on September 8, 2011
Some background on me: I am a very active fan of video games, purchasing probably at least two titles a month over the last two years, on average. I am also very familiar with Warhammer 40,000 universe. Some of you may be able to figure out from my 'real name' title, that I have some 'street cred' among the Warhammer 40,000 enthusiasts.
I have so far given Space Marine 4 stars, because I don't think it will fall below that. It is only release date + 2, and I have not fully experienced every aspect that Space Marine has to offer. I will update this over the next week or two as I complete it and venture into the online section.
Regarding game play, people are most likely going to compare this to Gears of War. In fact, despite the fact that Warhammer 40,000 has been around for 30 years, I have heard the term 'ripped-off' when describing this already. There are some similarities, to be sure. For one, you are in third person. You also have a combined use of gun-play and traditional hack'n'slash mechanics. You also tend to be vastly outnumbered.
Where Gears of War is a decidedly different game is the cover system (a la Kill.Switch, et al). I would have liked to see a cover system. In fact, playing a third person shooter without this mechanic today seems odd. My feelings are they did not include it because it would seem like too much of a direct 'rip-off' of Gears of War, there would probably be a lot of interesting clipping errors considering how bulky they are, or mostly like it just seems 'unheroic' for a marine to take cover. I would put my money on the last bit, given the early footage of the game, and the at one point even more idealized stance of marines laying down fire at distant enemies. The curious byproduct of this decision, though, is that you spend a lot of the game heroically shooting while you walk backwards. We will abstain from using the word retreat, if only for prideful reasons.
Curiously, this doesn't really hurt the game. You are fighting Orks, and they do not have a lot of guns that do a lot of damage or are threatening at range. For the most part, you can outgun them through most of the game. They most potent in hand-to-hand combat where they are individually 'not-so-bad' and can collectively destroy you in a hurry. I still kind of wish the cover system was there, as you will often find yourself walking/running to a big piece of cover to allow your regenerating armor to replenish itself.
The regenerating armor system works in an interesting way. You have basically 100% Armor and 100% health. Your armor will always regenerate to 100% if you have a period where you take no damage. Your health is only vulnerable (to most attacks) after the armor is depleted, so you could run around with 1 health the whole time, and as long as they never undid your regenerating armor, you would be fine. Hand to hand combat is important for regenerating life. Stunned enemies can be executed in epic-ly bloody manners, and this generates your health to some degree or fully, depending on the enemy. There is no real sensible way to justify this, but it is rather fun, and fitting to do these executions.
Gun play in the game is fun. I prefer to try to kill the Orks before they get to me, which is often quite challenging. I haven't run into any crazy or annoying stuff, or any enemies that are of the dumb, fun-killing persuasion.
Hack'n'slash mechanics are of a passable grade. There is nothing very special here. You basically can stun or you can attack. A little extra depth here would have been nice. We are living in an era post Batman Arkham Asylum, so you won't be playing this game purely for this sort of fun. The finishing moves are really what will probably entertain you the most.
The graphics are good. I would put them in the B+ range for today's games. There are shadows, dynamic lighting, a good draw distance, and no real slow-downs in game. If I were to nit pick, the blood textures could use some more definition. The character models are good. Basically, it seems pretty well polished, just nothing spectacular.
The sound is good for the game. Sound, basically, shouldn't distract you, and should help push you into the game a little further. Most of the Ork battle cries are predictable if not repetitive. I don't think that they have only 5 or 6 voice tracks. I think it has more to do with they simply don't have a lot of really profound things to add. There are nice things that show an attention to detail beyond just lets get it done from the occasional automated message meant for imperial citizens (ie: "Serve the Emperor by joining designated corpse removal crews. . .") or the way your bolter sounds different when you have 30 bolts in it versus when there are only 5 left like a real gun often will. The voice acting is pretty good too.
For those of you wondering how this fits into 40k in, I would say this game is not unfaithful to the universe. People may nitpick about the premise or the idea that an Ultramarine Captain would deviate from the Index Astartes, but looking at the marines, I think they are pretty well represented here. They come off as faithful, humble servants to the Imperium rather than a bunch of egomaniacs in iron man suits. The dialog is appropriate, just stilted/archaic enough to pass for the setting without being obnoxious. If I were to have made any changes, I'd probably have wanted it to be darker with a little less color, but even when the game is bright, it is still grim.
