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I have been a fan of the world of style="font-style: italic;">Warhammer 40,000
since it was created back in the mid 1980s. I still remember diving
into the dark and gothic universe of style="font-style: italic;">WH40K
back when they released the first rulebook, style="font-style: italic;">Rogue Trader.
Since then, I have seen how the style="font-style: italic;">WH40K
universe expanded and changed over the years and, to top it off, I
actually owned a hobby shop selling all manner of Games Workshop
products. (My chosen army was Imperial Guard though.)

Other WH40K
games came and went, but I never got too excited. I’m not a
RTS player, preferring RPGs and shooters. Finally, though, Relic and
THQ announced style="font-style: italic;">Warhammer 40,000: Space
Marine, and I was instantly
hooked, going almost insane waiting for its release. So now that the
game is here, how does it stack up as a FPS and how true does it stay
to the lore of style="font-style: italic;">WH40K?

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You are the instrument of the
Emperor's justice!


is rated M and is
meant for players 17 and up. The game’s cautions include:
Blood and Gore, plus Intense Violence. These are actually what you want
in a WH40K

Gameplay - 75 / 100

The basic premise of style="font-style: italic;">Space Marine
is that you play as Captain Titus of the Ultramarines chapter of the
Imperium’s space marines. Space Orks have invaded a Forge
World (one of the worlds where manufacturing is consolidated) and you
are sent in to stem the tide. Later on, you’ll fight against
more sinister forces, the heresy-inducing minions of Chaos.

Gameplay is simple, solid, and fun. Basically, you’ll shoot
or stab (or crush, rend, tear, etc.) everything that moves. Combat is
handled by having your left mouse button shoot your ranged weapons
whist your right mouse button does melee attacks. You can chain
multiple melee attacks together to increase damage. As you progress
through the game, better weapons will become available for you to use.

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Pardon me, but was that your

The central tenet of style="font-style: italic;">Space Marine
is action. You will fight hordes and hordes of enemies. Your armor can
regenerate but you can regain health by only two options. The first is
that you can build up Fury as you fight, and when you activate it, your
health is replenished and you become a veritable dervish of death. The
second option is to do an execution move upon an enemy, which is a
favorite of mine. After you stun a foe, you can then perform a bad-ass
looking execution move on them. The downside is that you do this in
slow motion and you are still vulnerable to attacks, so it’s
not good to do this while fighting in a crowd.

actually feels kind of
like a throwback to simpler times for FPS games. Your overall goal is
just to kill hordes of enemies and looking like a badass while you do

There are a couple of negatives to the gameplay in style="font-style: italic;">Space Marine.
First, the levels are designed in a linear fashion, which is something
that I’m not a fan of. It’s a testament to the game
that it didn’t bug me as much as it normally does, but it
still bothered me a little. You’ll follow a clear path of
carnage from beginning to end.

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Chaos Space Marines are one of
humanity's deadliest foes.

The campaign (single-player) mode is not that long. You should be able
to complete it at a little less than ten hours. While multiplayer is
fun (more on that on page two of the review), I wished that the
campaign took longer to complete. I sense that there will be a lot of
DLC coming our way in the future.

The last negative is that the game is still buggy. Players have been
gnashing their teeth on various forums over bugs such as disappearing
floors, not being able to activate an item, and not being able to load
into multiplayer matches. It seems that many of those afflicted have
older video cards, and while THQ has stated that they are working on a
patch, you might want to hold off a few weeks until those problems are
cleared up.

Graphics - 77 / 100

The graphics in style="font-style: italic;">Space Marine
are, for the most part, gorgeous. This game does an excellent job of
sucking you into the harsh, gothic world of style="font-style: italic;">WH40K.
The denizens of the game, ranging from the Space Marines to the enemy
forces, such as the different types of Space Orks and Chaos are all
rendered with amazing detail. I have died from looking at the enemy as
opposed to killing them as soon as they appear. The Forge World nature
of the setting (heavily industrial) is lovingly shown as you journey
through the game. The reason why I’m scoring the graphics
lower than my description above is that you do spend a lot of time in
generic corridors and tunnels. A few more set pieces of grand design
would have been nice.

