Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
Systems: PC/PS3/360 Release Date: Sep 5th, 2011
ESRB: M for Mature
They shall be my finest warriors, these men who give of themselves to me. Like clay I shall mould them, and in the furnace of war forge them. They will be of iron will and steely muscle. In great armour shall I clad them and with the mightiest guns will they be armed. They will be untouched by plague or disease, no sickness will blight them. They will have tactics, strategies and machines so that no foe can best them in battle. They are my bulwark against the Terror. They are the Defenders of Humanity.
They are my Space Marines and they shall know no fear.
–The Emperor of Mankind, on the Creation of the Space Marines-
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is the first action adventure game in the Warhammer 40k series by the seasoned combo of relic games and THQ, creators of the tactical RTS Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 1 & 2. In space marine you take control of Captain Titus of the Ultramarines chapter, as he is tasked with the duty of purifying Forge World Graia of an Ork infestation before it is too late to save the planet. It isn’t long before Titus and his squad of Ultramarines discovers there is more lurking in the shadows of Graia than they could have ever expected.
Now for those unfamiliar with the warhammer 40k universe (where have you been KUPO!) Space marines are mankind’s last defense against the multitude of alien races out to tear them apart. The end all be all in terms of strength and brutality space marines are only called in when nothing else is going to work. Their devastation is 2nd only to a military planetary bombing known as ‘Exterminautus’ which burns the planet to a husk and generally leaves it as a floating rock in space. In warhammer 40k: space marine your are handed the power of a space marine and I can tell you nothing feels better.
Combat in space marine is done using a system called ‘Visible, Violent, Death’ combining over the shoulder gun mechanics with a brutal melee arsenal. The system rewards behaving like a space marine, Fear nothing and charge into battle tearing enemies limb from limb with bolter ( a massive pistol that fires rocket propelled explosive rounds, standard issue for any space marine) and chainsword (I’m not going to explain this one Kupo~) and you are rewarded with healing and the satisfaction you just tore apart a small army with only the bare essentials (Like your hands, or say a massive armored boot to the face). Now that isn’t to say there isn’t anything to fear in space marine. In later levels the game ramps up the difficulty and you have to fight harder than ever to survive the numbers that are thrown your way but this was done intentionally as a space marine while the strongest humans of the empire are still the weakest of the horror’s that await in the cold darkness. By the end of this game you’ll feel like a champion and to date I have not found a game like It that provides the same level of raw power at my fingertips.
Graphically this game is a marvel. The Universe of warhammer 40k is realized perfectly and like never before as you are placed in the thick of skirmishes that until now were played far above in the RTS or the table top. The environments are huge and everything from armor to weapons is detailed to exact specs found in the lore. The small downside to space marine is that the environments can sometimes feel uninspired. While some are grand and amazing, others will feel generic and dull. Luckily you have mountains of bodies to deal with and so most of the time the environments boil down into arena set pieces for your slaughter-fest.
Accompanied by a strong (puns!) voice cast, Mark strong of Sherlock Homes/Green lantern fame portrays Captain Titus very charismatically. The delivery of the strong moral compass that makes up everything the ultramarines stand for is put to the fore with every word Captain Titus speaks, and easily he became my favorite space marine in the lore. The production values are top notch, a special nod going to the soundtrack for being fully orchestrated and exceptionally well suited to making Space marine feel like a blockbuster experience.
Lastly I wanted to discuss the multiplayer aspect of space marine, as this was in my opinion one of the weaker aspects of this incredible title. In multiplayer you take a squad of space marines or their heretical brethren the chaos marines and face off in arena’s playing one of the two (now 4) game types, at launch the multiplayer contained five maps and two game types a team deathmatch and capture the checkpoint, after a few months a new game type called exterminautus was released that allowed players to band together for the first time and fight orks while completing objectives and proved to be a far stronger aspect than the original game types, and recently with the release of a capture the flag mode it has increased into a bit meatier experience. My problems had/have been the lack of verity in maps (something that can be remedied with a map pack kupo~) as the five maps generally grow stale after a short span of play, but really this is one small bump in a perfect action experience.
[ + ] Story: an amazing blockbuster story plays out in classic warhammer 0k style with lots of action, explosions and deep questions about honor and brotherhood.
[ + ] Graphics: beautifully detailed characters and enemies as well as most set pieaces make this a really beautiful game, be warned of the occasional uninspired arena or two.
[ + ] Gameplay: tight responsive controls and a satisfying reward system for taking down your enemies in the most brutal ways imaginable. Defiantly a welcome break from cover-shooter gameplay that is common in over the shoulder titles.
[ – ] Replayablity: sadly not much to speak of, you can go back and try to find servoskull’s that detail more background stories but there isn’t much more to see here after the main adventure is finished.
[ + ] Opinion: a must have for warhammer 40k fans and anyone who likes sci-fi fantasy and kicking the living hell out of aliens. Walk in expecting blood, guts and bullets. You won’t be disappointed.
I rate Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 4/5 Kupo!