Mechanicus, the best turn-based Warhammer 40,000 game, is getting a sequel

During this year's Warhammer Skulls event it was confirmed Space Marine 2 will have PvP multiplayer and a three-player co-op mode separate from the main campaign, which will also have its own co-op mode. So that's nice. But the thing that's got me hot and bothered is the announcement of a follow-up to Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus, the turn-based tactics game that placed at number two in our ranking of every Warhammer 40,000 game.

The original Mechanicus cast you as cyborged-up tech-priests, a whole squad of multi-armed Doctor Octopi in conflict with the necrons, the only inhabitants of the 40K universe more post-human than tech-priests. The necrons traded away all of their meat parts thousands of years ago in a bad deal that left them as angry robots slumbering the aeons away surrounded by tasteful Egyptian-themed decor on tomb worlds. Tomb worlds that inevitably get settled by ignorant humans, who then face their wrath.

New in the sequel will be an option to play as the necrons, fighting to liberate your tomb world from the vermin who've blithely moved in and are making a ruckus upstairs. You can also play as Magos Dominus Faustinius, commander of the first game's campaign, who is now an expert on murdering those robotic mummies with a thing for bright green drop-lighting, and has been called in to help out.

The most important return in Mechanicus 2 is that of Guillaume David, the composer whose technogothic Gregorian-step soundtrack gave the original so much of its unique character. Expect more chanting monks and big drops from the sequel. 

The announcement notes a couple of changes from the original. The first is a "vastly expanded" selection of troops from both factions, which is to be expected. More surprising is the ability to "take cover behind terrain as the Mechanicus," something the first game deliberately eschewed as a way of differentiating itself from the inevitable XCOM-parisons every turn-based tactics game has to deal with. Instead of cover, Mechanicus 1 enforced a rule that necrons could only shoot at the closest target, and gave the tech-priests disposable fodder called the skitarii to act as meat shields. 

We'll see how much those cover mechanics change things when Mechanicus 2 comes out. It's described  as "coming soon" and will be available on Steam and Epic.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.