Advertising titan combat on Calth, the blurb on the audio drama’s cover makes it sound more like bolter porn than anything of substance but that’s only half right. There’s certainly very little substance, but the drama almost seems determined to avoid the violence. At every turn, even as the city is torn down, moments of conflict and battle are told just out of sight rather than truly shown.
A group of Ultramarines take out traitorous members of the Imperial Army? It’s told from the viewpoint of a character who can’t see them. A group of titans move to flank a number of enemy war engines as they fight their way to a downed craft? We hear the commands from the Princeps commanding the group and only hear the impact of their efforts in brief statements rather than see the fight itself. In fact the only time we get any remotely lengthy or detailed titan vs titan combat is during the very conclusion. This not only removes the drama’s main selling point but there’s nothing really there to make up for it.
What is seen of the city is barely described or gone into at all, the shape, layout, design or even its state of development might as well be left to guesswork. The only few hints which are given come from the fact titans are able to use the buildings as cover, but little to nothing is actually established. Like far too many stories today, it feels as if the entire first act was simply cut for time so they could try to get to the meat of the action, severely botching their tale as a result. This becomes evidently clear as not only do the characters barely react to the outset of civil war and allied forces turning upon them, but we’re hardly told who they are.