With Warhammer 40,000, Space Marine, game developer Relic has switched genres with impressive results. Space Marine is all about jumping into battle with your brothers to take on hordes of blood thirsty orcs.
The game is an over the top third person action game where you can use both ranged and melee weapons with the fluidity found in games like the Devil May Cry series. You’ll start off with a pistol and a rather large sword but soon you’ll get your hands on some devastating firepower, all of which feel extremely satisfying on the battlefield. The highlight, for us, was the chainsword, which is exactly what it sounds, like a chainsaw mounted on a sword.
Space Marine throws an insane amount of enemies at you 24x7. Considering you’re a towering behemoth, you may get tempted into running head first into an orc horde, but you’ll learn gradually that charging into battle is not always the best idea. There are no conventional health packs in the game to speak, so when your character starts losing health, you’ll need to quickly execute an enemy to regain lost health. While this looks cool, you are also vulnerable while the execution plays out. This can get a bit frustrating at times when you’re surrounded by enemies, are forced to execute an enemy to gain health but end up dying before the animation completes.
Space Marine is a linear game so you’ll run from A to B completing missions, but it never gets boring. From time to time, you’ll also be given a jetpack and a hammer, and these sections by far are the most enjoyable ones in the entire game. While Space Marine is no Crysis, it certainly looks good. We really liked the gothic, war-torn game world that Relic has painstakingly created. Even on our modest GTX 280 graphics card, the game played smoothly at full HD resolution. Character design is also very well integrated into this chaotic world. The space marines look intimidating strapped on with their heavy, chunky armour while orcs looks as bloodthirsty as ever. A special mention has to be given once again to the game’s execution animations that could give Gears of War a run for its money as far as raw brutality is concerned.
Once you get done with the single player campaign, you can head online for two multiplayer game modes Team Deathmatch and a variant of King of the Hill. But it’s nothing to write home about. The game’s also supposed to get a co-operative mode this October.
Warhammer, Space Marine is a brutal and thoroughly satisfying romp through the Warhammer universe. Sure it can get a little tough at times the last boss fight is especially testing and the enemies will get on your nerves by calling you Space Marine a billion times throughout the campaign. But none of that can take away the satisfaction brought on when you annihilate them in all sorts on unspeakable ways.