Space Marine is one of those games that, despite being no more than an average product when you stop to think about it.. Well you won't stop to think, because it's too damn fun. The textures aren't amazing, the story is nothing new in the W40K camp, the campaign is a bit short (8 hours)..But in the end it doesn't really matter because i find myself coming back to it and playing more and more.
- It's bloody fun, and by bloody i mean "lots of blood" bloody. In the campaign, you control Titus, a Space Marine captain who arrives on a planet to answer a distress call from the Imperial Guard, who are being attacked by Orks (led by a Ork Warboss that many players are empathizing with; he's probably the coolest character in the game, shame he doesn't show up many times). Your job is to help the Imperial Guard regain control of their bases and drive away the Orks, and to help you, there are two additional squad mates, also Space Marines. They'll throw in the occasional banter to split the pace between carnage and small cutscenes that advance the story.
- During the course of the game, you can pick up several ranged and melee weapons, from chainswords to stalker bolters (basically snipers), huge power hammers, a revenge launcher (one of my favs; you shoot a blue mine that attaches itself to a surface or flesh and detonates when you aim at it and press reload. There's loads of fun to have with it if you're creative). There are also upgrades to pick up, most of them improve your Fury skill (a power that fills up the more enemies you kill until you can use it and unleash more powerful attacks).
- There's no regenerating health in the SP. The only way to regain health is to perform an execution; they can only be performed on stunned enemies. You have to time it well and carefully because while you do it you are exposed to damage; time doesn't stop around you and enemies keep shooting at you, so don't think you can just keep spamming executions and expect to live long! The shields do regenerate though, when you're not being hit.
In the MP, both shields and health regenerate, but health regenerates quite slowly.
- The campaign takes roughly 8 hours to finish but it's worth playing through twice, because it's so much fun. There are also servo skulls (audio logs) that you can collect to know more about the background story and get an achievement.
As for the online:
- There are two modes; Seize the ground and Annihilation. The first is objective based, where you have to keep hold of certain areas (capture and defend) while winning points from captures, until the time finished or a team reaches 1000 points. Annihilation is your regular team deathmatch
- There are only 5 maps for now. I haven't gotten tired of any yet, and knowing Relic's track record i think we can expect that more will be added, possibly free even.
- Speaking of free, in 1 month the game will receive FREE DLC, called Exterminatus. It's you plus 3 buddies online fighting against oncoming waves of enemies, a sort of "Last Stand". Sounds like quite the fun. It'll have its own leaderboards too.
- In MP the level cap is 41, and until there you'll unlock more weapons, armor and perks. There 1.8 billion combinations to customize your soldier in terms of armor (aesthetics)... That's right, there's a lot of detail you can put into the look of your Space marine (or Chaos Space Marine, the other faction). You'll spend hours on it alone
- The biggest problem with the online is that it uses P2P instead of dedicated servers. I've had good matches and mostly lag free, but there's the odd match where things don't go well. There are also people having more laggy matches so it might depend on where you live... I doubt there'll be any lag in exterminatus though, plus you can even play that with 3 of your RL friends
Conclusion: it's not perfect, not did it set out to be. But it's what it's supposed to be; a very fun romp in the W40K universe with a lot of potential for future DLC. Not that this particular year so great gaming-wise but this is one of the best of the year SO FAR.