All in all, if you're a fan of this genre of video game this isn't a bad buy. It is fun, and I hope it has a lasting campaign. Like I said, I will update this review at least a one or two more times, but so far the critics seem to be right, its definitely not bad, and it may be the best Warhammer 40,000 game to date.
Other closing thoughts:
- The Chainsword has never been so cool.
- I still wish they'd make a game about someone other than the Ultramarines or the Blood Ravens.
I have beaten the game. The 8-12 hours is about correct probably. It is suitably challenging on normal, but not brutally difficult. I would say that I liked the writing, through-and-through. I can't say this about many games, and with regard to Warhammer, specifically, I have some strong opinions. I think they did a very good job getting this element right. That said, the ending isn't what a lot of people will love, but if you are familiar with the Warhammer 40,000 universe, it makes sense, even though its unlikely that it would happen to the Ultramarines. Most of the assertions I make above are still my opinion through the end of the game, though as you progress, the need for a cover system grows continuously as encounters become much more dangerous at range.
The multiplayer is kind of an interesting, but touchy suspect. I am not going to adjust this down from 4 stars, but if you are very much into multiplayer, there are some bugs that you will probably want worked out before you try--and I should emphasize try--to play Space Marine online. It is often very difficult to get into games. They tend to be short when you're in them. Maps are not very expansive, but there are smaller maps out there. The customization available seems amazingly and awesome. For the most part, only you will get to marvel at your creation because everything is happening so quickly, and I think a lot of people are going to wish they would enforce a color scheme on all players on the same side since you end up with a grab bag and sometimes its tough to tell who is on your team. This could also be rectified by always placing a red indicator over identified enemies or a menu option so that the computer would color the guys the same as your own guy locally and it would not need to effect the other players in game.
Being low level is very unforgiving as you get used to multiplayer. The ability to use the load-out and perks of the marine that killed you is an interesting balancing feature. I will predict this will not have great wide-stream lasting appeal on account of general dominance of assault marines, connection issues, the very limited number of maps, and the number of A-list games that are coming out in the next few months which will provide significant competition. This said, there are no other games where you can run around as a marine, so there will probably be someone online if they ever figure out the connection issues, and I am looking forward to see how 'Exterminatus,' the multiplayer coop horde mode, works out.
The recent patch has made finding a game much easier if you're interested to play this online. My previous statements about the multiplayer experience aside from this remain largely true. I still find this game to be fun to play online. I think a lot of that is just because I am a Warhammer 40,000 fan and there's no substitute for this game if you want to play as a Space Marine. This game's multiplayer is a peer-to-peer (P2P) system with no dedicated servers from THQ. Playing 8 on 8 on a P2P system is something that is generally not done on consoles or computers very often for a reason. There are inherent flaws that will hold back the multiplayer experience because of this. Lag is often that issue and when the host leaves the game, migrating everyone to a new host seems to work only 50% of the time at best. They do have future patch plans, so I will continue to update this as more information becomes available and the online experience changes.
on September 8, 2011
This happens to be the first game I've owned of the Warhammer 40k franchise, so when it comes to the lore, I am pretty much in the dark. I know War40k is an RTS game and Table-Top game, but it seems that Warhammer40k has come a long way, now spreading out into the action/shooter genre. Does this Space Marine have what it takes to survive the battle? Well let's find out!
Warhammer40k: Space Marines (War40k from this point on), is a game that hits you with action the moment you start it up. There is very little in the way of downtime besides occasional dialog segments, or transitions into new areas. Right off the bat you will be fighting through masses of Orks to reach your object, picking up a variety of weapons along the way(gun and melee) as well as upgrades for these weapons.
The gameplay is very simplistic in War40k, almost too simple at times. You have the ability for ranged attacks using guns, and up close melee attacks with a variety of weapons that you can find throughout the campaign. When enemies get to close you can switch on the fly to your melee weapon of choice and start hacking away. Mix in your "stun" attack occasionally to initiate a variety of stun moves(single target, or AoE). When an enemy is stunned you can initiate a fatality move which produces plenty of blood, a nice death kill animation, as well as granting you health. An interesting, and refreshing way to regenerate your health I think.
Not all is good with this setup though. While the gameplay is fun, there is little variety to it. Within 3-4 hours you will begin to notice that despite a change of melee weapon or switching between guns; you really don't have as much freedom as one might think. Combat is repetitive, though satisfying. Another problem is the lack of a cover system. Taking heavy fire? Only thing you can do is walk behind cover and stand there until it is clear to strafe out. If anything the lack of a cover system hurts the shooting element of the game since intense firefights turn into scrambles to walk behind a box that is as tall as you. Overall the gameplay is enjoyable yet repetitive, but not repetitive enough to turn you off to the game.
