Tuesday, September 20, 2011

WarHammer 40k - Space Marine - Game Review

For today’s review the team took a few days to play the new and highly anticipated 3rd person action game published by THQ and developed by Relic entertainment – Space Marine!

For those of you who don’t know, WarHammer 40k is a veteran franchise both in the Tabletop Battlegames genre (created by Games Workshops) and in the PC gaming market (created and published by Relic entertainment and THQ respectively).

Although the 40k franchise has a strong fan core (mainly due to the Tabletop Battle game and the fiction novels), on the computer/video console front the franchise had lived through some rough times.

The franchise’s computer games line, dates back to 1994 with “Space Hulk” and is mainly a strategy game line, mostly turn based, in order to uphold the traditions and gameplay of the Tabletop on the computer. Truth be told, I loved these old school games, and I even loved 40k’s first attempt into RTS (real time strategy) with the title “WarHammer 40k: Dawn of War”, but since this last one the franchise has been in a constant and sure slide to the bottom of my gaming list…

Until now!

WarHammer 40k – Space Marine is the first time a player can actually see the world from the point of view of the warriors themselves… (Yes I know WarHammer 40k – Fire Warrior was the truly first 40k FPS game, but it sucked so bad that everyone deleted it from their consciousness…).

I won’t go into the great lore of the game universe, but I will explain a bit about the Space Marines.
The Space Marines are elite human warriors that were handpicked in order to join the marine core. These warriors were altered in the genetic and physiologic manners in order to make them the best fighting machines ever created for the Empire. These warriors wear a unique and special armor that provides them with extra strength, endurance and speed. They are the future age Knights fighting and dying for their “God Emperor”, always ready to charge forward where chances are grim – and usually they are the ones that changes the tide!

 "...usually they are the ones that changes the tide!"

In "WarHammer 40k Space Marine" you will play as Captain Titus, a leader in the Ultramarines Chapter (an elite group in the Space Marines ranks), as he is sent to retake a “Forge Planet” that has a high strategic importance. The planet has been totally overwhelmed by an Ork invasion, and the Ultramarines are the only force that has a chance of recapturing the planet and the special technology it holds.

Accompanying Titus are two of his unit, Sidonus - an old Space Marine Veteran Sergeant who serves as Titus' second-in-command and Leandros - a young Ultramarine Battle-Brother about 75 years old (considered "young" for the Space Marine life cycle), who looks up to Captain Titus for most of the missions

As you start the playing you are immediately exposed to the beautiful graphics of the game, as both the game itself and the cut scenes are equally detailed and rich. 

Once the intro is over you are not allowed to waste time gawking and stumbling around as the first waves of Orks charge toward you, screaming and shouting. You will learn to use your controllers on the fly as you shot, slice and execute your foes.
The game has a good flow from shooting to melee as you use the ranged weapons to reduce the enemy’s numbers before they reach the range of your chainsword (not a mistake!!!)/axe/hammer/machete… or as I have come to call those shooting moments – tenderizing the meat!

"...tenderizing the meat!"

Of-course that you will have stages where you will only be able to use your ranged weapons such as a “Stalker Pattern Bolter” – the Ultramarines variation for a sniper gun or throw grenades at the immense waves or charging Orks. As Also you will have stages on which you will be playing solo without Sidonus and Leandros. 

A nice touch I liked in this game, a touch I also love in Max Payne 2 is that you will have missions where you will go and cover your fellow marines as they fight through masses of enemies, killing snipers and grenade throwers.

Putting aside the gameplay itself there are a few points that should be taken into consideration when playing this game. An important part of a game that most developers tend to neglect is the PLOT. In the great tradition of the 40k novels, this game’s plot is really good and capturing, providing the players with moments of happiness, grief, anger and betrayal.

On the other hand, although enlisting top notch actors such as Mark Strong to voice act Captain Titus, the voice script itself could have been better. Also, the controls of the game are a bit tricky as you either have to control a spectrum of 8 keys in different combinations with the mouse buttons or control the game via a gamepad that will leave players that have not played shooters on the Xbox360 or PS3 somewhat overwhelmed.

Hardcore fans of the 40k franchise are likely to be upset by the manner in which the npc’s interact with the Space Marines and with little sidetracking from the 40k universe, such as the fact that the Imperial Guard has a female lieutenant… but to those fans I can honestly say, hold your tongue, look at this fine game and say thank you that the developers were able to bring such a good example of the atmosphere and action and thank god for the never ending Gore, reviving this diminishing franchise and exposing new players to the richness it holds.

If I would have to give a score to this game, I would probably go on 8.5/10, but only due to the controls, the voice script and the linear gaming.
But as I said before, this game is much more than these little drawbacks and the “whole” product surpasses them easily, providing a fun and challenging experience to all players.

So come on and join the fun, and don’t worry… 
I have left a few Orks for you!

With Much Respect,



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umaroy said...

put aside the gameplay is there are a few point that be supposed to be taken into thought when playing this gamefree online strategy games war.
space strategy games.

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