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Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine has been released on PS3 and been provided for us to preview/review by the publisher.
Believe it or not we are still playing it. Here are some extracts of what we made of it in chronological order:
"Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine casts you as a human tank armed to the teeth and able to destroy all in your path. It's empowering stuff, but the surrounding world that tells a more disturbing and bleak story about the rest of humanity..."
- Scared Gamer (Sat, 08 Oct 2011)
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine will attempt to move from real time strategy to third person combat. By balancing both melee and long range combat it aims to differentiate Space Marines from other action games, but with the rich universe of Warhammer so heavily mimicked by other franchises it may struggle.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine sounds about a generic as a game can be in the modern market. It can be easy to forget Games Workshop is the grandfather of chunky armoured military personnel. As their story goes, these seasoned troops were the toughest their empire had to offer and were able to take on dozens at a time, making them the perfect subject for a game.
You follow Titus, a member of the Ultramarines and a prime example of the fictions square jawed champions. In full armour he looks like any number of recent heroes, but if you are familiar with the fiction he stands a perfect recreation of the upstanding Ultramarine chapter, skilled in both close and long range combat.
Relic has been keen to include the multi-discipline nature of a Space Marine's attacks. Both gunplay and melee options bring this into Gears of War territory. The longer range combat is where it stands out though as a variety of missile and sniper options push the player towards more varied strategies.
Perhaps most strikingly to fans of Gears, Space Marine has no cover mechanic. As hardened heroes of the Empire, Ultramarines never cower behind cover instead engaging directly with anything the enemy has to throw at them (ed: that's what the developers said was it?).
To help create this sense of power, enemies are not positioned as real equals to Titus. Instead they will fall quickly but have far greater numbers in order to maintain the challenge. It is a system that may prove refreshing after a glut of titles that have pitched you against bullet sponges.
This more gung-ho approach to combat flows through into melee. Engaging directly with an enemy gives Titus a huge advantage in terms of power with his technically superior weapons, but equally makes him all the more prone as the enemies will find it far easier to swamp him with their superior numbers.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine will be released on 360, PS3 and PC in summer 2011.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: