Space Hulk: Vengeance of the Blood Angels. Key Game (1996) PlayStation

What better way to indulge my current two favourite hobbies of Warhammer (Horus Heresy) and Retro Gaming than to play a game that manages to combine the two?

Back in 1996 I temporarily collected Warhammer 40k and owned this game, and to be honest, I remember hating Space Hulk and can remember not getting very far.

So with that, let’s get nerdy, don the Terminator armour of the Blood Angels, and smoosh the faces of the Tyranids and see if Space Hulk has aged like a fine wine.


Bare with me, as I have no fucking clue what is going on.

I’m dying in the first room over and over… (quits game and puts it on easy as the game defaults to hardest)


Nope, not a clue.

Get used to this…

Basically, Space Hulk is a hybrid of tactical RPG-FPS and plays just as easily as you’d imagine on a PlayStation. IE, it doesn’t play well. You can switch to a tactical mode and issue commands, which don’t seem to work (they do later in the game). You can switch between Terminators, which doesn’t seem to work (again works later). And you get as many lives as you have Terminators – mission requirements state how many need to survive – but if you die, gameover (guess what, lives unlock later).

This isn’t to say Space Hulk is bad, it just plays like shit, looks like shit, is weird, and semi-turnbased. The problem lies in an obtuse difficulty curve, and a manual that is like a War and Peace.

But really, the ultimate problem game doesn’t make a lot of sense from a video gaming angle.

Woo, tactical!

Let’s talk about Warhammer 40k

Oddly to explain this game you really need to know your early edition 40k rules (which I don’t). Basically, you’re a Terminator, a super hard badass of the Blood Angel chapter, but you have 1 not so small problem. Genestealers cut through your manly terminator armour in 1 piss willow attack. This is incongruous to a regular gamer person who doesn’t have a profound knowledge of the Warhammer universe. As dudes effectively in tank armour should be hard.

But according to the Warhammer rule set and the Space Hulk board game, this is absolutely the norm and Genestealers sexually molest terminator armour.

No seriously…

The tactical screens make sense from a Wargaming perspective as it allows you to view things from a top down perspective. Also the turn based nature of combat ties in nicely with the tabletop game. But as a videogame I am still utterly baffled.

Combat is first person, and you can shoot in what feels like real-time. However, if an enemy gets close, it then switches to a turn based attack system. This is where you die, as if you don’t perfectly time your block or attack, you’re dead, and since this switch in real time and turnbased come out the blue you’ll die.

This could have been remedied if there was some sort of tutorial, or training missions as part of the main game which introduce features, or even a steady learning curve. Instead you’re thrown on the deep end with your Terminator armour to drown like the little bitch you are.

However, there are training missions, but you’d need to figure out they are buried in a deeply flawed user interface.

X chooses the game, but hidden under it are the other options.

The many joys of a Genestealer punch to the face

Apart from instadeath of a Genestealer punching you in the face, you get to enjoy deaths from Genestealers punching you in the back of the head as they seem to spawn behind you.

You do get a minimap that displays nearby enemies, but often the too-many-armed BASTARDS will just appear and skull fuck your intestines out of your arse.

On top of this, the game is not clear in terms of objectives on some missions. I can’t get off the 2nd level. I can get to the end, kill all enemies, do the objective. The level just won’t end. I am still unsure how or why this happens, but I restarted the game did the same things, and was able to progress to the next level. To be honest, this is a game breaking glitch that occurs way too often.

After that? well there is some serious fan service to the Warhammer community. You can play the Space Hulk board game missions in the game, but you can also play some historical battles from 40k, and you can play the PC Space Hulk Missions. But by this point I had lost interest, and while I tried a few missions once I gave up after miscellaneous fail states. But these missions will be of interest to the hardcore fan.


Yeah Space Hulk is shit and it is completely unplayable now. Graphically it didn’t look good in 1996, and it has aged just as well as a wine that has been left open and in the sun.

The controls are clunky as hell and there is no “aim”. It really is terrible to play.

That said, Space Hulk falls short of the Shower of Shit category by the virtue it does actually try, and there are nice touches in terms of details and fan service. It is however, unplayable.

Pros: fan service up the wazoo

Cons: it really is shitty


Back in the day:

Space Hulk did not score well at release and got scores in the low 60s.



I'm awesome. I write about videogames occasionally but spend most time painting and playing Warhammer in varying formats.

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17 comments on “Space Hulk: Vengeance of the Blood Angels. Key Game (1996) PlayStation
  1. Particlebit says:

    Wow, I’m a fan of 40k and have played many of its computer games but not this one. Sounds like it made a horrible translation to a different medium. Have you played the newer Space Hulk on steam? Does it compare?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Goric says:

    I’m listening to audiobook W40k Horus Heresy by.. as an introduction into Warhammer franchise in general

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Goric says:


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Goric says:

    I heard if Fulgrum. Aaron Demski Bowden.. the writer of the novelization bookon W40k of which the audiobook I heard.. I may call wrong writer here..


    • aaron dembski-bowden does a lot of the Wahammer Books. I know he did a lot of the Horus Heresy ones. Fulgrim will be mentioned in most, and will feature in a fair few. He one of the main Primarchs.

      He also doesn’t die (a few do) and we are kinda of expecting him to return in 40k as a massive daemon just like Magnus and Mortarion have done recently.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sanguinius, the Primarch of Blood Angels the ones that feature in this game is super dead. Has his head kicked off by Horus during the Seige of Terra.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Goric says:

    Cheers! Looking forward to read more lore behind Warhammer, I’ll drop the correct audiobooks label soon as I’m on laptop, that are really good at producing them, they Brits.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Goric says:

    It was produced by Heavy Entertainment (audiobook that is) and my personal highlight is Master Imgu’s Transgression. Don’t even know who he is (outside of the book that is)🔥

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Goric says:

    I was talking about novelization book by Dan Abnett Thorn and Talon put to audiobook by those guys..

    And it’s a Horus Heresy series comlitely with music, excellent British voice acting, ambient.. it’s very immersive.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Goric says:

    *talking there

    Liked by 1 person

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