Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine

Genre: Third Person Shooter
Platform(s): PS#, Xbox 360, PC
Allegiance: Relic Entertainment
Vintage: 2011
Rating: M
Intelligence Agency Report by: Shadow
The Forge World Graia is under siege by Ork forces led by War Boss Grimskull. It is their mighty “WAAAAGGHHH” in their attempt to destroy humanity and take all that they see. A Liberation Fleet is on the way, but the time it will take leaves the Orks enough time to destroy the planet and even dismantle one of the greatest assets humanity has in their wars: the Titans. Needing a chance to stall, the Ultramarines Second Company is sent to Graia to defend humanity. Not all is at is seems though, as Chaos is afoot.

Weapons Expert Report by: Shadow
Overall 8.00
(not an average)
Version Reviewed: PS3Warhammer 40k fans finally have a chance to jump on the consoles! The Warhammer 40k universe has long since made the jump from the classic tabletop RPG that started it all to the video games that were playable on the PC. The Space Hulk game was part of the universe that was on a console but can hardly been seen as a modern console game. Space Marine is the first Warhammer 40k game that makes it to the modern console and the PC. But does it live up to what the rabid Warhammer 40k community has come to love?

The Warhammer 40k universe is built upon one thing: war. Every planet, galaxy, star cruiser, and universe is in conflict at all points in time. Peace is only a temporary illusion for any citizen of any location. None know the truth behind this illusion better than the Space Marines of the Imperium of Man. Created by The Emporer himself, these Space Marines, the Angels of Death, are built for the sole purpose of protecting the Imperium. They are built for war, and you are one of the Space Marines from the Ultramarines Chapter, Second Company Captain Titus. This is the plot of any Warhammer 40k universe game. It is also the plot of Space Marine.

The game is set on all-out war as the Imperium of Man on the planet Graia is besieged by the orks led by War Boss Grimskull. As Captain Titus, you are dispatched with the 100 Space Marines of Second Company. Your personal squad consists of you, Leandros, and Sidonus. The whole game is about busting up the orks and defending the planet until you have word that an Inquisitor is under siege in Manufactorum Ajakis, a location that you already have to reach in order to protect the Titans. The plot takes a turn when instead of eradicating the orks with your help, a weapon goes awry and summons the forces of Chaos instead. From there, all hell breaks loose. It’s a very straightforward plot: fight. The plot is indeed there, but it is linear, unbroken, and has so few twists and turns that the game becomes predictable. While there are a few betrayals and twists, they are seen so far in advance that they are no longer a surprise and almost occur the exact moment you expect them to happen. It hardly tells a story other than a fight for survival that has Chaos forces doing what they do best (creating Chaos).

Likewise, characters are undeveloped. THQ and Relic set a high bar by stating early on what the characters would be. Sadly, only one of the characters lived up to his reputation, that being Sidonus. Other characters, such as Titus, Drogan, and Leandros only lived up to half of the character hype that was given to them. That said, each of the characters did have their own unique personality and methods. It was not a set of cookie- cutter characters, just a set of characters that could have been further developed and with considerably more character interaction in which to develop them.

The audio and visuals of the game were superb, and made full use of the systems that are available to them. Orks look like true “greenskins” and Chaos forces look intimidating and evil. Blood flies when bodies are hacked to shreds with chainswords, and .75 cal bullets make massive holes while heads pop like balloons at birthday parties. The sound effects of the game are deep and well-developed, and the soundtrack serves to put you in a combat mood or reflect the gravity of the situation at hand.

Multiplayer in Space Marine follows the similar trend of all the games’ multiplayer modes as of late. Massive team play that includes a capture-the-flag style game, and an overall death match style. Cooperative play was not shipped with the game, but expected to be added in early October. The co-op mode will be similar to that of a “horde” mode. In essence, the game draws from combat and play styles from bothGears of War and Modern Warfare. Players are allowed to customize their marines (both Chaos and Space Marine) to fit their personal looks, desires, and color likes. No two characters will be alike as there are several different colors, chapter paint schemes, and armor items that can be earned through various challenges. Unlike Halo: Reach, it is not about earning points and ranks to buy items, but rather by unlocking them through challenges. It is also projected that these items, again unlike Reach, will provide bonuses to the players. Another of the methods for these bonuses is perks (similar to Modern Warfare).

If all of this sounds like if you’ve played Gears of War and Modern Warfare that you’ll be ok, then you’re right. Familiarity with these games, both in terms of combat mechanics and multiplayer setups, will indeed help you to deal with multiplayer. Campaign mode is all about sticking to the style of Gears of War for the combat engine. Because of the blend of the previously mentioned games, the gameplay fromSpace Marine feels like a blend of the two. While it doesn’t make the game feel unique, it makes it feel very familiar and easy to grasp onto once you have adjusted to the control scheme that is placed. It was a good game, even with what felt like only an 8 hour campaign. Fans of the series will want to buy this game and enjoy it, especially as the multiplayer has a good feel to it. But like always, those interested in just story for the Warhammer 40k universe are going to want to rent it, as the campaign is almost a one-and-done affair with most shooters.