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I have been dipping in and out of the Games Workshop universe for the last 24 years. I have played pretty much every computer game ever released relating to Warhammer 40k, ranging from Chaos Gate to all of the THQ titles.

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I am not mentioning this in a bid to awe you with the depths of my geek-fu, I say this to establish my credentials as someone who should be able to give a proper review of this game.

Anyone who remembers the god-awful game Fire Warrior (Games Workshop’s first attempt at a proper first-person shooter) will have been a little anxious over this title and surely expected the worst.

Fortunately the game is nowhere near as bad as I feared but I have to say it is also not as good as I had hoped.

If I had to sum this game up in one word it would be... disappointing.

If you had never played any of the Gears of War or God of War series then you probably wouldn’t notice, but it’s almost like the creators of Space Marine decided they were going to copy the ranged combat of one, mix it with the melee system of the other and then just slap a Warhammer 40k look and feel all over it.

Graphically it has no faults. The models are exceptionally detailed in both geometry and texture, the war-torn landscapes are true to the Warhammer 40k look and feel and the character animations are fluid.

For any Warhammer 40k fan seeing these characters ‘come to life’ as controllable characters in a real-time first-person shooter it is a very powerful thing ... it’s almost poetry in motion.

Sound effects and music do their job very well. My only gripe with the aural aspect of the game is the voice acting, it is truly terrible ... and the fake screams in the dialogue are cringe-worthy.

Now moving onto the weapons - the good stuff :).

Bolt pistol, Bolt gun, Storm Bolter and Heavy Bolter handle as you would expect and feel ‘spot on’.

Meltagun has become this game’s equivalent of a shotgun, and I am not sure how to feel about this as it technically isn’t supposed to have a wide area of effect (unless my memory is faulty, which is more than possible :P) like it has in the game.

Don’t even get me started about the Stalker Bolter, on anything more than lone Orks and Gretchin in the distance (which is rare) it’s practically useless. For those that like to snipe choose the Lascannon any day... nice clean one-hit deaths from headshots.

The game model for the Lascannon seems odd to me. Instead of going with something shoulder-mounted (which is the atypical model for the Lascannon) it looks like they have instead re-modelled it into something lighter that can be carried like an assault rifle.

Other than the Plasma Pistol I didn’t really use the Plasma guns all that much throughout the game.

For melee I stuck to the Power Axe where possible. It is a nice upgrade to the Chainsword and it doesn’t have the weaknesses that the Thunder Hammer possesses.

I dislike that there doesn’t seem to be a cover system, but I guess this is their one attempt at trying to be different to the Gears of War play mechanics.

Any Warhammer 40k player will tell you, regardless of what army you field (even Necron and Tyranid) cover, both light and hard, is a major part of your battlefield tactics.

Finishing moves are a double-edged sword. Other than fury mode it is your only way to regain health within the game and I lost count of the amount of times I died while executing them, which was annoying.

This leads me to another annoyance - the autosave feature. A lot of them are badly placed, meaning there is added tedium for certain bits that you keep dying on.

One final note,

The end-of-game boss was a bit of a letdown and was ridiculously easy.

Summary

Too simple, repetitive, lacking in variety and it could have been so much more.

Overall: 7 out of 10

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