Graphically this game looks alright. There isn't much in the way of impressive visuals, other than those nice gory fatality moves, but it doesn't really impact the game at all. No frame rate problems or oddities, though it was funny seeing mobs occasionally explode and instantly vanish upon death, rather than a corpse dropping to the ground for a second or two. I'm sure this was done because of the vast # of orks that show up on the screen sometimes. Overall the game is not all that graphically impressive but it does enough to make the trip enjoyable.
Voice acting I found to be pretty good. There was clearly some good effort put into the voices of the characters and logs you find, plus the Orks sound really awesome I think. They remind me a little of the Lord of the Rings Uruk Hai sometimes. Weapon effects sound satisfying and have a good punch to them. As for the storyline, it is honestly hard for me to truly comment on. Being my first Warhammer40k title, it feels like being tossed into season 5 of a 10 season Drama on TV. After a while you pick up the gist of things yet still feel a bit confused. The story flushes out well, and deals with your character, Captain Titus, leading an assault to prevent an Ork invasion from stealing a Battle Titan.
War40k will be at least a good 8-10 hour adventure. The game is broken up into 17 chapters spread out amongst 5 parts. Throw in hidden logs, multiplayer and Co-Op(see below) fans of the genre and gameplay style will have plenty to keep themselves occupied with.
** CO-OP will be added about a month after launch and will be free to those who purchase the game (activate their MP pass). From the looks of it, the Co-Op being given out is going to be similar to a horde mode for up to 5 players.
OVERALL 82% (8.2 / B-)
War40k is a good game. It isn't a great game, nor does it try to be a great game. It does exactly what it was intending to do, and that is bring the Warhammer40k universe into a new genre of game. For a first crack at a shooter/hack and slash action game; Relic did a pretty good job I think. While all the elements included in War40k are not 5 star material, they come together nicely making for an enjoyable game that even a noob to the Warhammer franchise (like myself) will have no major problems figuring out what is going on.
Despite some repetitive gameplay; a simple yet fun Multi-player element and the addition of some form of Co-Op, free of charge, help boost War40k into being a game that is worth the purchase if you are a fan of the genre or gameplay style. Repetitive gameplay aside, it can be a lot of fun tearing up waves of orks! 4 stars!
**NOTE: Co-Op will be included in an update slated for October 25th. It will contain 2 maps.. 4 player Co-Op... where you will battle against Ork's or Chaos.
**NOTE: 9/22 Patch released to resolve MP problems for PS3 users. Matchmaking and lag problems have been resolved (finally!)
on October 8, 2013
First off, if you're familiar with the Warhammer 40k universe, this game will hit all the fundamental and basic plot points you would expect. You've got Ultramarines facing off against Orcs and Chaos. There's no deep cuts into canon lore here, but there doesn't need to be. If you're completely unfamiliar with the setting of Warhammer 40k, don't worry. You're a superhuman killing machine with awesome weapons taking on a planet full of enemies. Simple. And that sums up the game, simple. Simple is good, in fact, in this game it's great! There's no puzzles to solve, no intricate platforming, next to no exploration, just unending waves of enemies to hack apart with melee weaponry or blow apart with a nice assortment of ranged weapons. The game never tries to be anything other than what it is advertised to be and that is a 3rd person shooter. That is it.
Players of Gears of War will be very comfortable with the control set up here and fans of 3rd person shooters will have a well made over the top arcade style shooter to enjoy. There's no stealth here, minimal strategy apart from managing your health and ammo.
Visually, the PC version is superior with better textures, higher frame rate, etc. But for a game that's been out for a couple years, this holds up just fine on the PS3 and 360. The soundtrack quality is exceptionally well done, the weapons sound great, the voice acting is actually pretty good overall. Of course, the villains get all the best lines and deliver the best performances.
At the price the game is now, this game is a steal!
on September 6, 2011
To start off this game is just plain fun. It is a mix of close combat, and shooting. Anyone can pick it up and have a blast. It is perfect though for anybody that is a fan of the Warhammer 40k universe. I know being a hardcore fan I have always wanted to be an Astrates and just wreak havoc. You can definitely do this. The main campaign does a good job of doing this. There is plenty of action and the story could easily be from one of the 40k novels. The online modes are also a fresh of breath air in an industry that is being swamped with your typical first person shooters. I recommend this game to anyone and everyone that wants to be an unstoppable killing machine.
on June 29, 2015
I'm not familiar with the 40k universe, never played a warhammer game in my life, however, the first thing I noticed when I downloaded the demo of this game off of the Playstation Store was the brilliance of the graphics, I couldn't believe how nice this game looked, I was very impressed right out of the gate.
