The only association I have with Warhammer are the unpainted figurines I had in my closest which my father had bought for me many years ago. I made an honest attempt to paint them as well as I could, though my inexperience with a brush would be too significant to produce anything worth being proud of. I did think the Space Marines I had were more interesting when actually used in the table top game, yet I never had a chance to even try. I instead – many years later – have opted for the Warhammer video game that was available to me for free via Playstation Plus. Having the ability to download it for free via my subscription has encouraged me to give it a chance, as I otherwise would not even have considered it. To my surprise, THQ’s licensed IP is a mixture of a few familiar games, which makes for a far more enjoyable third person action game than one would even expect.
I have no idea what is going on in Warhammer 40K: Space Marine. There’s this blue lantern looking power source that is strapped to my waist, but what exactly is the purpose of that power source, I’m not sure. This isn’t necessarily a knock on the game as there really isn’t a major attempt to broadcast anything particularly meaningful, but some sort of direction or reason to why you are doing things would be appreciated. What I can extrapolate from the amount of Orks I murder every minute, is that they are causing to be what looks like a war in which I have to help stop.
I find it comical when each encounter with a huge group of Orks, I’ll hear one yell “Space Marines!” in a tone that tells me they are always surprised. You’d think by at least the half way mark, after shooting, slicing and blowing up their friends that word would travel to other groups of Orks, informing them of my endless decimating of their allies. I’ll rule out the idea of them being courageous, as you will often see the smaller Orks running away from you when you have just entered a new area from the mass graveyard you just came from, but the real reason is not that important. What’s important is to enjoy yourself while you play. And while I question the communication skills of the Orks, the idea of the whole scenario I just described is just a little thing that makes my experience that much more enjoyable.
While I progress through the single player, I have a similar vibe to that of Darksiders and God of War. I am reminded of Darksiders not for its puzzle solving, Zelda type elements — rather the heavy and bulky movement of the controlled characters and the switching between close and long ranged weaponry. It may not have the depth of God of War, but the introduction of new weapons just as when the combat becomes somewhat static, provided me with a new tool to dismember Orks with.
Relic Entertainment doesn’t reinvent the way third person shooters or melee combat is handled in games, though that doesn’t mean it is automatically worse than games with original ideas. Warhammer 40K: Space Marine is a game I would probably not buy initially because of its license, though it’s not necessarily a game I would go out and purchase at full price either. Its role is perfect for those durations of months where nothing seems to interest you; scrambling for anything to play. If you are in that situation and are open to anything, Warhammer might be a worthwhile pickup for the right price, as derivative as it may be.