At times you’ll swear you’re playing Gears of War, but no, this is a totally different beast, the beast that is Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. The Warhammer franchise has been leading the table-top games market for as long as I care to remember, but it’s never done that well in the games market, until now. Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, only released on the 6th of September has sold relatively well already, but how will it fair from the Brash Games treatement. Let’s see shall we…
Games of this type are a penny to the dozen, so you can’t expect Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine to be a huge display of video gaming originality, but its combination of tight gameplayand mindless killing makes it quite a funky title. As you can probably tell from the screenshots, and my opening Gears of War comparision line, the game’s visuals are incredibly similar to those used in the Gears series, but they do look quite tasty, so I’m not complaining.
The only major difference that Space Marine has from Gears of War is its combat system, or melee system to be more precise, which replaces GoW’s smart cover system. You alternate between throwing strike attacks and stun attacks at your opponent, with your final takedown move being displayed in a glorious slow-mo cinematic style, which is nice as it gives you a chance to admire your recent button-bashing efforts. As your kill-count increases, so does you fury meter, which once fullgives a pretty funky Super Saiyan boost that charges you head first into a group of enemies, allowing you to tear them graciously limb-from-limb. That’ll teach ‘em nasty foes, comin’ here and stealin’ our women.
Sticking on the subject of enemies, the ones in Space Marine don’t seem to be all that smart. They either run aimlessly at you in a pathetic attempt to hack your brains out, or they cower miles and miles away behind a rock, sniping you. Damn them, damn them all. Once you get into the latter stages of the game, they become knowledgeable of your dastardly ways, so instead of charging at you, 99% of them decide to snipe at you from all across the map. And when you’re in that situation, there’s only one thing for it, a good ol’ fashioned shoot out.
Even though Space Marine doesn’t give you anything particularly new, it does give you the good ol’ stuff that Warhammer fans are, of course, accustomed to, Orks, Gretchin, Chaos Lords and all those other evil-doers and their menacing shenanigans. The most loyal Warhammer fans might feel a little peeved at the use of all their favorite role playing friends in such an action stting, but everyone else can enjoy lots of Gears of War-style Ork shooting, sweet.
Space Marine’s multiplayer modes are what you’d expect from a game of this type. There’s nothing very new or particularly impressive but it does what it says on the tin, giving you some pretty satisfying mutiplayer fun. The cooperative mode is similar to the typical ‘horde’ mode found in Gears of War, where you pit yourself against wave after wave of evil enemies, providing many hours worth of satisfying baddie-slashing fun. Then you have yourself a class-based 8 v 8 combat mode, where you take the side of the mighty Space Marines or the savage Chaos Space Marines, groovy. Each kill and assist you get during combat earns you some experience, which in time will see you gain an overall level. You are also set challenges associated with certain weapons much like in Call of Duty: Black Ops, and another CoD comparision comes with the ‘perks’ feature, which allows you to customize your armour and weapons. Annihilation mode puts you in a standard team deathmatch situation, with the winning team having the most kills; pretty simple but as fun as ever. Finally, there’s the Seize Ground mode, which sees two teams battle over objectives that give points, whichever team builds up the most points comes out victorious. A Capture the Flag mode will be made available pretty soon.
The storyline is rather plain and dry, but there’s enough motive for you to play through the game, even though the plot isn’t juicy enough for you to be over-enthused about it.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine has been put together well and plays just like it should. Don’t let my whining about lack of originality and juicy story put you off, if you want to an intense, Ork-slashing, Thunder Hammer-using, Chaos Lord-slaughtering experience then look no further, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is your man. It’s available for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC now.
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