Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Warhammer 40K Space Marine Review

The Warhammer series, while I only once ever got into the actual board game as a kid I've always liked most of the Warhammer games especially the Dawn of War games. Relic has a long history with Warhammer and you can tell they have a lot of love for the series which transcends into the overall quality of their games. Now Relic has released there next Warhammer game "Space Marine" a third person shooter. So does this game keep their high standards of quality Dawn of War has or does it just fall flat on its face?

The first thing you may be thinking is "isn't this just a Gears of War rip of?" and my answer would be "No you fool! Gears of War has a cover system",  at first this can be very strange as you see all these chest high walls and your instinctive is just to dive for then and take cover. However this game isn't designed to be like that, it's designed for you to just run in and smash everything in sight! It's very refreshing, to see a game like this and it's done very well. For example weapons have a lot of weight behind them. The amazing thing is how many weapons there are and how different they turn out to be. There are plasma pistols, Laser cannons, a Team Fortress 2 style sticky grenade launcher and much much more. They all have their own uneek look and feel. However there is a lack of shotguns which is slightly disappointing.

The game lasts  around 7 hours which is pretty short in my view however now a days a game can be 4 hours and still get away with it, so make it as you will. For me the game did become repetitive by the end but thanks to a story twist the game stays fresh for the last few hours. Oh about the story! It's pretty generic but very cheesy. You play as Captain Titus a Ultramarine and all round bad-ass. You are sent to find and defend a weapon ageist army of Orks on a Forge world (a world that's one big factory). Later on there's another super weapon and then plot twist (Think of a Monty Python Sketch about the Spanish) upon plot twist. The story in general as I said earlier is very generic however there are some funny bits (however I feel that it's unintentionally). Sometimes I did get a little confused about what they’re talking about however if you’re a Warhammer fan then you'll know what they’re talking about.

The level design and aesthetic of the game is well made even if I do have a few problems with some areas, it's not that there bad just empty. There are some great areas in the game and with some set pieces so nothing gets to boring. One of my Favourite parts of the game where you’re in a ship shooting down Orks, it's good because it breaks up the action and doesn't out stay its welcome. Another thing I love is the Jet pack; it's probably the best thing in the game! However the annoying part is that there's only 3 times in the game you can use it! I put this under "don't have too much of a good thing", which works to its advantage every time I saw a pod I was hoping for the jet pack.

The multiplayer is average at best; I didn't really enjoy it that much mainly because balance wasn't that good so i was fighting ageist people who had more powerful weapons than me. Also there are only two game types Team Deathmatch and Domination. However one big stand out point is the customization, there's hundreds of thousands of armour you can choose and equip so almost everyone is different. 

Sadly what are probably the game’s best modes; Co-op and Exterminatus Warhammer's take on Horde mode.  These modes will be coming out in October and I'll make a edit in this review to talk about them. From what I've played of the single player Horde mode would be a great mode, not like a Gears of War where your hiding behind walls, no you’re going to be up close and personal bashing Orks, flying into Orks, blowing up Orks it's just going to be awesome.

All in all Space Marine is an above average game right now. However if everything turns out right with the updates then you have a good game but only time will tell if it plans out that well. For now though I would wait till the update. 

Liam Hackett