on 19 October 2011
I have never been exposed to the world of Warhammer and Warhammer 40K before, apart from seeing the tabletop game being played or knowing about Dawn of War. Yet, I always found the world appealing , more so than many other dystopia worlds, mainly due to the fact that the lore borrows and steals from all corners of mythology, religion, symbolism and so forth. Roman insignia, Greek mythology, the inquisition, it's all there to form a strange mix of future warfare and ancient mysticism. Yet, how much can I give Kudos for Games Workshop to create such a world ? Not much I suppose, so despite the visceral and grim setting, the game does not earn any marbles on this account.
The way the world is brought to life however is great. The level design of this game is amazing and while the layouts are just rail-shooter corridors, the architecture and world looks breathtakingly good and you find yourself in imposing cathedrals and dark tunnels. Unfortunately, many of the games most impressive levels/stages have you just running through them and I wonder why so many areas of this game are just empty and eye candy ?
Talking of battle, it is the core of the W40K game experience, mindless and brutal slashing and firing your weapon, I say mindless but you will have to make the odd decision as you can only carry four weapons. Yet, I completed the game in six hours and did not really put an awful lot of thought into it, this is by no means a game where you have to adapt your strategy before rushing into combat, a quick finger will do. But the visuals make combat more satisfying than it should be, orcs and chaos troops fly through the air in the best 'Havok' fashion and it is a delight to observe.
The controls needs 30 minutes to get used to as this game is not a FPS per se but uses an over-the-shoulder kind of 3rd person look and as such, you should make good use of the aim button.
As I said before, the graphics make this game more enjoyable than the gameplay makes it in the first place, but that comes from someone who can run this on max settings, if you cannot run the game with all the bling, there is much less enjoyment to be found here.
People complain about the lack of story and yes, there is not much of a story but not less story than in other recent shooters such as Dead Island, Borderlands or Left 4 Dead. There is bad guys and you will have to track them down, at least the game delivers a nice cliffhanger, but the lack of story is not that bad. It is a missed opportunity of course, considering how rich the world of W40K is (with hundreds of novels and RPG books out there) but they are probably saving the meat of the universe for the upcoming MMORPG.
The game only took me six hours to finish I did not enjoy it enough to play through it a second time so that is not a lot of bang for the buck, but if you are into achievements or multiplayer, there is still something left to do after you finished the game.
I enjoyed the game for what it is, a mind-numbing gore-fest of orc-slaying that is over before you can say 'Waaaagh', but I would not go back to it anytime soon.
on 9 September 2011
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.
on 7 October 2011
I had high hopes for this game. I have followed the `hammer for over 20 years and so we share some history together. Many games have come and gone. Hex based strategy, RTS and now a shooter. Not been into the shooters lately so I had mixed feelings on this one, still its 40k and I love the world.
5 minutes into the game I was hooked. Great visuals and for once getting it working from DVD and then authenticate to steam worked smoothly. Straight to the campaign and into the carnage.
It feels good and stompy. Everything about the marines oozes strength. Great single player setup with close combat feeling in your face. Elites are tough and soon into my 3rd wave of exploding squigs the difficulty kicked in and I had to sit up in my seat. A pleasant 2 hours later I thought I would try multiplayer.
Better than single player by a long margin. The games are quick frenzied and bloody. A nice touch is after you have died you can have a copy of your killers setup for one life. This is a great leveller of the playing field; it gives you a taste of the newer weapons yet to be unlocked. The incremental release of guns and kit made me look at each of the 3 classes before I got too hooked on one strategy. Sound is perfect and now the "microphone on" patch is live it is near flawless. You need sound to judge what is happening ahead and change your tactics to suit. Graphics are good but I have just updated my PC so not sure on lower spec devices. Lag with a poor host but what's new.
I recommend this game, fun, accessible and if you love Warhammer it's an essential play
on 12 December 2012
Relic have a great track record of bringing the Warhammer 40,000 universe to videogames with their superb Dawn Of War series of RTS games. Space Marine is their first crack at a 3rd person action game.
You play as Captain Titus, a super-hard Ultramarine, whose life-goals are based around the gory slaughter of aliens. Po-faced and humourless, this man does not take days off to sit in space-pubs. Handily, he's harder than a coffin nail and has a vast array of weaponry to despatch any cheeky aliens who cross his narky path.
