages can be ingested to give a boost to stats.
Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics is a game with familiar mechanics. Once I experienced several battles, I began to realize that I had seen things like these before. Turn-based battles, weapon ranges, movement areas, hit point counters, buffs, debuffs and action points were just a few of the ways this game made me feel like I was playing XCOM or even Mario and Rabbids: Kingdom Battle.
Even though I have never played the Achtung! Cthulhu tabletop campaign, I feel like it would be more enjoyable than the video game, simply because Cthulhu Tactics lacks the depth and imagination that a pen-and-paper game would have. Auroch Digital has taken a tabletop game based on imagination, role-playing, and exploration and created a version of the same game that does all of those things for you. Where is the fun in that?
Myself being a history nerd, I enjoyed the fact that the Achtung! Cthulhu universe takes place during World War II. As the player, you take control of special Allied forces from different countries to investigate and pursue the strange cult of the Black Sun. The game is full of personality and history, containing historically accurate weapons, garbs and gear. Even the different characters have different accents that sound decent.
The Nazis have classic trenchcoats and Lugers like only the original Nazis would have, adding even more personality and showing how much detail went into the different character designs for Cthulhu Tactics. Enemies are equipped with a variety of weapons from rifles and pistols to strange electronic weapons and claws for mauling. There are even strange unfamiliar enemies that you will encounter along the way.
The gameplay is fun, but lacks challenge. As long as you continue to spend skill points on each character and equip useful items, you will maintain the advantage on the battlefield. Levels consist of exploration and encounters. The exploration bit does not give a genuine feeling of discovering the unknown and mysterious as it is quite linear and your goal is displayed to you on the map. Once you get to certain areas with enemies, you enter into combat mode.
Combat can be fun but mostly consists of moving within range of enemies and shooting. Each character has their own abilities. One character has the ability to drain life from enemies while another can let off a poisonous gas from their skin, damaging nearby enemies. These abilities are convenient at most but do not feel crucial to strategy and here is why: the ability to revive fallen party members and ammo for weapons are both unlimited. Because of this, there is not much drive to try other abilities other than pointing and shooting at enemies.
To describe combat, the heroes go first proceeded by the enemy units. Each hero has twelve action points and they can be spent according to how the player chooses. Each action has a cost, such as firing a weapon will cost 4-6 action points. Likewise, reloading, changing direction, and moving closer to the enemy all cost action points so one must use them wisely. Throughout combat, enemies can debuff your heroes which will usually stagger them, cutting their usable action points in half.
Even though virtually useless, I still attempted to put the different abilities to good use, but as I stated above, they really only serve as fun gimmicks. I am not sure if this was because they become more effective over time as I stopped playing before finding out. It simply felt that the abilities were not crucial to winning an encounter.
Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics takes a tabletop campaign and does all of the imagining and role-playing for you. While it tries its best to be a different kind of strategy game, it really only ends up being fan service and a game for lovers of the concept and story behind Achtung! Cthulhu. Due to the lack of challenge, depth, and seemingly pointless abilities, the game feels mediocre at best. The price tag is a little steep as well. Either wait for this one to go on sale or give it a pass.
Review code generously provided by Plan of Attack.
+ Great character design
+ Fun Gameplay
- Character abilities pointless
- Lacks Challenge
- Nothing new to offer to strategy genre