Steam Library: Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics

Mysterious encounter

“Ren-TV” made a clone of XCOM.

World War II. The Nazis summoned a battalion of Cthulhu from the depths of the Earth, acquired experimental ray weapons, and want exactly the same thing they wanted before acquiring the battalion of Cthulhu and experimental ray weapons. In the enemy’s rear, which is filled with bunkers and gardens of healthy runic stones, a vampire, a Sikh, a soldier, and another soldier are landed. The goal of the first two is perfectly clear – not to let the enemies of humanity fully play their new trump cards. The goal of the remaining duo is the same, but with a cunning secret caveat: the two soldiers do not want the game to introduce an Apache warrior and a third soldier.

Ahead, the team awaits dozens of tactical battles, trophies, and endless dark forests.

The screenshots of Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics, displayed on the Steam showcase, are not pleasing to the eye at all. Everything is somehow dull, the soldier figurines are boring, and the promised Nazi-Cthulhu are not impressive. You can’t even expand the picture to full screen out of sporting interest and see that the game actually has the right – nine-tenths borrowed from XCOM, but what’s the difference if it’s the right one – the tactical interface. Moreover, the fighters are skillfully positioned, as if they are really engaged in an exciting turn-based shootout.

Any strategy lover would pass by after seeing such a panorama, but they can’t anymore.

Tactical strategy

And yes! Tactical battles in Cthulhu Tactics are fundamentally good.

The basics are known to all genre enthusiasts. We are given a squad of four fighters: one conditional scout, who can survive a sudden encounter with a crowd of enemies slightly better than the rest, one lover of shotguns and almost suicidal rushes with a bayonet, one sniper, and one commander who slightly improves the characteristics of the rest of the squad. This quartet is tasked with clearing barricades from superior enemy forces from mission to mission through skillful teamwork, shooting from cover, and the natural stupidity of artificial intelligence. Been there, done that.

Action points, hit points, line of sight, distance, crossfire – it’s all there too.

The first noticeable difference in the mechanics of Cthulhu Tactics from the aforementioned game is that the gothic World War II never tries to overwhelm your squad. In the well-known case when your soldiers are left with almost no ammo and ten hit points for five of them after the first clash, it is impossible in our gloomy bunkers.

First and foremost, because the soldiers of the otherworldly front have access to an energy shield that even the future alien invaders did not think of. It’s called “luck,” covers about half of the total health, and recharges itself between battles. So any of our soldiers can eat two or three servings of lead during a shootout without any serious consequences for the mission. The specific battles don’t become easier because of this fortune, but entire maps are completed much faster than you expect.

And the soldiers have also learned to reload their weapons on their own after the shootout ends. For this revolution in the genre of annoying tactical details, I give the game a whole separate point. Finally.

Battle against cosmic horrors

At the same time, Cthulhu Tactics refused to provide us with a separate abandoned bunker as a base. No debris, rooms for studying otherworldly monsters, barracks, generators, or any other epic routine that interested you exactly two hours and fifteen years ago. Somewhere deep in your mind, though, there is a nagging thought that if the developers had a bigger budget, we would have had a housewife simulator with us, but there’s no use crying over spilled milk.

In short, everything in Cthulhu Tactics works quickly, logically, and perfectly, and playing it is pure pleasure. It would be, if not for.

By removing a few unnecessary elements, the designers have also gotten rid of many useful things. You don’t notice it right away. The first missions of the game are all single-story sandboxes without any signs of life. No climbing onto the roof, going down to the basement, or blowing up a barrel of gasoline. There’s nothing; just run around in cover and scout the area intelligently. But that’s what the first missions are for, you think naively – there will be plenty of things to do later on.

But there isn’t. Tactical battles don’t change at all. The mission of the first hour of the game will only differ from the mission of the tenth hour in that the stuck soldiers on the same level will each learn a special move and the fascists will gain extra hit points.

Squad-based warfare

Even decent secondary tasks for local maps were not loaded. There are only missions like “Get to a dead end”, where you spend an extra five minutes poking around an already cleared location in search of an additional checkpoint. You don’t want to do them at all, but you have to, because 100 experience points don’t just lie on the road.

The tactical excitement of the game dissipates unusually quickly. Especially for a game with such good basic mechanics and an unusual setting.

The last one, however, was also not particularly cool. The strange A!CT showcase on Steam, which is more off-putting than attracting new buyers, turned out to be not a collection of unsuccessful screenshots, but a harsh truth about local life. The surrounding world is pale, boring, dirty, and once again, one-dimensional; there is nothing to admire in Cthulhu Tactics. Even the models of octopus-like demons in the form of “SS” turned out to be unremarkable for the designers.

Unveiling Lovecraftian secrets

I will repeat for the twentieth time in this short text: Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics excellently copied the foundation of XCOM. And that is already half the success. However, the entire second half seems to have disappeared somewhere. Exciting shootouts between our characters hiding behind fallen trees and the enemies hiding behind sandbags during the game are replaced by routine shootouts between our characters hiding behind fallen trees and the enemies hiding behind sandbags, and then by boring shootouts between our characters hiding behind fallen trees and the enemies hiding behind sandbags.

Half of the happiness is achieved, let’s say, five out of ten. Plus, a point for the game design gods sending us the relief of not having to manually reload every damn pistol.

The best description I can give for A!CT is that it is a solid one-time entertainment for those who are tired of replaying a certain game.

Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics
Auroch Digital
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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