At first glance, Space Marine appears to be a lot like Gears Of War, with one key difference - the cover system (or lack of...). As mentioned, Titus ain't the kind of bloke who hides behind skips, popping up to take pot-shots at his foes. He's much more the sort of man who tears into hordes of Orks, waving his chainsword and bathing in their blood. A nutter, basically.
The gameplay mechanics actively encourage this play style. Titus can generally bully his enemies to death or, if he feels particularly irked, he can Execute them with a nice bloody animation. The upside of performing executions is that Titus regains health from doing them. Battering enemies at close quarters fills up a "Rage" meter. Once full, Titus' wrath is can be unleashed and he'll deal extra damage in melee, have better aim with ranged weapons and as a bonus, he gains extra health from everything he kills.
You get the point. He's a bit of a psycho. Titus has loads of different guns to play with but you'll be unlikely to spend much time shooting stuff. Space Marine is much more an action game than a shooter. You're encouraged and rewarded for getting stuck in at every opportunity.
It's a shame then that this mechanic is also the game's biggest downfall. Titus turfs up, runs a bit, meets horde of Orks and attacks them. Then he runs some more, meets another band of greenskins and murders them all. Then same again. And again. And again. You're so vastly over-powered that the Orks are nothing more than cannon-fodder and you start to get bored of slaughtering huge numbers of them. All too quickly, this becomes a trudge and you can begin to understand why Captain Titus is so humourless.
Despite that, it doesn't actually ruin the game; it just loses some of the fun you might otherwise have had. In all fairness to Relic, this does fit in with the Warhammer 40,000 mythos perfectly so from that aspect it's a big success. It does, however, highlight a mythology that takes itself very seriously.
As such, Space Marine is a great game for Games Workshop adherents or for those who want to play a space-bada$$, banging eight bells out of large numbers of inferior creatures. It is WAR with a capital WAAAAGH and it's very well done. Captain Titus isn't exactly sympathetic though and by the end you kind of want him to just go away.
Overall, the Gears Of War series is a better experience, so be sure to play that first. But if you love Warhammer 40,000 then Space Marine is an essential game. Otherwise, Meh.
on 9 November 2011
It comes so close to being just fantastic... While you can't argue that the thing is pure Mana for 40k fanboys, if you ignore the fluff what's the reality?
The single player, while looking beautiful and having some great effects (the killing blows are fun, the combos can be entertaining) is a very dated affair of linear routes, small steps you can't climb, no jump (without jump pack), 1 dimensional characters and is very, very short. It has clipping issues - muzzle clearance is often not how it looks when you're close to scenery. It follows a tried and tested but very dated format of running through the hoardes of baddies to get to an `end of level Boss', who is then defeated by following a set pattern. Even the final Big Boss (spoiler alert) turns into something far less, with flying in a circle avoiding his blasts until you automatically close, then just following the on-screen button-press prompts. It's like you've been guided to win. It's definitely enjoyable, but there's no innovation, it relies on an old format and suffers from it - you just want so much more. Especially when it takes such a short time to complete.
So what about the multi-player? The online play? This seems to be where the game can really come into it's own. Colour schemes aside (it has ALL of them!)The options for customising your build are fantastic, really make a difference to both the way you play and feel of the game. With comms you can make very effective teams, even a pair can cause havoc when side by side with complimentary builds (I recently had a game where our team were winning easily until an Assault marine paired with a Melta bearing Tactical Marine annihilated us repeatedly). BUT (you knew it was coming) all of this is wasted. Because the Peer to Peer (P2P) matchmaking system, lifted directly from console games, means you have ridiculous lag and rubber-banding for far more games than you don't. "Waiting For Host" becomes the bane of the game. Even when you don't "migrate hosts" you're still strafing in a circle expending clips into stationary targets and suddenly just dropping dead for no apparent reason. The good games are very very good, but they're few and far between and this is not just my opinion. People are typing words to this effect in the chat channels all the time and my own gaming community, who embraced this hugely on release have pretty much stopped playing it because of the P2P lagfest.
