Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics Review PC
key review info
- Game: Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics
- Platform: PC
- Gamepad support: Yes
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
Developer Auroch Digital had the smart idea of blending elements of horror, turn-based strategy and RPG genre into their game, Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics. I'm saying that it was a smart idea because more than 750 people contributed nearly £22,000 on Kickstarter to bring the game to PC.
Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics is the result of the collaboration between developer Auroch Digital, creators of Achtung! Cthulhu, Modiphius and indie publisher Ripstone. The video game is based on the Achtung! Cthulhu RPG setting for the Call of Cthulhu and Savage World games. Think of Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics like a single adventure in the Achtung! Cthulhu universe without the rule books of the board game.
Just like in the roleplaying setting, in Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics you'll be leading a band of Allied heroes against the Nazi Black Sun and Nacthwolfe. In an alternate universe, a Secret War is raging across Europe between various Nazi factions and the Allies.
One of the Nazi factions, the Cult of the Black Sun is trying to achieve victory using dark science and the occult. And that's where the Call of Cthulhu mythos comes into play, as many of the enemies that you'll be facing in the game are inspired from the Lovecraftian universe.
Now, on the one hand we have a Nazi & Call of Cthulhu mash-up, and on the other we have a solid turn-based tactical strategy gameplay system. These two aspects are at the core of the Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics video game, but the question is whether or not it lives up to the Achtung! Cthulhu universe's name.
So, after a short introduction, you're parachuted behind enemy lines, near the Forest of Fear where strange Nazi soldiers have been spotted. Your task is to investigate reports of increased activity in the forest and prevent the enemy from bringing any plans to fruition.
Throughout the entire game, you'll be leading of band of four heroes, exceptionally gifted to fight forces of the occult. Each of these heroes are skilled in certain combat aspects and use different guns suitable for their fighting style. The RPG elements are represented by the skill trees that you'll be using whenever your heroes level up, but other than that there's nothing else to role-play in the game.
Your Allied heroes have access to four combat specializations, but you're not tied to using just one as long as you meet the requirements to unlock any of the skills in the tree. Besides these abilities, the mundane weapons and some upgrades and other items that you can pick up during side missions, there are no other tactical-related things that you need to take into consideration when fighting the Nazis.
Each of your heroes starts with a main weapon, which I've used till the end of the campaign: a machine gun, a blevin carbine, a shotgun and a revolver. You'll be able to outfit the weapons with mods that are being rewarded to you after each successful mission. These mods usually improve accuracy at various ranges or increase damage done.
Truth be told, you're not offered too many choices when it comes to gear, and many of the stuff you're not even going to use on a regular basis. One coolest aspects of the game is the Momentum system, which allows you execute powerful actions if you critically hit your enemies. For example, you get an extra shot with your pistol using one point of Momentum. If that hit is a crit, that point isn't spent and you can use it again. Overwatch costs two points, while more powerful abilities that affect multiple enemies cost even more Momentum points.
Combat is turn-based, but doesn't start until you meet the enemy on the map. Once you encounter the enemy, they move first but don't attack your party of heroes so you always get to shoot first. Shooting, abilities and movement cost action points, but your heroes have a fixed number of AP throughout the whole game.
It's a straightforward combat system that doesn't necessarily stand out, but does its job pretty well. What I didn't like is how the story is delivered in order to keep players immersed and engaged. The Call of Cthulhu universe has so much potential which hasn't been put to good use at all. The only tidbits you're given about what's happening beyond that battlefield are absolutely shallow and devoid of any feeling of urgency and horror.
- Solid combat mechanics
- Decent visuals
- Shallow story
- Too little of everthing (heroes, enemies, weapons, etc.)
- Starts slow, but becomes too repetitive
When a protagonist's biography is more interesting than the main story of a game taking place in the Achtung! Cthulhu setting, we have a big problem. The game doesn't explores the rich Call of Cthulhu universe enough to justify its name, not to mention that there's too little of everything: weapons, heroes, enemies mods, items, and maps.
Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics is such a wasted opportunity not just because it tackles two popular themes, Call of Cthulhu and turn-based strategy game genre, but because some of the stuff underneath like the combat mechanics are quite competent.
I think the best way to describe Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics is to say that it's a game without soul. As it stands, I can't recommend it to neither Call of Cthulhu or turn-based strategy game fans.