Just Finished: Warhammer 40,000 – Space Marine

In the midst of my “what game do I play today” shuffling, I managed to beat Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine.  I enjoyed my time in it, mainly because the combat is just unadulterated gory fun, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was ready for it to be over before it was over. It kind of made me realize that I feel this way about most shooters and their single-player campaign. Without some sort of RPG or leveling mechanic in a game that is combat focused, it leaves you with basically all grind and no rewards. In single-player RPGs, I don’t mind the combat grinding, because I know it’s all going towards my character’s progression and will make the future combat more enjoyable with more abilities or items at my disposal. In Space Marine, I just kind of felt like I was going through combat rooms over and over, just to see the next one, and eventually the last boss.

The only reason I can look past the repetition and waves of mindless AI combatants is because Relic Entertainment completely nailed two aspects of the game: the graphics/art design and the combat. The graphical fidelity and art design is superb. Relic Entertainment knows a thing or two about making Warhammer 40,000 games and has become the master at expressing the table-top iconic units and world in video game form. Being Relic’s first foray out of RTS games since “The Outfit” in 2006, I think they completely knocked the combat out of the park. The feeling of picking off waves of Greenskins with your Bolter and slicing down Chaos with your Chain Sword is exhilarating.

The Good:

  • Combat is fun
  • Graphical fidelity and art design is excellent
  • They nail the ranged/melee hybrid combat
The Bad:
  • Level design is a bit dull, both in flow and art assets
  • Without any real character progression, combat gets repetitive as story drags on
The Other:
  • Enemies love to remind you who and what you are: “SPAAAAACE MARINNNESSSS!”
  • If you’re getting the sound-stuttering problem, alt+tab and set spacemarine.exe’s priority to “High” in the Task Manager. Fixed it right up, for me.