Space Marine is a classic case of expectation not being met because some basic concepts were not addressed in either the Alpha or Beta stages of the game. This is "working as intended", and it's not good. The freely downloaded extra content of "Exterminatus" (4 player co-op games facing waves and waves of enemy) is immensely fun but quite a small addition. You'll get huge kicks from this game, but it doesn't have legs in my opinion. Wait till it comes down in price to avoid disappointment.
on 17 September 2011
Single player: Generic 40k story, Space Marines go in to kill Ork and Chaos because they're invading an Imperium world. 'nuff said. The graphics are pretty impressive for being a port to PC and only on DX 9, something I think an earlier reviewer didn't realise. It's a fun hack and slash that has completely fluid motion from ranged combat into close. It's great tearing into a group of Orks and seeing your character get covered in blood. However the campaign is very short, only 8 hours long or so which is pretty disappointing, but the multiplayer makes uyp for it (when it works)
Multiplayer: This is pretty fun and reminds me of my Quake 3 arena days because of its playstyle; it's more concentrated on frags and fun than tactics and K/D ratio in games such as Battlefield so it rewards ballsy players rather than a sneaky tactical type. As a previous reviewer said it is laggy but Relic are looking at patching this. In fact the PC would be patched by now but Sony are forcing them to fix the PS3 first. The main problem is that they adopted the p2p system of online gaming, which again we can thank the consoles for. It doesn't work but as I said it will be patched and hopefully addressed. As for the game modes themselves there's deathmatch and a kind of capture the flag. Both are very fun despite the 8v8 gameplay, which surprisingly works. As for the person saying that you can't quit midgame this is completely false. All you need to do is press escape and quit game (surprisingly). Mics are also constantly active but again this should be patched out. Overall it is pretty laggy due to the p2p system, but it's not impossible to get a decent host; the fun factor of this game is a massive plus, not had this much fun on an online game in a while.
I'd rate it at 7 out of 10, or 4 stars rounding up.
on 12 August 2013
To begin with, I have to say, the first 15-20 minutes I was slightly annoyed with this game.
I expected yet another Gears of War / Army of Two copy....
This is not that.
While I was getting annoyed with not being able to duck behind cover (no, you can't) I missed the very core of Space Marine -- you don't hide behind cover like a coward!
You charge your enemy head-on with chainsword and pistol, or gun them down with righteous bolter fire.... and if they get close, they you smash them to a pulp!
It took me those first 15-20 minutes to get the hang of it and stop trying to duck into cover as soon as I spotted something, but once I got the hang of the melee combos and difference of movement (you're not a nimble little ballerina dodging this way and that in general (though you can dodge if you're not using a heavy weapon), you're a hulking space marine - and there is weight and purpose behind your every step, every swing.).
Learning the melee combos is rather vital as you will often be swarmed by lesser enemies... not a real threat in and of themselves, but they will slow you down and knock you about while the big uglies shoot at you with everything they have, or you'll have something larger and scarier than you charging you as well... Often it's a huge mix of enemies, and you have to choose your priorities, not miss - and evade their combined attacks.
Pending which difficulty you set it on, it can either be an enjoying story - and a real challenge.
I profoundly loved this game to my surprise - and I'm baffled by the meagre 3,5 star score it has on Amazon, though like I said in the beginning - if you've played lots of Gears of War and Army of Two it'll take you some time to get used to the difference. It's possible that you stop after 5 minutes if you want a Gears of Wars clone - if that's what you want, then don't get this game, it's a new take on it, but if you're willing to try it out.... I think you'll be as enthralled by the visceral, fast-paced and tactical combat it presents.
Also, do try the multiplayer - it's awesome (though yes, I'd say every third match you join due to P2P matchmaking can have tremendous lag and be unplayable... if so, join another game and it'll be enjoyable once more.)
As it is, it's a wonderful single-player experience, multiplayer is very cool - somewhat reduced enjoyability by the multiplayer lag you'll experience every now and again.
Had they had dedicated servers for multiplayer this would have been a 6/5 from me. :D
on 1 July 2012
Warhammer 40,000 video games have been around since as early as the 90s, but perhaps the only one that had so far come to prominence was the Dawn of War series. With "Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine", THQ and Relic Entertainment have made a bold, cross-platform entry into the shooter-genre, hoping to bring the wonderful franchise of Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000, a fictional universe created as background for one of their long-standing tabletop miniature games, to a broader target audience.
To begin with, let me mention that this game requires a steam account. It's 2012 and if you are a PC gamer, you'll most likely already have steam installed by now, but this should still serve as a friendly reminder - especially since "Online Steam account required" is printed in extremely small letters at the very bottom of the system requirements section of the game case's back cover.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is an action-packed third-person shooter in which you take command of an Ultramarine, Captain Titus, who makes planetfall with two other high-ranking veteran battlebrothers onto the surface of Graia to prevent the barbaric and warmongering alien species of Orks from getting their hands on devastating weaponry of the Imperium of Man.
