Thursday, August 25, 2011

Space Marine Game Demo Review

So i am sure that anyone even slightly interested in 40k has always wondered what it would be like to be a 10 foot tall superhuman bad ass known as a Space Marine. Well your chance to find out is almost here as the release date for THQ and Relics "Space Marine" looms. In the mean time there is a free demo available for download.

The demo lets you play two levels as the Ultramarine Captain Titus investigating a world being over run by Orks. You will slaughter your way through Slugga boys, Shoota boys, Nobz, Gretchin, and even some bomb squigs on your way to victory while being supported by two other Ultramarines that are AI controlled. The Demo does not give away much as far as the story is concerned and i would not expect it to. I was more concerned with how the game plays and feels since they are trying to represent one of the most iconic figures in all of 40k, The Space Marine.

The game itself plays like your standard third person hack and slash adventure mixed with a few things from shooters. Think Gears of war mixed with ...
God of War and you might not be too far off. The controls are pretty straight forward and quickly picked up. You have your basic shooter controls like reloading and zooming mixed with pretty straight forward melee attacks be it a quick attack heavy attack or stun. You can run and dodge but you cannot jump. You also have access to a special attack when enemies are stunned known as an execute. The controls flow pretty well allowing you to switch from gunning enemies down with your ranged weapon to hacking them to pieces and curb stomping them in melee. This is however where i noticed a slight issue with the fluidity of the game.

Execution attacks are an important part of the game as they are one of two ways that you could gain health back in the levels. Do not be mistaken Execution attacks look bad ass however while you are busing body slamming a ork while eviscerating him then continuing on with a curb stomp all in crazy matrix slow motion mode every other enemy around is beating on you lowering your health. Now on easy this is no big deal because well the game is on easy and you take little damage. However for gamers looking for more of a challenge playing on normal and hard these awesome slow motion attacks can get you killed at a time when you really need them to go off and heal you. This is worked around by being careful as to when you use executes obviously however this also leads to a different play style that may make you feel less epic and not so bad ass. For example shoot a few, execute last guy then proceed to run and hide for your shield on health to recharge then go back into the fray. For gamers this is no big deal but for 40k fans and all you bloodthirsty crazys out there that want to execute things left and right while feeling like the superhuman bad ass that you are this might be an issue but thats what difficulty levels are for right :).

The big question for most people that are 40k fans i am sure will be did Relic represent our awesome universe correctly? Well i can easily say that during those two demo levels the little control and mechanic issues faded away quickly as a bolter not only sounds like what i would imagine it also works the way i would imagine too. You shoot an an ork they not only fall over they god damn explode! Heads, limbs, blood, gore and your armor splattered with the ruined remains of your foe hell yeah you feel like a Space Marine. You only get to use two of the melee weapons in the demo and both have quite a few awsome executions that are dependent also on what your fighting. You might be able to pick up an ork boy and slam him while sawing him in half but a nob i dont think so. You will have to go toe to toe with him in a button smashing contest when weapons come together and he can take one hell of an epic ass beating even on normal with the following execution sequences being pretty awesome. You will punch holes in things heads that's for sure.

The movement seems very much like you are wearing the weight and bulk of power armor and the sound effects of the game match as you trot into combat with the sound of your heavy boots ringing off of metal. You will fire a regular bolter, Stalker Pattern Bolter, bolt pistol, grenade launcher and be able to throw grenades. The sounds of all of these and how they react with the environment are pretty well done. The two melee weapons are the classic chainsword and if you pay attention you can find a power axe. The power axe was so out of control i had to be careful that i didn't finish off enemies with it so quick that i couldn't heal by executing at least on the normal boyz.

The weapons all sound good and work pretty true to fluff. The voice acting and background score was solid so far pretty heavy gothic influence just like we would expect and the space marine voice acting does have a little bit of that ye olde English accented style. Seems like Relic hit most of the check boxes and the final one i guess would be the environment.
The two demo levels seem to take place on a forgeworld and its pretty convincing. Huge architecture and massive scale looking very imperialistic mixed in with all the looted orky stuff since the planet is being invaded. The art style of this game needs to be seen to be truly appreciated but i believe it to be a damn solid rendition of our 40k universe.

So overall we have a pretty solid hack and slash shoot em up adventure for gamers with enough attention to detail to really please all but the most stupidly hardcore of the 40k crowd. I believe this will be a solid game and worth adding to any game collection whether your a 40k fan or not.

See you next time, Wolfson


  1. I played thru the demo tonight and it was fun. I like the whole execution for healing mechanic.

    I am interested in how the story plays out. IF the game does well I hope this opens up more games and movies, possibly with a less space marine centric theme.

    Gaunts Ghosts in game or movie form would kick ass.

  2. I love the buildings/backgrounds; it really feels like your walking in the 40K universe.