Release Date: September 6, 2011
Reviewed by: Zechariah (Gerty) Gerthung
In the grim darkness of the future, there is only war. This is the text you are greeted with, as you embark in the campaign of what is probably one of my favorite Warhammer 40k themed games. I was brought back to this game recently with the soon release of Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, and Early Access’s games such as Warhammer 40,000 Eternal Crusade. I should be very clear upfront as I begin to write this review, that I am a very big fan of the Warhammer universe, lore, and most of its games. Just so you are aware of my fanaticism for this franchise you can better understand rate my review to your personal views accordingly.
So let’s begin. The story of this game is fairly simple, you are Captain Titus a Space Marine belonging to the chapter known as Ultramarines. You are a genetically enhanced super solider, armored like a tank, and equipped with the arsenal of one. You’re squad and chapter has been sent to what is known as a forge world, which is basically a planet converted to mass production of war machines and necessities of the Imperium of man, however this one has been over run, and attacked by a massive army and invasion force of Orkz. You’re job, is to secure a facility that creates giant war machines known as Titans, and destroy them so the Orkz cannot take them over and use them against the Imperium. On your way in, you jump onto the deck of an Ork starship, and single handedly bring it down, as you and the ship crash into the planet you hear word of soldiers who need your help, and thus the game truly begins.
The games mechanics are fairly simple, it’s the run of the mill 3rd person action based shooter. However it spices things up using a recharging shield, and melee combat. To get through this game on Normal or higher, you will need to switch between the two often. On top of all this, there are no health pickups, the only way to restore your health is to stun an enemy, a little red skull appears above their head, allowing for an execution move which restores a portion of your health however you can and will take damage still during this animation if you’re not careful.
As a final note, it should be warned that while this game is not excessively gore, it does contain some, and can at points especially with executions of larger enemies become very violent and bloody.
So lets get my pro’s and cons of this game sorted, as while I do absolutely love this game, I do have some minor gripes and issues with it.
- The game itself is extremely pretty, even on lower settings the quality and texturing are fairly nice and pleasant to look at.
- The game is decently well optimized however the settings in game could be considered lacking, and do not have much depth for setting things up to help get 60fps or higher however it is achievable
- The story of this game is fairly nice strait forward and easy to understand, even for those that may not know much if anything about Warhammer 40k lore.
- The controls are intuitive, and easy to learn, and allow for some really spectacular moments of gameplay, firing an automatic weapon and switching to your melee within a second to dispatch a whole wave of enemies.
- The game comes with an integrated multiplayer system, and allows you to customize your very own space marine or chaos marine character.
- Though the story is fairly strait forward and anyone not deep into the fandom could get behind it, it is worth bearing in mind that the story is a fairly generic action story of your character is a god. It is worth noting that because they are Space Marines this can be overlooked as it makes sense for the lore.
- The controls may be intuitive, but many times I felt that they were not as tight as they could be, and more times than not, I found myself just spamming the melee button rather than preforming combo’s as it was arguably a quicker and more efficient way of dealing with the waves of enemies, and on top of that it made it easy to clear a wave yet single out a few targets to use as health restoration. The games combat is basic and fairly simple and tactics are not really needed until fairly far into the game.
- Speaking of the waves, I feel it is very important to mention that my biggest complaint and grip of this game would have to be that it is extremely repetitive, and on the highest difficulty, can be very unforgiving in later levels if you get careless. But each level breaks down into small arena’s all connected where you kill wave after wave of orks and later on other types of enemies. There is some minor variation in the opening to certain chapters and some interesting additions to combat occasionally but overall the game is fairly repetitive.
- The game does come with a multiplayer but in my opinion it feels it was added last minute to fill a check box. While it is fun it’s fairly basic, and has an unlock based system for getting new and different guns. There are a few different modes, all of which are interesting but can get stale as currently the ones playing the game are those who’ve been playing it for quite a long while and knows its ins and outs. So be warned.
- Though the game’s story, and plot are interesting, fun and strait forward enough that fans, and non-fans of Warhammer 40,000 can both enjoy, it should be warned to diehard fans that this is a fairly generic Warhammer story.
So to wrap things up let me give my over all view and opinion of this game.
I think I would strongly recommend this game to most friends who are a fan of third person shooters, fans of Warhammer 40k, and to anyone who really loves grim dark Sci-Fi stories/games. In the end though the campaign’s action and play can get repetitive they hide it well by giving and introducing various types of melee weapons, and powerful guns fairly often enough. If you’ve been on the fence and this game has always seemed interesting to you, I strongly recommend that you try it out, in my honest opinion I think it’s well worth it.
The game is available on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.
It has an ESRB rating of M for Mature, and a PEGI Rating of 18+
The game generally goes for 30$ USD or your regional Equivielent.