8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Hammer, meet Head,
This review is from: Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I wasn't familiar with the 'Warhammer' franchise before buying this game (I based my decision to buy it solely on how much I enjoyed the demo) and initially, it's bizarre mix of hulking space soldiers and (frankly, almost endearing) orcs put me in mind of Gears of War as reimagined by Rare. Now I've almost completed the single player campaign and also dabbled in the multiplayer, and I've got to say it's one of the most enjoyable, and certainly, one of the most action-packed games I've played recently. The orcs and other monsters come at you in waves. Luckily, you've got plenty of guns and melee weapons to see them off. In Gears you can despatch enemies with a chainsaw, and Space Marine tops that by also giving you an axe or huge hammer to finish off your foes with. The brutality of these finishing moves actually made me wince (particularly the 'hammer to the head' kill) and I'm really surprised that the game isn't an '18'. In fact with it's constant gunfire, explosions, chainsaw-revving, hammer-bashing and space marine boot stomping, this is the first game I've played which has given me a headache from all the noise.
It's clear that this is a 'AAA' title. Mark Strong voices the main character, Ray Winstone voices one of his comrades, and the voice of the head orc sounds like the guy who played 'Nick The Greek' in 'Lock Stock'. It plays really well and some of the environments look amazing in their sheer scale.
One (admittedly minor) downside of the game is that you can't crouch behind cover. I know that this is a deliberate design choice to force the player into the thick of the action, but sometimes the enemies numbers are so overwhelming that you just have to hang back and attempt to pick some of 'em off. Also, to regenerate your health, you have to perform a finishing move on your foe (signalled by a 'B' appearing over their head) after wearing them down with some blows from your weapon (oo-err missus!). Although this is very straightforward when your facing an orc, I found it quite difficult to get it right when I was fighting those red demons (basically, I'd usually bash them so much they would evaporate), but that could just be due to my playing style.
However, I've really enjoyed playing Space Marine and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for an action-packed 'shoot n' slash' game. The reason I've given it three stars is that after fighting through the orc hordes once, I haven't really got that much of a desire to play through it again, so in some ways I'd have to say it may be one to rent rather than own.