Adeptus Titanicus: Dominus – Titan Warfare Striding Across Your Screen
When it comes to the ever-expanding list of Warhammer 40,000 video games that take the grim darkness off the tabletop and onto your screen, gamers certainly aren’t lacking options. From the cheap and niche text-driven Legacy of Dorn: Herald of Oblivion to the DLC-laden Panzer General-esque Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon, there’s nearly something for everyone. And naturally, I even have my own take on the five best of them.
However, until this year, there was one specific type of game that was missing from the expanding library of games. TITANS! The mighty God Machines of the Cult Mechanicus, the Titans of the Collegia Titanica and their Chaos aligned counter-parts of the Dark Mechanicum have always been a little bit shunned in the video game space, despite having an excellent tabletop experience, be it the old or new edition of the game. Well, Membraine Studios are here to help correct that particular injustice with their early-access title, Adeptus Titanicus: Dominus.
In Adeptus Titanicus: Dominus, it’s up to the player to guide their customized Titan Maniple to victory against the forces who oppose them. With the Imperial side having access to the Mars Pattern Warlord Titan, Reaver Titan and Warhound Titan, and the Chaos side having their Chaos counterparts, with the monstrous Banelord-class Titan swelling their ranks with its corrupted bulk.
From the Apocalypse Launcher and Volcano Cannons, to the Plasma Blastguns and Vulkan Mega Bolter, you’re given an array of weapons that can be swapped out on the various hard-points of your Titan, each having a unique use in combat. Be it stripping shields or packing a punch, each weapon fits into a battlefield role that can significantly alter your playstyle. High risk Reavers armed with Laser Blasters and Power Fists can make short work of your target thanks to their tremendous energy-wreathed gauntlets, whereas a pack of Warhounds can threaten the mightiest Warlord Titan thanks to the game’s most recent update which adds in Flanking Damage bonuses and the possibility to destroy weapons on opposing Titans.
Do you want to play a hard offense of a heavily armed center with your flanking forces acting as nimble flank units? Or are you more inclined to play a defensive array of long range weapons firing on overwatch to deny flanking maneuvers? Well, it’s up to you to conduct your forces as you see fit, but failure rests squarely upon your shoulders, Princeps.
Perhaps Skirmishes and Multiplayer battles aren’t your thing though, and you prefer a more guided experience. Then for now, the Imperial side of things has you covered with a series of scenarios that will thrust you into battle across six maps with twelve missions where you’ll take command of a pre-made Maniple.
For example, Industrial Sector 1 sets the scene like this, “Industrial Sector 1: A Legio Gryphonicus battle group engages a Lords of Ruin task force while patrolling a key industrial sector. Purge the filth in the Omnissiah’s name!” In this scenario, the objective is to secure three out of four objective points or completely annihilate your opponent. The caveat being that the game doesn’t start to score secured victory points until turn 5, so merely securing the objective isn’t enough. You need to retain it in the face of a Chaos Titan onslaught.
That doesn’t sound so bad, right? Well, let me tell you, when the corrupted hulks of the Lords of Ruin stand tall on the horizon with two Warhounds and a Banelord-class Titan while you deploy with only two Reavers, it’s gonna be awesome. Right from the get-go, Adeptus Titanicus: Dominus throws you straight into the deep end, and it’s marvelous.
Gameplay is turn-based, with you moving a Titan in your maniple and selecting what they’re going to do. Moving slowly will cover some ground while allowing you to accurately lay down fire. Moving further at a medium pace will double the distance, but your accuracy will suffer. You can sacrifice firepower completely to move at a more brisk pace, effectively tripling the distance you cover. Feel like holding your ground? The overwatch ability will let you skip movement in favour of planting your feet and firing with increased accuracy, great for holding choke points, detering close combat units with Power Fists and catching an enemy off-guard if they try to rush your position.
Typically, after you move a Titan, you hand control over to your opponent, but if you’re trying to set up a specific maneuver, this is obviously not ideal. Luckily, you’re given the option of retaining the initiative at the end of your activation, giving you a temporary advantage. This can come back to bite you later however when the initiative swaps to your opponent and you’re left without a sufficient response force.
Adeptus Titanicus: Dominus gets a very solid recommendation for me, and any 40K fan with an interest in the Legion will have a lot of fun. What’s more, there are still more updates coming in the future. Given that the game is in Early Access, Adeptus Titanicus: Dominus can be nabbed for only £11.39 on Steam.