Welcome to the main event of the Warhammer Special. The first part, if you are just tuning in, was the downloadable twin stick shooter, Warhammer 40K: Kill Team. It’s not a bad game, but due to the short length and harsh difficulty if you’re playing alone, it’s hard to fully recommend unless you got the 10 dollars to spare and you like Warhammer and twin stick style shooting games. I however, would recommend a different Warhammer game, and no, it isn’t the FPS PS2 game released awhile back. This is the recently released Warhammer game from Relic Entertainment called Warhammer 40K: Space Marine. This is really one of the better games I played in 2011, and is one of my more favorite shooter games. It’s extremely loyal to the franchise, and it’s a very solid game with a few minor hiccups down the line that does prevent me from fully recommending it over games like Uncharted 3, but I could easily recommend it over Rage and Dead Island. Let’s get into our Space Marine armor and charge our way through the hordes and review Warhammer 40K: Space Marine.
Heads up, there are spoilers in this review! The story puts us in the shoes of the Ultramarine’s captain, Titus, voiced by Mark Strong. You and a group of Space Marines are sent down to the forge world of Graia to stop an Ork invasion led by a giant Ork named Grimskull and prevent them from finding a Titan, a huge robot with giant guns. Later on there are some major troubles when an Inquisitor named Drogan opens up a wormhole that makes all forms of the Chaos Space Marine race appear and become the major threat. It is up to Titus, along with the two Space Marines, Sidonus voiced by Mark Richard Hawley, and Leandros to stop the Ork threats and later on the Chaos Space Marines. The story is actually entertaining and will keep you going through the end. The three main Space Marines might look alike since they are huge steroid-reddened humans that are actually over 100 years old (they look good for their age), but they are different enough that you know who is who. You will also get to meet Imperial Guardsmen like the female lieutenant Mira that will be there to progress the story. Like I said, it is entertaining enough to keep you going.
The gameplay takes the form of a third person shooter, mixed in with an action game. It reminds me more of Darksiders control style since you can play it like an action game that has a pretty decent combat system, but it mostly plays like a third person shooter. The biggest pointless complaint I have heard from people about this game is that you can’t cover fire, but it makes sense that you can’t. If you don’t know, Space Marines are like giant gorilla men in huge thick suits of armor, so there is really no point in taking cover from fire, like in Gears of War, since you are so heavily protected from harm. And unlike Transformers: War for Cybertron, the melee combat feels more like a hack-and-slash kind of game. You can pull off some decent combos, and to regain health, you pull a special move by causing the enemy to get dizzy and then either stomp their skull into the ground or hack them up with your chainsaw sword. Of course, the staple in every action game appears where if you fill up a bar enough, you go through this berserk mode and are invincible for a short amount of time. The shooter aspects are pretty normal. You have your different kinds of guns, and you shoot down the Orks and the demons of Chaos as you go through a huge world. Sometimes, there will be some unique levels like getting the ability to use jet packs and the most recent trend with third person shooters, the train fight scene. Unlike Dark Void and Splatterhouse that have you kill the main villain through the final cutscene, you actually get to kill the final villain yourself, which is pretty nice. There is a co-op mode where you get to play with someone else through split-screen. The multiplayer is very bare bones, which I will explain my hate for in a minute. You basically get Deathmatch and “capture the flag”. You can customize your character in multiplayer and make him look pretty much how your little model space marines looked in the real-life tactics game.
Graphically, this is a very good-looking game. It isn’t Uncharted 3, but it’s a very good-looking game that brings the world of Warhammer 40K to video games. The detail on the armor and on the characters is amazingly well done. The voice acting is also well executed and I already listed some of the voice work like Mark Strong voicing the main character who I liked the best out of the voice actors. The music at times has some epic cues and can really make battles intense, like on the train fight when an Ork ship is trying to slaughter you and your two allies. The AI is also surprisingly aggressive, and don’t just stand and shoot like idiots. At points, when I was trying to snipe Orks from a distance, they would actually move out of the way, which surprised me. Finally a game where the AI will actually either swarm you and try to rip you to shreds or move out of the way of gunfire.
However, there are some complaints that I have with this game. While I enjoyed the look of the game, it has the same issues like War for Cybertron where everything looks the same. After awhile, the scenery gets boring and you want to see something new, which is an issue since you are in a world covered in scrap metal. I also wish there was a little more variety in the multiplayer, like a survival mode where you go against a horde of Tyranids or something. Instead, we get the bare basics of multiplayer. There also needed to be some more variety in the single player mode instead of just shooting up a storm and a few turret and jetpack sections. Of course, recently released DLC may have added some variety with the mech suits that the Space Marines use, but it just gets a little repetitive along with the repetitive environments.
For all that it’s worth, this game is fun and is great. I would highly recommend this game over some of the mediocre shooters that were released back in 2011, like Brink and Bodycount. It should be cheap now, and if you can find it for a good price, I would pick it up since it now has a co-op mode. There is a sad note to this game since the lead designer of the game died back in 2010 in a car accident to protect his wife. Relic Entertainment has my condolences for that, but I congratulate them in making a very solid and very entertaining game. Show this developer support and buy this game.
This game gets a solid 8 out of 10