THQ and relic attempted to pull the Warhammer franchise further away from it’s RTS roots with Warhammer 40k: Space Marine. With the mild success of the Warhammer: Age of Reckoning MMO, I had some reason to believe this game would be decent, and it is…decent.
Space Marine has you playing the role of an Ultramarine, sadly I don’t remember his name because it really doesn’t matter, attempting to take back a forge planet in charge of manufacturing Titans from a hostile Ork takeover. That’s really about it, that and killing Orks…lots of them.
Space Marine is an over-the-shoulder third person shooter, action game through and through. You have four basic weapons at your disposal at all times. A pistol type in combination with your chainsword or shock axe, SMG, Sniper rifle or short range burst weapon, and a mine launcher. Switching between weapons is a simple touch of the D-pad, ammo is clearly marked, and reloading takes a very long time. No weapon is well overpowered, and most feel quite under-powered when hordes of Orks are encroaching on your position. Hordes in this instance is exactly as it implies, so many Orks they blot out the screen, this is essentially every fight you will face throughout the entire game. There are no health pick ups, instead you are fueled by an intense need to brutally execute any and every Ork you face. After a successful execution your hp magically fills up again with great satisfaction. Unfortunately this action does not have a “lock on” capability, can be quite inaccurate when surrounded by other enemies, and you will continually lose health during the action. Warhammer 40K: Space Marine basic combat equation:
Attack + Stun+ Execution = Health (feel free to rinse and repeat)
Warhammer 40K: Space Marine isn’t a terrible game, but it’s also not terribly fun either. I really enjoy the Warhammer fiction and lore, I like the look of the Ultramarines, the Orks look equally as rugged, and the terrain you traverse throughout Space Marine is something relic and THQ can be proud of, having captured a great deal of the look and feel a Warhammer title should have. Even with all of these positives supporting it, astonishly dumb and weak AI partners, unrelenting repetitive combat, and an almost nonexistent story damns this game to the bargain bins.
Warhammer 40k: Space Marine is an action game slathered in molasses (thanks Nic). Trudging along slowly, doing the same thing over and over sounds more like an office job in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, than an action/adventure video game.
Back to the Farm.