Space Marine is Relics first attempt to bring the massively popular Real Time Strategy game to the third-person shooter realm. The plot revolves around a group of Ultramarines who are tasked with stopping an Ork invasion from conquering the Forge World and looting/dismantling the imperium’s newly developed Warlord Class Battle Titan.
Plot [Spoiler Warning]:
You are playing as Captain Titus, along with Sidonus and Leandros. Together you are tasked with securing the Titan and slow down the invading Ork forces. Along the way you are provided support from 2nd Lieutenant Mira and the Imperial Guards whom she leads against the invasion. Your first task is to shut down an orbital cannon which is preventing reinforcements from providing aid in slowing down the invasion.
Along the way you receive a distress signal from Inquisitor Drogan requesting assistance inside the Foundry and warns of an experimental weapon to which the Orks cannot get their hands upon inside. Once arriving, Inquisitor Drogan asks you to grab a Warp-infused power core capable of ripping a hole in the fabric of reality if it were to be damaged in any way.
Inquisitor Drogan informs you he has a weapon that can wipe out the invading Orks and leads you to his research facility, where you are lead through a maze of lab rooms until you reach the device. Upon activation, the device opens a rift in reality which allows Nemeroth, a Chaos Terminator Sorcerer Lord to come through into the forgeworld with a small fleet of demons and Chaos Marines to conquer the galaxy.
Before you are killed by Nemeroth, the Ork Warboss begins to attack Nemeroth leaving you time to escape with the power source and regroup. At this point Leandros begins to question your mental stability due to your strong immunity to the warp to which he believes is a sign that Captian Titus might be in legion with the Chaos. You then begin to return to the Foundry to use the power source to super-charge the Battle Titan and attempt to destroy the warp gate so as to prevent the Nemeroth from bringing his army through the warp gate.
Upon super-charging the Titan and destroying the warp gate you hand off the power supply to Sidonus who heads towards the extraction zone while you and Leandros take the long way around and stop the invading chaos from approaching the Titan. Once you arrive at the extraction point, Nemeroth warps behind Sidonus, killing him and taking the power supply for himself so he may offer it to the Chaos Gods in return for ultimate power. Once extraction arrives you take a solo mission to enact vengeance for your fallen battle brother. Upon making your way across a bridge with backup from the Bloodravens and fellow Ultramarines you arrive to a Thunderhawk ready to bring you to the spire where Nemeroth resides.
After climbing the tower, you confront Nemeroth who proclaims that he is the next Prince of Chaos and after a long battle against a swarm of demons and Choas Marines you tackle Nemeroth off of the spire platform where you free-fall towards the power supply while fighting one another. You then smash in Nemeroth’s skull, sending him back to the Chaos realm and you grab the power supply, breaking it within your hands and ending the threat of a Chaos invasion. Afterwards you are confronted by 2nd Lieutenant Mira who informs you the Imperium has sent plenty of reinforcements and they are driving back the Ork invasion. As your being to walk out you see Leandros, and behind him arrives a ship with another Inquisitor upon it, the Inquisitor tells you that he would like to study how Captain Titus is immune to the Warp and that if the Ultramarine did not come quietly, the Inquisitor would treat everyone to be a traitor and kill them in the name of the Imperium. Captain Titus follows the Inquisitor and before leaving, tells Leandros that he is to blame for calling the Inquisitor and that he failed at being a true Ultramarine.
This is the first attempt Relic has made to bring the Warhammer universe to an action shooter genre, and it does work. While I do have complaints about the constant non-combat walking you have to do for almost more than 2 hours throughout the game in total it does make it up by having a very expansive and vast world. The plot was a straight-forward story, there were no choices to make other than which weapon would kill the most enemies. The controls are pretty basic as well, only a few combo moves can be performed with melee weapons, which are the same for every weapon. There are also a vast amount of weapons;
- Combat Knife
- Power Axe
- Heavy Bolter
- Stalker Pattern Bolter
- Storm Bolter
- Bolt Pistol
- Vengeance Launcher
- Plasma Cannon
- Power Sword
- Plasma Gun
- Plasma Pistol
- Thunder Hammer
The combat is fast yet difficult. There are different types of enemies, all with different weaknesses and levels of strength. Most of the combat is done in large scales, where you are fighting at least 5-7 Orks or Chaos at one time which can be rather difficult when you have rockets, lasers and axes coming your way and your only course of action is to purge the heretics. There are moments where the enemies seem to have a love for just holding down the trigger even while hiding behind cover, making it almost impossible to do much of anything since they will resume firing once they see you. I have also ran into the problem of Orks taking far too many bullets from a Stalker Pattern Bolter before keeling over. Otherwise the combat is fluid and fun.
