The Warhammer 40,000 series gets a third-person slash-and-shoot title!

Home Arts and Entertainment The Warhammer 40,000 series gets a third-person slash-and-shoot title!

Warhammer 40,000

By Games Workshop, game adaptations developed by Relic Entertainment and published by THQ

To be honest, I never really got into the tabletop/pen-and-paper RPG craze. With all due respect to those who play, of course: a whole lot of numbers, statistics and  variables to manage doesn’t really seem like my idea of fun. Leave it to Relic, makers of the beautiful, fully 3D Homeworld and gritty World War II epic Company of Heroes real-time-strategy games, to distill Games Workshop’s detailed saga of Space Marines, Orks and otherworldly demons into its own RTS, Dawn of War.

Unfortunately, I’ve onlyplayed a small portion of these great strategy titles, but I have tried the very latest installment in the long-running franchise, simply called Space Marine. Bearing striking similarities to THQ’s own Darksiders but possessing a flair all its own, this third-person story-driven hack-and-slash-and-shoot story is definitely a winner in my book.

You control Captain Titus of the Ultramarines, a company of Space Marines in the Imperium of Man around the year 40,000; a time when war is all the galaxy has ever known as far as the sentient races can remember. Epic inflections and grand gestures in the spirit of Lord of the Rings are the order of the day in the many in-engine cut-scenes, as Titus leads his band to the Imperial Forge World Graius, where the Orks, the horde-like enemies (similar ones are also in the Warcraft saga) who are nemeses to the Imperium, have brutally subdued the Imperial Guard and intend to seize control of a factory producing Titans – walking tanks, basically.

The details of the story may indeed be a bit too much for a neophyte to the series – like me – but be assured, I quickly learned who to get behind and who to wish dead. The Ultramarines are the heroes, who attempt to bolster the Imperial Guard and drive back the relentless Horde. The Horde itself, comprised of green-skinned, murderous beasts who continually yell battle-cries, are of course the enemy, and you will take great pleasure in shedding their blood.

The signature weapon of the Space Marines; the Chainsword – is your primary weapon in dealing with all threats, being basically a chainsaw in an easy-to-swing steel casing; tear your enemies limb from limb or assault at range with a dozen or so weapons; you can swap between the two methods seamlessly.

Multiplayer takes its cue from any of a dozen other multiplayer games, being a matter of raising levels to show experience in the game and to unlock new features. There is Annihilation, where the first team (Space Marines versus Chaos Space Marines) to raise 41 kills in a round is the victor in a Team Deathmatch style; and Seize Ground, the Control Point gametype seen so often in Team Fortress 2, Battlefield, and others. Pre-set and custom loadouts, unlocked as you progress in level, allow you to adjust your gameplay style to your preference, and starting at Level 4 you can customize your Marine to stand out from the crowd!

What a great game, and what a great introduction to the world of Warhammer 40,000 for anyone, in my opinion. I give the game five out of five, easily!