One of the most popular PC games over the last year has been Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus, a turn-based dungeon-crawling title from Kasedo Games and Bulwark Studios. Offering a gameplay experience that combines simple mechanics with a good amount of depth, a fun story that fans of the Warhammer 40,000 universe will love, and a clean, attractive presentation, it’s easy to see why it’s such a hit — and now, it’s got an expansion: Heretek, a five-mission mini-campaign that pits you against previous allies who have gone rogue as well as the menacing forces of the Necrons. The result is a DLC that any fan of the base game will enjoy, although it does continue one issue that’s present in the base game itself.
The coolest thing about the Heretek DLC is that it adds a whole new enemy type to the game: your own Tech-Priest allies, who have turned their backs on the Omnissiah they were supposed to serve and instead have become Hereteks that desire to capture and use the weapons of the xeno Necron forces. Instead of simply only fighting the Necrons like you did in the base game, you now will have to contend with Hereteks as well; this war-on-two-sides type of narrative is a really cool one, and the decisions you make during the course of this mini-campaign will have a significant impact on how the plot concludes.
The Heretek DLC blends an awesome story twist with gameplay variety, making it stand out from the base game.
In terms of gameplay, the Heretek expansion forces you to rethink your combat tactics a bit, as you now have to fight enemies that use similar weapons and tactics as you, while also combating the usual Necrons. It’s a very enjoyable gameplay loop that keeps you on your toes and prevents things from ever feeling stale, which is always a good thing in games like this where a healthy variety of different types of scenarios are what make or break the tactics-based experience. The expansion also unlocks two new units for you to use: the Sicarian Infiltrators and Ruststalkers. The Sicarian Infiltrators are powerful stealth units, while the Ruststalkers make for formidable melee opponents; with proper strategic use, they can be a strong, reliable addition to any battle group. You can unlock new xeno-style weaponry for all of your forces, too, which allows for some cool new strategies.
As with the base game, the visual and audio presentation here is stellar, with an art direction that feels right at home in Warhammer 40,000 and a soundtrack that effectively raises tension, makes moments of triumph feel badass, and more. The voice acting for the characters is perfect, too, and you can tell that there was a lot of effort put in to making them all feel genuine.
What you’ll love less about the Heretek DLC
There’s very little in the way of critique that I have for the Heretek DLC overall. The only thing that disappointed me about it was that it was on the easy side, which is something that’s true about the base game as well. The DLC isn’t a complete cakewalk, but there weren’t any nail-biting moments of heavy tension or times where the outcome of the battle hinged on one key action like you’ll often get in other turn-based tactics titles. It’s not a big disappointment for me, but I was hoping for something more nonetheless.
Should you buy the Heretek DLC?
The lack of high challenge here is disappointing, but it’s hardly anything that seriously harms the gameplay experience with the Heretek DLC.
If you want something hardcore, than this expansion won’t satisfy your desires. However, if you enjoyed the Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus base game and you’re looking to get back into the fray with a neat new story direction and some cool gameplay additions, this DLC is perfect for you.
Battle both sides
Brothers against brothers
The Heretek expansion is a near-perfect continuation of what made the base game so great, although it falls just short of perfection.