Gaming News: Thoughts on the Space Marine Demo

Gaming Developer Relic, famed for their RTS series “Company of Heroes”, “Homeworld” and “Dawn of War”, are branching out into 3rd-person action games with the Warhammer 40k themed Space Marine. Much of the pre-release build up has made this look like a gore-splattered pile of fun, so the release of the demo had be rushing to my PC. So how does it actually play?

As you might expect from both the game title and any passing knowledge of the 40k world, you play a Space Marine, a futuristic super-soldier clad in power-armour and wielding a chainsword and bolter against the enemies of the Imperium of Man; an organisation that combines the worst of elements of feudal europe and religious intolerance. There is, as they say, only War.

Gameplay wise Space Marine plays to the idea that the average Marine is a superhuman – foes come in huge hordes full of easily dispatched individuals, leaving you switching between your ranged weapns as they close before switching to your melee weapon to merrily hack away at point blank range. Your health bar can be refreshed either in the now-traditional “stay out of combat” way or by stunning and then using “finishing move” on a chosen victim – the latter not making a whole heap of sense but is quite satisfying to do.

It’s a little too hectic at times; I get the impression that you can string combos together in melee for greater effectiveness but in general I just ended up flailing around with the chainsword and that certainly did the blood-spattered job. The shorter of the two demo levels introduces a Jet-Pack, which brings a little bit of tactics to how you approach the game, and is certainly a heck of a lot of fun to use, but on the whole this is a game of crushing your foes and sending them wailing before you.

On the whole it’s an impressive demo for a game that looks like it could be a whole lot of fun. Included in the full release is a multi-player component and a co-op mode for the campaign is promised for about a month post-launch. For some reason Space Marine isn’t showing up on the UK Steam page at the moment, but you can get the demo from the main game site at http://www.spacemarine.com/

GS Reporter: Matt

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