Warhammer 40k: Space Marine

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Warhammer 40k: Space Marine review
Chris Davis

Review

Life is the Emperor's Currency, Spend It Well

The Blood of Martyrs is the Seed of the Imperium (cntd.)


This requirement rings true with the “cover is for the weak” tagline. Warhammer 40K: Space Marine is half brawler, half shooter mixed remarkably well. While there are select segments in the game that encourage melee over shooting or vice versa, they don’t come often enough to dictate how you should play the game overall.

Weapons in Space Marine not only are true to the Warhammer universe but also feel wonderfully powerful and destructive. The game’s most powerful melee weapon, the Thunder Hammer, is easily the most fantastically devastating weapon I’ve wielded in years. Coupled with the game’s occasional sequences in which you take combat ‘vertical’ using a jetpack, you feel damn near unstoppable. In short, you are a juggernaut and it feels magnificent.

The level of gore and decimation present really compliments the overall nature of the Warhammer universe. Whenever you aren’t scoring headshots and earning some of the goriest explosions in the history of gaming, you are literally smashing and slashing enemies into bits and pieces. The game’s health system requires you to stun and execute enemies in order to regain health and the resulting animations are nigh awe inspiring.

All Men Call Out for Salvation


In addition to an entertaining singleplayer experience, Relic has included a surprisingly versatile multiplayer experience as well. A team-based affair all around, Space Marine’s multiplayer pits a team of Space Marines against their Chaotic brethren in one of two modes: Seize Control and Annihilation. Seize Control is the Warhammer equivalent of a territory control mode like Domination in the Call of Duty series while Annihilation satisfies your need for a team deathmatch variant. The lack of more modes of play is a bit disappointing considering how much variety you can get out of most multiplayer-centric titles on the market but Relic seems to want to change this in the future.

Warhammer 40K: Space Marine offers a class-based experience that can be customized to the player’s preference. Only three classes are offered: the game’s balanced Tactical/Chaos class, the more melee-focused Assault/Raptor class that sports jump packs to speed up travel around the map, and the Devastator/Havoc class which is a ranged class equipped with heavy weapons and the ability to brace oneself in order to deliver rapid fire.

The level of customization available to the player is surprisingly strong and can easily challenge genre heavy weights such as Halo Reach. Weapons can’t be modified but the player can equip up to two perks to aid them in combat. Armor can be altered in almost any aspect and the default armor sets derive from almost every single Space or Chaos Marine division in the entire Warhammer universe.

Space Marine’s multiplayer component offers potential but given the amount of opposition it has to face on the market, it may fail to keep your attention in the long run. Relic has announced that they will be releasing a 4-player cooperative mode for free via DLC soon, aiming to strengthen the multiplayer offering.

Brave Are They Who Know Everything but Fear Nothing


Relic Entertainment is a company that is well versed in the Warhammer 40k universe. Just as strongly as they love this dystopian reality, so too do they deliver a faithful and almost loving gaming experience. Warhammer 40K: Space Marine is a departure for Relic as it escapes from the god-eye perspective of their previous RTS outings and brings it down to earth for a visually devastating experience. Any fears that one would have about such a transition are laid to rest in this latest effort. Space Marine stands out in the crowded season this year and probably isn’t destined to do as well as it deserves but, I feel I couldn’t have picked a better title to begin the fall 2011 gaming madness with. If you don’t play Warhammer 40k: Space Marine it isn’t just dereliction of duty as a gamer: it’s heresy.

8.5

fun score

Pros

True to the Warhammer universe, good translation to Third Person Shooter genre.

Cons

Multiplayer longevity is somewhat in question.