Last week during GenCon, I was given the opportunity to get my hands on the anticipated Space Marine. Being an avid player of the Warhammer 40k Dawn of War series, I was very interested to see how THQ and Relic’s excellent treatment of the IP translates into a third person shooter.
After playing and witnessing a few different scenarios on their Xbox 360 and PS3 demo stations, I can say that Space Marine has been given the same excellence I’ve come to expect from the RTS.
First, I must say I can see the obvious comparisons to Gears of War; both titles sport a similar over the shoulder view, a comparable “accuracy” mode and a tuck and roll animation. However, the comparison ends there. With Gears of War your first reaction to a battle starting is to note the chest high walls you will use during a fight; Space Marine instead gives you the need to wade into groups of enemies and attempt to establish yourself as a hulk tearing and shooting through orks.
Now, all of the violence, gore and chainsword action is great, but that isn’t what makes this a must buy for me. While playing on the Xbox 360 demo, I had the sudden epiphany of how “right” the game felt. This wasn’t just a mindless objective where I spam attacks while I look around my living room a drink. I was into what I was doing and the Space Marine control setup allowed me feel immersed in the bloodbath that was happening on the screen.
The feel of a game is very important and often over looked in shooters. There will be a huge setup or mission brief followed by a lack luster “search and destroy” button spam. Space Marine makes you feel like you are accomplishing your missing and not just filling holes between plot points. A good example would be the use of the jet pack. Watching a group of people stand around giggling at the use of the jump jet to bring your giant space marine down onto a group of orks. I paused to watch for a bit before I heard one of them comment on how the use of the jet pack wasn’t intrusive on his controller.
I would recommend Space Marine to anyone looking to play a game while feeling satisfied about your role in an epic story. You can preorder Space Marine at most retail outlets and through Steam. For additional preorder information, as well as screenshots and videos, you can click here.
Lastly, I would like to thank THQ/Relic and THQSledgehammer for attending GenCon and giving me this opportunity, even though I didn’t win the chainsword!
About the Author (Author Profile)
Merc has been an avid gamer for many years. Starting with Wolfenstein 3D, Xwing vs Tie Fighter and even some classic MUDs like Terris, he has continued his life long hobby by playing a large variety of game types.
He has had a wide range of experience in the gaming community; having hosted and competed in prequalifiers for the World Cyber Games and the CPL/CAL tournaments.
Merc now writes reviews for currently out video games as well as commentary on the community as a whole.