I supposed that I am a little biased towards this game since I've been a fan of the Warhammer 40k IP since 1988. It has definitely changed a lot over the years as the focus roams from one faction to another (at one time Orcs were all the rage, then Eldar, then Terminators and Genestealers, then Necrons, etc.) Through out all of those changes there has always been the fan favorite Space Marines, who's very essence has screamed out for a FPS game for a long time. THQ has been bringing the WH40k universe to the PC for about 8 years now, and has always delivered the goods. Space Marine is no exception. It is true that you might have to know about the IP to fully enjoy this game. There is A LOT of back story to understand, and it would take way too long to explain it in any useful detail, so they don't. Some players may find this hard to deal with. The action is exactly what it should be: fast paced, violent, frequent and unapologetic. The Astartes method of war isn't pretty. The graphics are good and I was surprised at how well it ran on my high-end-4-years-ago system. There was a serious problem with the textures flickering occasionally, and when I looked this up online I discovered that not only is this common but that there isn't a fix for it right now. Bummer. The story worked well for what was happening, although how the end was going to work out became very apparent to me early on. Maybe because I read the novels I'm used to how things work in the WH40K universe, and there weren't any surprises. The biggest let down is probably how short the single player campaign is. I'd 8-10 hours of play time tops. In my book that it pretty weak. Since it is an action oriented game, the pace may bring the game to a conclusion faster, but I REALLY wanted there to be more to do. Sure you can play it on different difficulties and try to get other achievements, but once you figure out how certain battles "work" there isn't much to do. I'm also not a fan of the online play. I'm not much of a online PVP player anyway, but the mechanics of how they set this up just stinks. Like a lot of MilSim shooters, you gain XP and ranks to unlock weapons and abilities, which is fine except when they dump you into a deathmatch against 10 guys that are a much higher level and better geared than you are. You can't get any XP because you are a sitting duck, and all you do is add deaths to the 41 points needed to win, which makes you a liability. Not fun at all.
Pros: Glorious battle the way it should be done Excellent use of the Warhammer 40k IP Good looking game with plenty of gear and action
Cons: Unbalanced online play Requires Steam and a constant internet connection (par for the course these days, but lame none the less) WAY TOO SHORT
Bottom Line: I really enjoyed this game, so much so that I was disappointed when it ended. Hopefully there will be some DLC or expansions very soon. Someone needs to get on the texture issues, but the Game is solid and beautiful aside from that. I highly recommend it.