Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
Whilst I do know about about Warhammer 40,000, my knowledge is limited to the fact that it’s a geeky tabletop war game that I have zero interest in playing. So my first impressions of the game will come from one who has no grounding in the whole Warhammer/Space Marine universe.
The game starts off with the usual, easy beginner/training level, where you have to fight you way across a small enemy spaceship and disable it. The first thing I notice is the radically oversized suit that your Space Marine is wearing. It looks like all you limbs must have been dislocated to be able to stretch into the far reaches of the gargantuan frame. The other thing I notice is that all the Space Marines seem to have two bullets lodged into their foreheads. Weird.
The initial game mechanics are simple, it’s your run of the mill third-person hack’n’slash, but with the inclusion of guns and grenades. Once you’ve completed the first level, you know how toy melee kill, stun and execute, and shoot things and you know some of the progression mechanics.
You also realise that there are going to be quite a few cut scenes – this Space marine has a story to tell.
A very linear story.
Though you’re given a little bit of exploration to do if you so desire, there is so little to find – other that the occasional blue glowing box of ammo – that you’ll soon give up on doing anything but following the predetermined path to the next event trigger.
Along the way you’ll get the chance to upgrade your gun, melee weapons and shields. You’ll even get a jet pack. Every upgrade seems to come at just the right time. When you get the jest pack, it’s because the level designer want you to access so in-accesable areas,
The problem for me, was that I didn’t give a stuff about my Spacer Marine. He seemed to have the skills and suitably heroic abilities for such an impressive suit, but I’m just not a fan of third person hack’n’slash games.
The scenery did look quite nice, everything was rendered well, giving the impression of a planet in the midst of a trench based war, there is decay and destruction all around. The fighting is at times intense and it’s nice stringing up the combos and executing the green little aliens. The amount of blood splatter is quite impressive, and your bulky armour will soon be covered in gore.
But the fun of slaying countless little green men comes to a crashing halt when you bump into a pice of scenery that a baby could craw over, yet your all powerful Space Marine just can seem to get his leg over. Even more unforgivable are the invisible walls. With so many barricades and trench systems, there should never be a need for an invisible wall, especially when it’s only blocking off a small self contained explorable area.
The regular upgrades coupled with differing foes keep you on your toes and provide just enough variance to keep the game interesting, but I couldn’t help but think this was a game designed with only die hard fans in mind. If you don’t already play Warhammer then you may struggle with the finer points of the game and be left with nothing more than a linear hack’n’slash. Not that that’s always a bad ting.