Next thing I noticed was the gameplay was quite good, while I'm not a huge fan of third person shooters, I will play them if the gameplay is interesting enough and this game is, shall we say, a bloodfest, when the battles rage on and that is good enough for me, a little, or in this case, a lot of blood in a game, never hurt anybody.
As far as I can tell, I see nothing wrong with this game and it's definitely a smart investment to add to your collection, as I call it, a quirky game. You can't beat the price either.
on October 4, 2011
For starters, I'm not very familiar or well-versed in Warhammer 40K Universe, so I can't speak for how accurate the game is in portraying the Ultramarines or other characters & races you will find throughout the game, but I can tell you that this game was absolutely awesome.
Gameplay & Controls
Gameplay is from a 3rd person perspective that allows you to use both joysticks to control your movement and camera. This is a little tricky at first, but once you're in control of it, it's a feature of the game you'll grow to love. The combat system, in my opinion, is what makes the game so much fun to play. I liken it to a mix between a shooter and close-combat/melee combination. What's truly amazing about the combat system is how seamless the transition between ranged shooter and close combat/melee is and really enhances your feel of being in complete control of your character. Don't expect to skate through this game shooting enemies from a long distance though as the only way you're able to 'heal' your character is by completing close-combat "execution" moves - which are a visual feast of blood and gore, by the way. Some have said the single player game is short (6-8 hours, I believe), so that may be one drawback depending on your level of ability.
I'm sure Warhammer 40K fans will love the diverse array of weapons at their disposal. You begin with a standard bolt pistol and combat knife, but throughout the game you will acquire more powerful weapons, such as the bolter (with kraken rounds), plasma pistol, plasma gun, melta gun, lascannon, stalker bolter and a variety of addition firearms. There is also a variety of melee weapons you'll acquire, such as the chainsword, power axe and thunder hammer. Players with have to learn each of these weapons' distinct advantages as well as disadvantages to utilize them appropriately. When fully equipped, your space marine can carry five grenades, four firearms and a melee weapon.
I am very impressed with the graphics in this game. The environments and effects are incredibly immersive and lend a lot to the story. Expect to find a lot of blood and gore in this game - especially in the case of a head-shot or an execution move. Even in battles involving several dozen on-screen characters, I haven't run into any frame-rate problems or slow downs, which is a definite plus.
I haven't played many on-line multiplayer versions of games, but I really enjoy this one. During the initial release of the game, the developer made it known that there were some server/host problems which have since been resolved. There are two multiplayer games to try: a team deathmatch game (first team to 41 kills) or a capture the flag type of game where your team captures control points (first to 1,000 points) with a max of 16 players (8 on each team). Both games are challenging as you must level up to gain new weapon types and perks. Players are also able to choose from 3 different classes of space marine (tactical, devastator or assault), which adds another level of depth to the multiplayer. Multiplayer also allows you to customize your space marine's armor (armor type/style, color, etc.). The more you play, the more armor sets & pieces you will unlock, so that gives you some extra incentive to play the game. Only drawback thus far is that I wish the multiplayer offered more maps at this point in time.
All things considered, I think Space Marine is a solid 4-star game and certainly worth renting at the very least.
on January 23, 2013
I have been a long-time fan of the Warhammer 40K models and board-game sets. Unfortunately, playing those games as an adult either puts you squarely in geek territory or earns you full-on "creeper" status (or both) and wastes a LOT of time and money. However, this little PS3 game gives you almost all the fun without a serious investment in time and money. I say "almost" because a lot satisfaction can be had in building and painting up the real-world game models.
Anyway, this PS3 title has an actual plot that is true to the world of Warhammer 40k and all its nuances amongst the SpaceMarine warrior classes, types of orks, ork bosses and human guardsman. It was cool and fun to see the game developers take such care to honor the context of the game and spend the time on some of the little details. It was a third-person shooter action game, so you are always looking over Titus' shoulder as he hacks and blasts his way through enemies. I didn't like this at first (having grown accustomed to all the FPS games out there like the Modern Warfare series and Medal of Honor catalog), but it grew on me quite a bit. The only time it really blows is when you're in very close combat with tight-corners in the landscape. At those moments, you kind of just enter button-smash mode and hope for the best because you can't really see anything else.