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The world of WH40K is a dark

Blood does flow rather freely in the game, but it’s not
stomach churning. Does it say anything bad about me that when I shoot a
bad guy in the head and his head explodes, I laugh hysterically?

Sound - 97 / 100

The sounds of the game are top notch. From the voice acting to the
hoarse cries of the enemy hordes to the sounds of combat, the game does
a great job of immersing you into the world of style="font-style: italic;">WH40K.
I particularly love the taunts shouted out by the Space Orks as you
fight against them. Hearing the rumble of far off artillery to the
buildings shaking around me, the sound keeps you deep within the
setting, rather than having you grow bored and numb to it. Remember: in
the grim darkness of the far future, all humanity speaks with an
English accent.

Multiplayer - 77 / 100

The multiplayer is brutally fun in style="font-style: italic;">Space Marine
and remains true to the feel of the style="font-style: italic;">WH40K
universe. There are no pansy style games, but rather two modes:
deathmatch and capture and hold territory. PvP is comprised of 8v8
matches of the two different modes. As players progress, they unlock
better weapons and perks. A nice feature is that you can choose to use
the weapons of the person who killed you. That way, if you’re
just starting out and some bastard with a lascannon melts your head,
you have the option of using a lascannon when you respawn.

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Customizing my space marine

Another interesting feature of PvP is that you can customize your
armor. Certain looks have to be unlocked, but you can pick a specific
chapter to use or create one of your own. You can even have your armor
weathered to show that you’re a grizzled veteran. (Remember,
each forehead stud represents five years of service.)

On the negative side, there are only a limited number of maps for PvP
and they aren’t the most earth-shattering. Hopefully, more
maps will become available. In addition, matchmaking is pretty bad. A
newbie will most likely be thrown into a group of level 20 players,
which can make for some frustrating gameplay. My sloth-like reflexes
made sure that I died many a time.

Value - 65 / 100

is fun to play, but
the limited campaign time of ten hours and the few PvP maps lower the
value. The game is incredibly fun and I’ll definitely get my
money’s worth out of it, but this is a game you probably
won’t play non-stop for days on end. Additional content is
needed and the bugs need to be patched.

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Fun fact: Orks reproduce
through spores.

Lasting Appeal - 70 / 100

I do believe that style="font-style: italic;">Space Marine
will have a good lasting appeal. While you won’t play the
game constantly, it is fun to come back and play for an hour or so on a
regular basis for PvP. The game mechanics are rock solid and I think
that we’ll see a great deal of DLC coming out for the game.
There are so many other campaigns that can be created and I’m
sure that we’ll see Eldar, Tyranids, and other entities from
the WH40K
universe in the not-to-distant future. I’d love to see a style="font-style: italic;">Space Hulk
style DLC released. Also, THQ has announced that they’ll
release a co-op patch sometime in October, so you’ll be able
to defend the Emperor’s honor with a friend.

Pros and Cons

  • Solid
    gameplay with brutal
  • Immerses
    you fully into the
    style="font-style: italic;">WH40K
  • PvP
    is fun and easy to get


  • Campaign
    is too short
  • PvP
    matchmaking needs some
  • Game
    is still buggy
  • Fighting
    hordes of enemies
    can get repetitive
  • Needs
    more content both for
    PvE and PvP

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I failed the Emperor by dying
many times in PvP.


Overall, Space
is a solid,
action-filled FPS. The game focuses on solid, old-fashioned gameplay
rather than reinventing the wheel. While there are some flaws in the
game, it is still a fun game that does an excellent job of immersing
you into the gothic darkness of style="font-style: italic;">Warhammer 40,000.
After you finish the campaign, you’ll come back on a
semi-regular basis to scrap against other players. The framework that
THQ has created here positively screams for future DLC. If the prices
are reasonable, then style="font-style: italic;">Space Marine
could be a game that will entertain me for a very long time.

Overall 75/100 - Pretty Good

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016