Original ‘Space Marine’ reports for duty



It is a cliche in gaming these days that all first and third-person shooters feature bald space marines. Relic shatters that cliche with “Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine,” featuring a space marine with hair!

All joking aside, Relic brings the original space marines from the “Warhammer 40,000” universe into the third-person shooter realm after a long successful bout with the “Dawn of War” real-time strategy series.

Some gamers might be concerned by the “Warhammer 40,000” brand as it is an old tabletop game with a lot of inside lore behind it. I went in as a relative newcomer to the lore and came away with a great experience. The game tells a story that is self-contained within the game’s world without needing any prior knowledge to enjoy it.

With that being said, fans of the “Warhammer 40,000” games will get  numerous references to past characters and factions in the universe.

The player takes on the role of Captain Titus, leader of a small group of Ultramarines. It is their role to wipe out the army of orks (note: this is the correct spelling of ork in this universe) that have invaded the forge world.

What happens next is what I can really summarize as “Gears of War” meets “Dynasty Warriors.” “Space Marine” is a third-person shooter with a wide variety of guns that help the player kill numerous ugly orks with the utmost brutality and efficiency.

While “Gears of War” has a much praised cover system, “Space Marine” ditches the cover system for a “Dynasty Warriors” style melee system that features the infamous chainsword and thunder hammer. This allows for the most brutal of any game in recent memory, with especially fantastic execution moves that are the only way to restore health. You read that right, the only way to restore health in “Space Marine” is to stomp an ork’s head in. Anybody who has played any shooter from the past five years will be able to instantly pick up the game and enjoy it. The reason it elevates itself among its peers is that it does not hold itself down with trying to tell any kind of special story, even though the story in “Space Marine” is quite good.  “Gears of War 2“ flubbed with its horrible scene that was supposed to make gamers cry. “Space Marine” is just pure, unadulterated fun and it never tries to be anything it’s not.

While some may complain after years of being pampered with multiple game modes and multiple maps, the simplicity of the “Space Marine’s” multiplayer makes it that much more enticing. There are no killstreak perks or superfluous add-ons that try to enrich the experience.

When it comes down to it, all of “Space Marine” is just fun. It’s a love letter to what gaming is supposed to be about. We can argue all we want about games being an art form or the educational benefits of games, but at the end of the day gamers just want to be entertained. “Space Marine” has enough entertainment value to bring down an ork and relish chaos marine invasion at the same time.