Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics (PC) Review and Stream
Many people love video games. From your basic FPS to the casual phone game, there so many genres that its almost unbelievable. One major genre that has withstood the test of time however is strategy which borrows heavily from the tabletop world of role playing, just in video game format. Using a grid system, like the paper in days of yore, you have to move your character behind cover, and make attacks based on probability. Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics (ACT) is a solid example of the bread and butter that make up this kind of gameplay.
The idea of the bad guys being Nazi’s using the occult is not a new setup at all, in fact it’s been pretty much done to death to the point that it’s become a meme. It gives off a very Hellboy kind of vibe, which is not a bad thing, but they don’t really build on that at all. Just evil soldiers and monsters that you need to stop. There isn’t any kind of story really, and it’s not like you have a vested interest in any of the characters since there is development for them. The character designs are pretty cool, including one character with what appears to be a small dragon on his shoulder, but even after playing for a bit, I have no idea why. The environment is well suited for the setting of World War II however, as it has dense forests with barricades, emplacements, trenches, rail yards, and with the “fog of war” that is seen in many tactical games it does give off a very spooky and dangerous feeling which works to enhance your immersion.
Tactical games do come in a few different shapes and sizes, but ACT seems to be based on the XCOM type of isometric turn based style that is quite popular. With its roots in tabletop games, The grid movements that you make and the actions you can do is based on an amount of movement your character has, but in this case there’s also the “momentum” additional movements that can be made. There are various ways to get momentum, like from skills from different players, winning battles, and other means. This additional energy really does make it so you can do quite a bit in one turn and leaves the player feeling like they were quite efficient. However, the gameplay was already quite easy across the board, and making it so that you have even more points to use just reduces that even more, making it basically child’s play to go through the levels.
There are many levels and settings, but unfortunately they are extremely similar to each other to the point of being indistinguishable. Because of this, it can be very tiring to kill enemies, then spend time moving everyone to the new area which looks almost identical and it becomes monotonous. Also, because of the characters only really have one or two guns they can use, your very limited in the play style, until you get other characters which have different weapons. The basic gameplay of weighing percentages and moving around for cover is still the heart of this game, and it’s not bad that it sticks so true to the genre, but it also doesn’t build on it at all. If there was more story, or if the level design wasn’t so unvaried then it would be more fun to take on the cliché enemies like always, but in this case it just doesn’t work after a period of time.