Fancy playing as a steroid-enhanced muscle mountain of a hardass soldier that makes Arnie look like a wimp and use some state-of-the-art firepower to take on hordes of monstrous aliens? Well, maybe you haven’t got hold of your copy of Gears of War 3 yet – so why not indulge yourself instead with the gore-fest that is Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC?
Fans of the Games Workshop Warhammer 40K table wargame have already enjoyed strategy combat in the Dawn of War series, but now’s your chance to get down and dirty on the front line in a full-on third-person shooter. A massive Ork invasion is under way on Forge World Gaia and you play as Captain Titus of the Ultramarines, the toughest super-humans in the galaxy, who are tasked with capturing key locations on the planet until reinforcements arrive.
Kill, kill, kill!
Most of the game involves either solo action or you and a few Space Marine buddies tackling wave after wave of Orks, which for the most part can be dispatched relatively easily with a chainsword or a blast from your bolter, thunder hammer or plasma gun. Your armour recharges rapidly when you step out of combat briefly but your health is slow to recover unless you perform an execution manoeuvre on an opponent – thus ensuring that you get into the thick of the action rather than pick off your enemies from a distance.
Attention to detail
Fans of the Games Workshop figures will be delighted that great attention is paid to correct detail for both heroes and villains, and locations are suitably ‘epic’ in scale. Jump-packs are used only sparingly throughout the 8-10 hours of the single-player Campaign mode but are spectacular when called upon. This is not a ‘cover’ game like Gears of War or Halo but you will find yourself needing to seek cover in the later stages when the harder Chaos Space Marines join the fun and you’ll soon be drenched in bucketloads of blood.
The middle section of the campaign does start to become repetitive after a while, but if you switch to multiplayer you can explore Seize Ground (controlling objectives) or Annihilation (the more you kill, the more you score) and play as one of three different classes depending on your preference for ranged or melee attacking styles. Subtlety is not the Space Marine’s way, so don’t be holding back…
- Great attention to detail in characters and settings.
- Repetitive killing in the middle stages of the game.
A bit like the hero Titus that you play, Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine is simple, straight forward and uncompromising - just load up your weapons, wade into a sea of Orks and destroy all comers as bloodily as possible.