Despite the level-design being extremely linear (often literally corridors and winding tunnel-like routes through levels), one thing that I definitely like about it is the fact that the developers remained true to the gothic, 'grimdark' roots of Warhammer 40k. The architecture in the game bears distinct resemblance to that found in the various artworks and illustrations that have been made for the game universe since its inception in the late 80s. Staying true to the design, the environment you find yourself battling in is a Forge World: a planet-spanning industrial complex, one of many whose sole job is to supply the innumerable armies and fleets of the Imperium of Man with an inexhaustible stream of weapons, tanks and armor. Thus, environments in the game include foreboding gothic-style manufactories harboring gigantic machinery, desolate ruins of habitation blocks where the workers used to have their claustrophobic quarters and generally industrial terrain cluttered with the crude, makeshift barricades of the Orks.
When reviewing this game, a comparison becomes inevitable: Space Marine borrows heavily from Gears of War. No, not because it features a bunch of heavily armored tough guys tearing the place up in a brown, industrial environment, because Space Marines have been around since the late 80s and thus, that would not be a valid argument at all (or the even more ludicrous comparison to Starcraft, which in reality, is (along with Warcraft) heavily inspired by Games Workshop's creations and not the other way round, as the only original content Blizzard ever came up with is the Diablo universe). No, what Space Marine shamelessly steals from Gears of War is not only the iconic evading forward-roll, but also the weapon screen: the same four-weapon loadout, selectable via mouse scrolling and even showing up in the same manner as in Gears of War as four rectangles appearing around the center of the screen with weapon pictures, ammo count etc. & the square you select being highlighted. The only thing missing that would have made this plagiarism complete is the quick reload...lol.
However, in comparison to Gears of War, Space Marine completely omits the intricate and almost genre-defining cover system (also known as 'sticky walls'), because for some reason (aka "we're pushing it anyway, let's not get completely sued over by Epic Games"), the developers thought Space Marines do not hide in cover at all (ask any tabletop player and he will only wish it were true), but charge headlong into battle. As incompatible as this may be with not only the tabletop game, but also the background regarding most chapters (save perhaps Black Templars, some Space Wolf Companies, Blood Angels Death Company and certain blood-crazed Chaos Space Marine units), I have to admit stunning enemies and finishing them off in marvelously bloody sync-kills (including the infamous curb-stomp) to regain health, i.e. heal yourself through offense (although your shields regenerate in the conventional fashion), is an interesting and befitting gameplay mechanic that makes close combat that much more enjoyable and rewarding - after all, it is one of the core strengths of this game (compared to the rather tame lancer duels in Gears of War).
In short, Space Marine has foregone Gears of War's ranged combat mechanics, but made up for with much more grisly, bloody and downright fantastic melee combat. There is just something insanely satisfying about carving a blood-red path through a seemingly never-ending green tide of Orks, and since these aliens love war even more than you do, there are no regrets upon slaughtering scores of them and gunning down the stragglers - they probably go down enjoying the Waagh just as much as you do!
When it comes to graphics, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is a double-edged sword. First and foremost of all, the game does not support anti-aliasing in any way. This means the game will be jaggy. Perhaps not as jaggy as some other aliased games out there, but it is still somewhat noticeable, especially around crates etc. My biggest gripe with this is not this issue in and of itself, but the fact that you cannot externally force AA via your GPU's driver as an alternative, because of internal game engine limitations. In short: live with it. Furthermore, right out of the box, the game comes with Gamma and Brightness levels set to 50 & 50, respectively. This causes the game to have a greyish hue and the colors are not defined well enough. In other words: no true feel of HDR and metallic glow. However, there is an easy and very rewarding way to make the game look that much better by having better contrasts: set the Gamma to 0 and the Brightness to 100. Your eyes may hurt in the beginning (play around with the settings a bit if you must), but I found this setting to capture the graphics perfectly and make the game look visually stunning.
