REVIEW: A New Life

It’s been a while since I watched an episode of Hammer and Bolter on Warhammer TV but I tell you what, A New Life is magnificent. It’s Warhammer 40,000 storytelling at its best.

Set on an Imperial colony beset by a Tyranid invasion, this 20 minute short animation nails every aspect of this universe in all its grimdark glory. Our protagonists get warning that the wealthy and important are abandoning the colony, then one of their family gets word that an invasion is coming. It’s not fear. It’s not word of mouth. It’s a family on the Guard that knows. This is happening.

They flee into the depths of the city as the rest of the population cottons on and begins to panic. Imperial soldiers start massacring citizens to keep them clear of the launch pads for ships off world. As the city descends into chaos and the Tyranids descend on the city, will the family find refuge and save their baby?

Animated in the same style as the rest of the series, A New Life uses enough detail to be on message with the universe, while also allowing the story to rip along at a fast pace. The scenes are well played out, with multiple twists on the way through that just show the value of good short story writing underpinning whatever method and media you use to showcase it. The animation style doesn’t really lend itself tremendously well to the tyranids when they are shown massing, in my opinion, but it’s a small dislike for what is otherwise one of the best episodes so far.

A New Life is a brilliant short animation full of desperation and horror and guts, and humanity in all its shades of grey. An almost perfect episode in this series.

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Adrian Collins

Adrian Collins

Adrian Collins runs Grimdark Magazine and loves anything to do with telling darker stories. Doesn't matter the format, or when it was published or produced--just give him a grim story told in a dark world by a morally grey protagonist and this bloke's in his happy place. Add in a barrel aged stout to sip on after a cheeky body surf under the Australian sun, and that's his heaven.

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