Normally this isn’t an issue in most games; however, I would like to make a special section just for itself. Around 4 hours into the game I came to realize that the AI doesn’t do much of anything. I don’t mean this as in they just have horrible aim or hide for too long, which were some of the less troubling issues in this game, but predominantly the largest problem I had with friendly AI is their lack of assistance. It might just be because I was playing on the hardest setting, but I noticed that during most large scale battles the AI would just wander around aimlessly. Almost looking as though they have no clue there is a full scale assault going on right in front of them. On more than 5 occasions I have caught the AI glitching behind a wall just running in hopes the wall would crumble magically or it couldn’t figure out why everyone kept getting further away.
The enemy AI is not much different either. In some cases I have noticed times where the AI would simply wait for me to come to it, never popping out. Most of these enemies happened to be the ones who’s heat signature somehow controlled the door to the next room as it would not open until it died. Oddly enough, this problem ceased to be an issue when I was trudging through the solo portion of the campaign, almost as if my fellow friendly AI’s pure stupidity was infecting the very enemies around them.
I’ll be honest, this game is short. And not that sort of short because you didn’t do something or skipped certain battles (because those heat sensing doors are everywhere), the game is only around 6-8 hours long (and that was on the hardest setting) with the addition of searching for some secret rooms and floating skull diaries. I find that the game is more heavily focused on the multi-player portion which is slightly disheartening seeing as how the campaign had such potential. While there is room to explore the vast world, and plenty of time spent on battles, if you find a routine and stick with it, you find that a small 10-15 enemy skirmish shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes, which leaves you plenty of time to walk through those vast, empty freshly blood-stained area’s. If you were to spend your time looking for all the skulls (which aren’t hidden too secretively), you might knock up the length and extra hour or so but they don’t provide much depth into the game aside from an understanding that no one seems to have any friends to talk to but floating skulls.
The Part most of you will spend time playing (unless you really want to hear those floating skull diaries). The multi-player is alright, There are three different classes to choose from; Tactical Marine/Chaos Space Marine, Devastator Marine/Chaos Havoc, and Assult Marine/Chaos Raptor. I personally chose the Chaos because I felt it would be the less popular choice, I was wrong, it seems the lack of choices makes everyone pretty much similar. Like most online shooters, you gain experience for winning or killing, that experience can be used to purchase weapons and perks for customizing your Marine and once you have a perfect Marine you just…keep playing against people who look like yourself, but nowhere near as creative or flowing with individuality as your Marine. There are two games modes; Annihilation which is just a standard version of Team Death Match and Seize ground which is just team objective matches…except for the most popular one, capture the flag which will not arrive until a later update.
The game is sub-par. I enjoyed playing the campaign, I liked smashing in Ork and Choas heads into the pavement in a bloody display of pure boss status, but once the blood dried and I snapped out of my unbridled rage and fury for the Emperor I wasn’t left feeling much satisfaction I had hoped I would from a Warhammer game. The Plot was well done, and while Multi-player didn’t offer much in the realm of unique, it did give me a chance to finally make a 3D model of that precious Warhammer piece I painted in real life…only not as messy and seen by a lot more people.
If you are into the Warhammer series and can’t get enough of it, I suggest you stop whatever it is you are doing and grab this game right now. If you are someone who needs something to keep them occupied while you are procrastinating doing that important thing for someone then this might be what you are looking for to pass the time, if you are looking for something to keep you occupied until Skyrim comes out, I am afraid you are out of luck.