In Multiplayer, you assume the role of a Space Marine or Chaos Space Marine and battle either your arch-rivals in Versus mode, or team up with like-minded fellows and survive 21 levels of a horde-mode called Exterminatus: four of you pitted against wave after wave of increasingly stronger Orks. Ammo and grenades (the latter limited to 2 per player, compared to a generous 5 in the campaign) are randomly dropped as you lay waste to the enemy hordes; resource management and teamwork are very important if you don't want to get slaughtered, as Exterminatus will often require you to hold and capture certain locations within a given time limit or lose the game. You also move to a new map every couple of levels (at which point the game also autosaves, thus not having you to start all over again if you and your mates die), so it's not the same map over and over again like in the aerial-view horde mode that had previously been the case in Dawn of War II: The Last Stand. You "earn" upto four extra lives in a collective pool by racking up a kill count, and these limited respawns are to be used wisely, for otherwise it could cost all of you the game.
Regular Versus multiplayer is divided into annihilation (team-deathmatch), seize-ground and capture-the-flag games. Unfortunately, there is no free-for-all, bomb-defuse etc., but of course that would have completely wrecked the lore. Kill confirmed akin to collecting gene seed samples would have been a cool new mode, though. I would have definitely wanted the developers to show their continued support of this game by releasing another DLC that features some large maps and tank combat (Rhinos as transport vehicles to get 6 guys across the large maps, with one guy being able to fire the Stormbolter, Razorbacks with a pintle-mounted plasmagun and synchronized Heavy Bolter turret as a heavier tank that can maybe only take 3 guys, and a Predator Annihilator in each of the two teams' bases for some truly epic tank vs. tank combat, as well as being able to pop incoming Rhinos and pose a real threat to Razorbacks etc. Maybe even throw some Landspeeders for fun and include a new infantry heavy weapon - the missile launcher, as well as meltabomb-grenades, to combat the new armored threats. Or how about another DLC that simply adds more weapons to the game that didn't make it? For example, the Multi-melta, the aforementioned rocketlauncher, the flamer and its heavier cousin, combi-bolters (which can be used once as flamers or meltaguns in dire situations) and the like?) Would have definitely made the game that much more popular and able to complete with the Big Boys. In fact, there are only a laughable five maps included in the base game, but already-released DLC expands this noticeably, to which I will come later. Sadly, THQ is bankrupt now, and intellectual property of the Space Marine franchise in the hands of SEGA. Let's see what they will do with this...
In both Versus and Exterminatus, you can either play a Tactical Marine (armed with a rapid-fire weapon such as a Boltgun or Plasmagun), a Devastator/Havoc (armed with a heavy weapon such as a Plasma Cannon) or an Assault Marine/Raptor (armed with a jump pack and melee weapons of choice). The Tactical Marine is a jack of all trades, while the Devastator sacrifices mobility for additional firepower and the Assault Marine sacrifices almost all ranged capability to give you a chance for strikes from high above, though you cannot fire your jump pack for more than two or three seconds at most, but can come crashing down and deal massive damage to any unfortunate who happens to be beneath your boot.
Similar to Call of Duty or Battlefield, there is multiplayer progression in this game: as you gain experience by killing either opponents in Versus or Orks in Exterminatus, you level up (upto level 41, in lieu with the game's lore - a nice move by relic, I feel, just like the score limit in Annihilation is 41 kills) unlocking new weapons and wargear, earning perks and also getting to customize your own armor more. Did I mention customization? Yep, that is one of the strong points of this game. You can get to model your very own multiplayer marine. Thankfully, THQ made sure that the "army painter" feature that we loved and cherished from the Dawn of War series also made it into this game: you can paint your Space Marine armor any way you like (except freehand patterns, decals and such, of course), ranging from individual colours for helmets, backpacks, each shoulder pad, leg, gauntlets, and even decals for the shoulder pads such as chapter-icons. Furthermore, unique pieces of armor are unlocked as you rack up kills in multiplayer, such as custom-shaped helmets, shoulder pads and so on. This makes for several unique modifications of the same colour scheme, of which a total of five can be stored in the customization menu's memory slots. Pre-done colour schemes of the most prominent codex chapters and traitor legions are also accessible from the game's storage. Furthermore, some very unique suits of armor are available either as rewards for completing the campaign, or for purchase via the steam store. These are complete armor sets however, and thus each component is not individually interchangeable. I only recommend buying these during a 75% off sale, as otherwise, you pay a lot for just a slight alteration of the way your guy looks in multiplayer.
