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Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 Game Poster Image
Deep, difficult space combat packed with content for fans.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

While some factions pride themselves on things like honor and duty, truth is they're all finding reasons to conquer one another to expand reach and influence in deep space.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Some factions have characters that come close to "heroic," though they all have certain ulterior motives. Other factions, such as the Chaos, Necron, and Tyranid, are less subtle about their thirst for dominance.

Ease of Play

Game has high level of difficulty, takes a good amount of time to learn. At any moment, players need to be ready to adjust their strategies, movement, and fleet orders based on a number of variables they're required to track in real time. Even learning basics takes a lot of patience and practice, but ultimately helps create epic nature of the massive battles.

Violence

This is a game of epic scale space combat, so violence is perpetual. Battles are massive, with a lot of moving parts flying around, shooting each other. But since this is ship-to-ship combat, most of resulting carnage is limited to wreckage, debris, lots of explosions. Some violent imagery during cutscenes in game's Campaign mode, though, including bloody shots of decapitations and characters being impaled.

Sex
Language

Some occasional harsh language and light profanity ("damn," "hell," etc.) in dialogue.

Consumerism

Part of Games Workshop's popular Warhammer 40,000 franchise, which features many different types of related merchandise, including tabletop games, miniatures, video games, books, and pen-and-paper role-playing games. The game is also a direct sequel to 2016's Battlefleet Gothic: Armada and supports future downloadable content.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some characters occasionally appear in the game smoking cigars.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 is a futuristic, sci-fi-based strategy game of large-scale space combat, available for download on Windows PCs. The game is set within Games Workshop's popular Warhammer 40,000 universe and is a direct sequel to 2016's Battlefleet Gothic: Armada. Most of the action takes place via ship-to-ship combat in deep space, with lots of explosions but no blood. But the game's Campaign mode does include some scenes of more explicit violence. Some light profanity occasionally appears in the game's dialogue, with "hell" and "damn" being used.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

BATTLEFLEET GOTHIC: ARMADA 2 is the direct sequel to the hit space combat strategy game Battlefleet Gothic: Armada. Set within Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 universe, it's the time of The Gathering Storm. Abaddon's 13th Black Fleet and its forces of Chaos have succeeded in defeating the Imperium at Cadia. The fall of the great Fortress World has not only left the Imperium vulnerable, but has also served as a sort of beacon, drawing the attention of various factions all vying for universal dominance. The game includes three complete single-player story campaigns, putting players in control of Imperium, Necron, and Tyranid fleets, detailing three different potential outcomes to The Gathering Storm. Players can take the fight online, commanding the forces of any of the 12 major factions in massive one-on-one or two-on-two space battles against human or AI opponents. The fate of the Aegis Ocularis, and the rest of the known universe, lies in your hands.

Is it any good?

The problem with a lot of sequels, be it in movies or games, is their tendency to do little more than ride the wave of the original without bringing much new to the table. That's far from the case with Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2, the sequel to the popular 2016 real-time strategy game of space warfare. There's no light packing for this return trip to the far reaches of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, as the game is bursting at the seams with content. Three complete single-player story campaigns, 12 total playable factions, and multiplayer skirmishes that support both ranked and casual play for up to four players all come in this densely packed sequel. For fans of either the previous Armada game or the tabletop Battlefleet Gothic experience, this is almost a dream come true. Of course, when making a game for fans, it's a little too easy to leave newcomers behind.

Although Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 is packed with content, the game also presumes that players are already intimately familiar with the franchise. The three story campaigns toss players right into the thick of battle as one of three factions: Imperium, Necron, or the newly added Tyranid. Each of these stories are presented as sort of "What if?" scenarios, though there's no real context given to understand the impact. Also, while all 12 factions are represented in the multiplayer skirmishes, there's not much explanation regarding the strengths and weakness of each. If you've ever played the tabletop game, you'll already be familiar with how each faction plays, but newcomers are forced to learn through trial and error. There's a lot to take in before players can really start to feel effective, especially when playing online. Still, with patience and practice, the game opens itself up to a slew of strategic options. In the end, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 is a deep and exhilarating space combat experience, but the overall satisfaction depends solely on the time and effort you're willing to commit.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 affected by the large scale of the combat? Do large-scale battles have less of an impact than one-on-one fighting does? Does it make a difference when the setting is high fantasy or sci-fi versus more realistic modern or historical settings?

  • How can games like Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 teach players to analyze situations and solve problems on the fly?

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