For this week on The Backlog, we’re taking a look at “Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine.” Developed by Relic Entertainment and published by THQ, “Space Marine” is a third-person hack and slash shooter set in the Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40k universe. Players are put into the shoes of Captain Titus, a Space Marine of the Ultramarines chapter, and they are tasked with liberating a Forge world of an Ork invasion.
As someone who has little to no prior knowledge of the lore behind the Warhammer 40k universe, “Space Marine” did a decent job of crafting a story that is still tangible for players new to the 40k universe and veterans alike. In fact, after 6 hours and nearly completing the game, it piqued my interest and made me want to learn more about Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40k franchise. There were times when I didn’t understand what some characters were talking about, and there were moments when I felt kind of interested in learning more about a certain faction or enemy.
The gameplay of “Space Marine” is repetitive, but satisfying and fun. It includes a mix of shooting and hack and slash mechanics. The gun mechanics are similar to “Gears of War,” and despite only being able to hold a maximum of four weapons, players unlock new weapons as they progress through the game. Now, the hack and slash mechanics of this game are reminiscent of the “Darksiders” franchise which is probably what makes this game so entertaining. Players can unlock and choose from different melee weapons to fight enemies and perform different combos to unleash carnage upon the Ork hordes. What’s probably most ridiculous about the game is the fact that players can only regenerate health by stunning and performing violent executions on their enemies. Enemies are literally walking health packs. Probably the most entertaining sections of the game were the couple of times players were able to equip jump packs. There’s nothing more satisfying than jumping 50 feet into the air and crashing down on the enemies with a giant power hammer.
Playing “Space Marine” is fun, but the gameplay gets slightly repetitive after a while with just shooting at enemies and slashing them to pieces. At first, I was surprised and excited by the cool executions, but it quickly felt like routine. As I would walk, or just hold the sprint button to go from objective to objective, things often felt quiet with no dialogue between characters to fill the silence. The only sound was the stomping of boots. The story was decent enough that I could understand some of what was going on, but I also didn’t find myself terribly invested in paying attention to all of it.
If you’re a fan of Warhammer and haven’t already played this, then it might be worth checking out. If you’re new to the Warhammer universe, then I would recommend this game if it’s on sale. “Space Marine” is a very average game. It’s entertaining enough to make you complete the campaign and have some fun for a few hours, but it’s not groundbreaking or amazing in any way.