Moving onto the DLC, this is where things get interesting. First of all, I consider the regular prices for the various items of the DLC way too high for their worth. Again, I advise to only purchase them during a steam-sale, and this usually happens at least once every year. DLC for Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine includes, apart from the various multiplayer armor sets already mentioned above, two new map packs that come bundled with a new game mode each: the 'Chaos Unleashed' DLC comes with 3 new multiplayer maps and an additional map for Exterminatus, as well as allowing you to play Exterminatus as Chaos Space Marines who get to fight against Orks and Imperial Guardsmen. The 'Dreadnought Assault' DLC adds another 3 multiplayer maps and introduces a new game mode, where one member of your team gets to command a Dreadnought, a mech-walker armed to the teeth with heavy weaponry.
There are separate map-rotations for each of the DLCs (as well as the vanilla multiplayer itself), so if you don't buy the DLC it ensures you won't end up coming across a DLC map during a vanilla map-rotation and getting kicked out of the match as a result for not possessing it. Thus, multiplayer is enjoyable for all, albeit not as crowded as some of the more well-known franchises out there.
Finally something about the soundtrack. Great credit must go to Sascha Dikiciyan and Chris Valasco for composing an awesome and truly epic score. Especially the songs "Prologue", "Titus' Theme", "Prelude to War" and "Whispers of the Dead" are amazing. Check out the soundtrack on youtube or see if you can get it - it is absolutely worth it and very heroic and atmospheric, undeniably the best soundtrack composed for any Warhammer 40k game to date.
All in all, Space Marine is an enjoyable experience. It is no genre-defining milestone like Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed or Battlefield, but for Warhammer 40,000's first entry into the third-person shooter genre, a very solid and entertaining game, with good graphics and a multiplayer (albeit with an initial steep learning curve) that will, once you get a hang of it, keep you hooked. A four, out of five. In fact, multiplayer is just so much fun once you get past the initial stage that I'm always having a blast playing it. Definitely five out of five stars on the fun side of this game.
on 14 October 2011
The title says it all to be honest. There are very few games that I've enjoyed playing as much as this. Chopping your way through hordes of orcs feels solid and well, meaty :P. The difficulty curve is very nicely done, just as you start to get used to dealing with certain types of enemy the game brings out another type to knock you off balance. The boss battles are fun but can be frustrating at times and it definitely feels like there's more luck than skill involved when fighting them.
The main downfall for me personally was the game was too short. The main bad guy shows up and all too soon you can feel the game is drawing to a close it took me 5-6 hours in total. You never really get chance to engage with any of the characters, so the story feels more like an excuse to chop up thousands of orcs, than a reason to.
The multiplayer, when you're not matched up to someone playing on a toaster 3000 miles away, is brilliant. The 3 classes are so different in their play style that the game feels very balanced. If you're into unlocks etc then this game has you covered in the multiplayer, there are hundreds, weapons, weapon upgrades, class perks, armour sets, and armour pieces. The armour is fully customisable which is a nice feature too.
Graphics: 8/10 Let down by the overwhelming grey/brownness of the environments but then in ruined cities and such you don't get a lot of colour. The weapon effects are brilliant, as is the gore.
Sound: 9.5/10 From the beefy thud of your footsteps, to the weapon fx and the music everything is very polished, voice acting is a bit hammy but that can be forgiven as far as I'm concerned.
If you're thinking about getting this game, I'd wait a while for it to come down in price (maybe keep an eye out for a steam deal or something) since the singleplayer is very short. It's just about saved by the multiplayer though.
Hope this is helpful :)
on 20 May 2012
Fun game if you're into the Games Workshop scene like I am. You really do feel like a tough as nails space marine during the campaign. Where it really falls down though is the multiplayer. Biggest problem is that there are no dedicated servers and the multiplayer is done by Peer to Peer instead of dedicated servers. The *constantly* pauses mid game with a message "Migrating Host" as people leave or join with better connections to support the game. This not only really destroys the flow of the game, but leads to constantly swinging wildly from good ping to lag so bad that there are people warping around the place.
The whole game is one big console port, and it's very evident in the menu system. I bought the DLC game modes and it's not clear as to what game mode you're actually using. Not that it really matters anyhow, as in my experience to date, people only play the vanilla version of it. With only 3-4 maps in the vanilla version, things do become repetitive in a hurry.
Despite these grievances, I do enjoy the multiplayer when the lag isn't too bad. But unless you're a fan of 40K then I'd save your money for an other game or like Space Marine 2.