Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Space Marine Demo (2011) THQ & Games Workshop - and a word on "Warhammer 40K: Kill Team"

"FOR THE EMPEROR!" is one the phrases that makes me giggle with girlish glee.  Ever since 1988 I've been a fan of Warhammer 40,000.  As far as the digital incarnations, though I haven't played the Dawn of War series (I will once I get my new vid card) I have played Space Hulk, Warhammer 40K: Squad Command, Fire Warrior, and I could have sworn there was another one in there somewhere.  Most of them are only cool because it's a Warhammer 40K game other than that they aren't the world's greatest games nor have they really done 40K justice.  Last night I downloaded the demo for the latest foray into the grim darkness of the future, Space Marine.  Just from the demo I started making noises like the village idiot receiving a basket of glitter kittens that secreted mini-marshmallows.  You control Captain Titus of the Ultramarines, battling - in the demo - the greenskin tide.  I don't know what took so long but this third person shooter actually rocks.  From Bolter to Chainsword to crushing gretchin under a power armor shod foot Space Marine  actually feels right.  There is no cover system and no health packs - instead the game rewards you for whoopin and whompin every living thing in sight.  Switching from melee to ranged and back is absurdly fast so blasting the living shit out of the greenskins as you storm into the fray and then firing up the ol chainsword for a bit of the ultraviolence is smooth.  Narf narf narf.  The game also looks right, which is just proof that a proper Warhammer 40K game was just waiting for the technology to catch up.  There's supposedly an online multiplayer mode but I don't know jack about that.

Potential downsides:
  • I noticed in several instances the camera was kind of useless until I still started tweaking the camera as I moved in combat.  There were several times all I could see was either a welter of gore or a wall.  Corners and under catwalks were the main problems.  In open areas, using ranged weapons, or when able to step back from the scrum camera issues were far less noticable.  However, for a game that leans towards melee, a sloppy camera can spell death.
  • I get the impression that Space Marine will be a short linear game with minimal replay value/ exploration/etc.  In other words?  Not worth $60.
  • Multiplayer with the same assholes who play Gears of War.  Yeah, the robble robble argy bargy tossers.  You know who I mean. 
I'll have to wait for the reviews to come out.

Kill Team for the XBOX Arcade was a fun taster for Space Marine - though Kill Team is in no way shape or form as intricate as Space Marine.  Basically a top down shooter with player Marine v Orks I spent about a day playing through several times with various Marine classes (Librarian, Devastator, Assault, Techmarine) mainly because I had nothing else to do but I also wanted to test out weapons.  I am looking forward to the opportunity to play Kill Team co-op as I think the game will really shine when  there's more mayhem to be had.  For 800pts it's worth the value plus you can unlock some kind of whompin stick for Space Marine.

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