I know we’re pushing the definition of board game here, but Hunters 2 plays very much like a traditional tabletop wargame, and reminds me heavily of the little known and now discontinued Warhammer 40,000 spin-off Space Hulk. Though we never reviewed the original, it was a huge success and I wanted to present Hunters 2 to you as I think a lot of you will really enjoy it.
Hunters is a turn based strategy / shooter. Taking command of an elite squad of 4 marines, you customize their loadout, then head out in unfamiliar terrain and missions. Each marine is can be levelled up in order to learn new ‘talents’, for either additional battlefield skills; healing, special attacks; the ability to use heavier weaponry; or movement and action point perks.
The heavier the armor you equip on your marines, the less action points they have each turn, generally ranging from about 3 to 6. Each action point equates to a single movement, or a single shot – though heavier weaponry can take 2 or 3 action points.
For most loadouts, you can set the unit to guard mode if they have 2 or more action points left – these units then enter an overwatch state where they immediately fire during the enemy’s turn if they are in range.
Weapons and armor can be either manufactured, purchased, or sometimes looted mid-game, though these won’t be available until the next mission. There is the option to buy more credits as an in-app purchase which some users have complained about, but honestly I haven’t felt the need to cheat like that – you loot more than enough and shouldn’t expect to buy the best weaponry on mission 2.
Graphics and Sound
Taking advantage of the hi-res iPad 3, the game is gorgeous and sound effects equally satisfying. I don’t remember there being such a wide range of environments in the original either, but I might be wrong. Hunters 2 takes you from dark interiors and close quarter corridor fighting all the way to jungle and desert landscapes.
Make no mistake, Hunters 2 is an incredibly strategic game and you’ll often find yourself repeating a mission with a different loadout, or trying a different tactical offence plan. I found it to be just a tiny bit too difficult; sometimes you’ll find yourself with seemingly impossible odds, but there’s always the right tool for the job. A long column of enemies is quickly dealt with by a flamer; a monstrous beast that just won’t die could be slaughtered with an overcharged plasma rifle. You rarely know what you’ll be facing until the mission actually begins, so aim for a rounded team and you should survive.
On the downside, there is no multiplayer to speak of, which is a shame because I feel it would actually work well for the gameplay to have Player vs Player matches. I realise this would be quite an immense reworking of the system though, and I have no idea if long turns would be satisfying; asynchronous play might work well.
Overall: 8/10. Great game with obviously high production values for anyone who loves miniatures and strategic tactical play with a little RPG mixed in. You won’t be disappointed.Hunters 2,