Only a couple of suggestions for improvements:
1) As usual, the Blu-Ray format allows for significantly longer campaigns, and that would have been nice. As it stands, the game is a little too short (but perhaps better than most).
2) I know that the storyline revolved around a contingent of UltraMarines (which require blue and gold uniforms), but it would have been totally awesome if players could pick which league of SpaceMarines to play and/ or pick insignia and armor colors to match.
3) It was disappointing that the player-character, Titus, never got to drive any Rhinos or Predator tanks (or other 'Eavy Metal weaponry). In fact, there was only one Rhino APC in the whole game and it was only a scenery prop. This has got to be an area for improvement if there is another installment in the WH 40k universe.
4) Finally, the end battles were almost impossible and extremely maddening. There really should have been at least one save-point between all the waves of Chaos minions before you get to the head-honch bad guy.
Other than that, the game is great, highly entertaining and true to form.
Thanks for reading,
on January 23, 2012
OK, so, I purchased this game "USED", and must admit, for the $25.00 I paid.....It's WELL WORTH the money spent! Having a blast playing the game! I'm gonna just jump right in with the review:
> Cool game, extreme blood & gore, halfway decent fighting platform.
> Very nice graphics (easily a 7 out of 10)
> Challenging, but, not insanely hard.
> Tons of cool weapons to pick from, ammo is easy to find
> God/Extreme Mode: Which lasts for around 15-20 seconds when you use L3 & R3 buttons
> Overall: A lot of fun to play!
There's not that many, really...I know it looks like I'm writing a lot of complaints, but, I'm kind just being a bit nit-picky....
> One of my major complaints is the camera angles during fighting sequences....pretty annoying! Not horrible, but, could have / should have been done differently, in my opinion.
> Orcs have an EXTREMELY LIMITED vocabulary! They basically only say 2 things... "Kill the Space Marine", and "Space Marine"....OK, and maybe a moan or groan when they die.....BUT....TWO PHRASES???? COME ON???? REALLY!!!! THAT really gets annoying!!! Especially when you have to kill literally THOUSANDS of Orcs throughout this game, and you hear the SAME 2 phrases OVER & OVER & OVER AGAIN!!! Jeeesh!!! Would it have been so hard for HAVOC to be a bit more creative on the Orc dialogue??? Just 2 more dumb phrases would have been much better, and easier on the ears!
> Overall Gameplay: Now, this is the weird thing.....Even playing on EASY mode, you might find yourself throwing the controller a few times. While it's not an extremely hard game to play or master (overall), I must warn you, there are some parts of the game that are just pure insanity. And this is even on the EASY MODE! You'll find yourself dying like 12 times just trying to get past one part, while sailing through other areas in 5 minutes flat?????....makes no sense...but...whatever??? Some parts of the EASY MODE actually feel like you're playing on HARD MODE...
> And this brings me to the final Complaint: "Health"......The health meter is OK, but my gripe is if you're in a huge fight, taking on 30 Orcs at a time, you need to do a Finishing Move to gain health...OK, no big deal.... but, while you're right smack in the middle of doing a finishing move to gain more health, you'll die, because 80 more Orcs are slammin' you all at the same time.....Kind of annoying, but, I can deal with it.
Overall, it's a really fun game, with tons of gore, a bit challenging, but, the limited vocabulary of the Orcs gets a bit old, really fast. :) BUT, if you can grab yourself a "used" game, it's really checking out. Hours of fun!
on March 5, 2014
This was a fun game but it got kind of repetitive. I still enjoyed it though, I loved using high power moves to hack and slash enemies. This was the first Warhammer game I have played so I'm familiar with the story but this story seemed pretty decent. A twist was added that changed everything. Overall this game was mostly enjoyable, it has decent graphics and sound too. 4 Stars!
on July 9, 2012
- Major firepower in a heavy suit of armor!
- Great Melee weapons
- Decent Online Multiplayer
- Great voices, story and characters
Could be improved:
- Not enough different weapons
- No vehicles
- Not enough variety of enemies
- Melee is inaccurate
- Movement is a little too clunky and tank like, could be more fluid
- If you buy this game used, you have to BUY the RIGHT to play the online version. Each game comes with a coupon code to let you play online.