Here is yet another RPG from Fantasy flight games. this one is based off of warhammer 40k from games workshop. ironically FFG made there 40k line of rpgs closer to the traditional style of RPG’s while they made their warhammer fantasy game closer to a board game. this no doubt is why the 40k line was a success and the fantasy warhammer line failed. thought they did take the basic ideas from fantasy and used them in the fantastic star wars line of games.
in this game you play as member of the deathwatch a group of walking death machines who fight the xeno’s of the universe in order to protect the empire of man. the members of deathwatch are taken from the various space marine chapters in the universe and must form new bonds with their brother in arms to succeed at their missions. think gears of war and halo games for an idea of the visuals. now I will address the elephant in the room that all space marines are biological male. this may be an issue to some, but remember the process that transforms a man into a walking death machine does also kill the concept of gender in these monsters. as in they are kinda hypermasculine yet have no real gender roles or expectations as they are made to only fight, kill and destroy. therefore I would recommend at least opening your mind and giving the game a chance for a session or two before dismissing it. note the other games in the 40k line of rpg’s due allow people to be any sex or gender available to humans.
one of the great things about this game is the ability for a group to use either individual special moves or special squad moves in combat. the squad moves are based on a mechanic called cohesion which is how well the squad works together. so basically the better the bond between marines the stronger they can be. there are several classes in the game such as apothecary (medic), technomarine (mr fix it) devastator marine (has BFG), assault marine (close combat), librarian (psychic mage) and tactical marine (all around generalist). each marine also chooses a chapter from whence they came theses chapters are similar to races in other games.
the games system uses percentile dice and you want to roll under your skill percentage to succeed. the game also offer a wide range of weapons to choose from for your killing pleasure. the missions tend to be basic in design to most military style games though this game emphasizes xeno threats as opposed to threats from other humans.
the book itself is heavy like most FFG core games I have seen. the art word is good, the layout decent on the eyes, and the spine strong. this book could also be used as a make shift shield or as the head of a mace.