warhammer 40'000 space marine

“In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war” is the tagline that describes the 41st millennium. Humanity, having expanded across the galaxy, faces destruction not only from within, but also from all sorts nightmarish and brutal creatures.

In Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine, a third person shooter developed by Relic Entertainment and published by THQ, you lead a squad of genetically engineered super soldiers in a fight to stop a planetary invasion from a horde of marauding Orks, it’s a visceral experience that perfectly portrays the spirit of the Warhammer 40K setting.

Space Marine begins with the discovery of an invasion fleet heading to an Imperial Forge World – a planet covered in factories solely dedicated to the manufacturing of weapons. The fleet is host to an immense army of Orks, a race of green skinned creatures who take pleasure in looting and fighting. Not wanting to have their most reliable military assets stripped bare by the Orks, it is decided that a squad of Space Marines must be sent to the planet to hold off the bulk of the invaders while a larger imperial fleet can arrive through the warp.

You play as captain Titus of the Ultramarines chapter, who is joined by two of his battle-brothers; veteran Sidonus and battle brother Leandros.

Taking a different approach to the modern third-person shooter genre, there’s no emphasis on using cover to slowly move through the map destroying the opposing forces, instead you’re constantly on the move, using your bolter to wipe out the numbers of green skins on screen. The Orks are pretty stupid, so they’ll constantly rush your position, hoping to use their numbers to their advantage. Your wargear begins with a bolt gun but later expands to include plasma guns, stalker bolters and lascannons.

In addition to your ranged weapons, you will always carry one melee weapon, by default this is a chainsword. Later on in the game you will have access to weapons such as power axes and thunder hammers. You’ll use these to attack the enemies in a variety of simple, yet brutal, combinations, as well as performing stun attacks that allow you to initiate a brutal finishing move against your foe.

Finishing moves are integral to your survival, as your armour regenerates over time but your health is only replenished by a successfully completed finishing move. It’s another way in which Relic push you into behaving as a space marine would. Space Marines don’t cower behind cover, they are always in the heart of the action, turning the enemies of the emperor into chunks of steaming flesh.

There’s a rather simple plot that sees you traversing the various sections of the Forge World – from crash sites to sewers, munitions factories to gothic bridges – but it is presented in a consistent and enjoyable manner. There’s some excellent voice acting – the Space Marines come across as the well-spoken gentry, sorting out the

cockney riff-raff that is the Orks – and the accompanying soundtrack is suitably rousing.

Overall space marine is a thoroughly enjoyable game. My only complaint is the lack of a cooperative campaign.