[PS3] Warhammer 40.000: Space Marine

-lexus-

Visions of Hell
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#1
Well, my first review. Lets see if we can blow some dust from this section ^^

Title: Warhammer 40.000: Space Marine
Platform: PS3 (review), Xbox 360, PC
Publisher: Relic, THQ

Review:

Well, lets start with whats what. Space Marine is set in the Warhammer 40.000 universe (henceforth referred to as WH40K), a SciFi universe where Fascism is actually the only form of government that keeps humanity from being wiped out by the numerous enemies mankind has made. Not to turn this into an ideological review or to support fascists, but it should give you a general idea about how bad this universe is. Space Marines are humanities elite troops, genetically modified super soldiers that are build for just one purpose: War. In this game, the Space Marines are called to defend a Forge world that is getting overrun by Orks. They are send to defend a Titan factory but when they get there, they discover a more sinister plot. The story is pretty standard for a Warhammer game, and if you played games like Dawn of War, the plot wont come as a big surprise.

Lets start with the graphics. In general, Space Marine looks good. It takes place on a Forge World, so basically a world that has been turned into a giant factory, churning out tanks and other weaponry for humanity. So, the environments are mostly urban and industrial. So expect a lot of grey, brownish colors. It must be said however, that if you appreciate the WH40K universe like I do, youll find that the environments fit perfectly with what you expect from a forge world. The gothic architecture, the insanely large factories, all of it fits right in the universe. The only downside of one big factory world is that it does get a little repetitive after a while.

Furthermore, since Space Marine is a HacknSlashnShooter, the combat has to look good as well. And it does look good. When you you fight, you feel right like a super human crushing the enemy beneath your boot. The Blood flies all around you, and bullets have a satisfying effect, that fits right within the universe and style of the game.

Then there is the gameplay itself. For once there isnt a cover system, even though shooting is still a relatively big element in the game. Then again, real Space Marines dont take cover, they kill everyone before they take to much damage. And taking damage, you will in this game. Just charging into a crowd of Orks will get you killed pretty easily, especially some of the bigger enemies do a lot of damage to you if you just charge in. Therefor, it is important to keep a close eye on your health meter. Luckily, there is an easy way of getting more health, which is to execute an enemy. Every time you execute an enemy, your health meter refills. However, be careful, because during the execution animation, your enemies can still hurt you. I know other reviews have complained about this, but I felt it added some extra depth to the game, because it forces you to play a little more carefully. This also counts for the way you deal with fights, as often enemies will have enemies with ranged weapons supporting the troops that try to hack you to bits. While again, some criticized it, I felt it adds some challenge by forcing you to keep an eye on your surroundings as well, and in general, also encourages you to use all the weapons at your disposal.

What is a problem is that after a while, Space Marine can get a little repetitive. Enemies get recycled a lot, and the parts where you can get a jump pack could have been more often. Combined with somewhat repetitive environments, the novelty of killing things in awesome ways wears thin. Space Marine is however, to short to make the repetitiveness a game breaker.

Then there is also multiplayer, which is supposed to be pretty awesome according to some, and boring according to others. I however, did not have the chance yet to play it myself, so Ill leave Multiplayer out of this review.

Lastly there is the sound. The sound is pretty good, and fits the visuals. Guns make a satisfying noise, and the sounds of heads getting shot off is very satisfying. The voice acting is also pretty fitting to the characters, so, no complaints here at all.

Grading Space Marine is hard though. The game itself is solid if not a bit repetitive at the end. But, it also relies a lot on fan service. If youre a fan of WH40k in general, you will love Space Marine because of all the little details and references to the background that any fan will instantly recognize. However, if youre not a fan and not to familiar with the background, you probably miss out on quite a bit, and it probably makes the game less enjoyable as well. So, Im going to give it a 7. However, if youre a big WH40K fan, and you know a bit about the background, you can easily add 1-1,5 points extra to this score. Remember though, this is purely based on the single player.