First off, I’d like to apologize for the lack of content over the past few weeks. School sucks. Going to take the entire weekend and try to catch up in everything, and maybe if lucky get a little ahead so I can get back on to a normalish schedule. Again, I apologize and thank you for sticking with me. Now, on to the gore!

Today we’ll be talking about something I’ve been wanting to discuss for a while, an upcoming game by the name of Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. Yes, you play a Space Marine. Sorry, I should have spoiler tagged that. Anyways, you and your power armored buddies are sent off to something called a Forge World to go murder everything in the universe. You think I’m kidding, just wait. Once there, things quickly go bad, the stakes are raised, and it’s up to you to save the day. Note I’ve basically boiled away everything and just left a bare-bones plot there, it’s better than that, but not what we’re here to talk about. No, today we’re going to talk about player power, and how establishing power levels in context is important.

First off, let’s look at some of the more recent titles. How many of them involve you playing a grizzled, war-forged badass who, either in the back story or in cutscenes is some ravaging unstoppable monster, but in actual game play has to hide behind cover and suck their thumb for a health bar to come back? It’s basically the newest trope in first-person and third-person shooters. Recovering health and hiding behind cover. It’s not a terrible way to do a game, if only every other shooter wasn’t trying it and some of those doing it extremely poorly. So where does this leave Space Marine?

Murdering everything?

You have a shield, so… check to that trope. And there is cover. But you don’t use it.

Not in Space Marine.

You are the cover. The shield falls fairly quickly, and your life bar never replenish on its own. So how to you heal? Murder. Murder everything. Executions give varying amounts of health, but the one overriding factor is it’s always enough to keep you going. Now, going back to what I said before, in the Warhammer 40,000 (hereby shortened to “40k”) lore, space marines are literal tanks compared to normal men. Their power armor is incredibly durable, they have undergone years of extensive genetic modification and training, and very few things can win a one vs one fight with a space marine. In fact, a small force of Space Marines is all it takes for the human faction to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. So how does it feel to play one?

Yes. You get to play as this. Every bit as amazing as you think.

Well, read above. It feels like that. Space Marine brings back the lost and no-less-fun play style of murdering everything that has the poor misfortune to move, and in incredibly satisfying ways. The demo has the first fight you go into be against no less than what feels like twenty to forty Orks. And these Orks will kill you if you treat them like basic mooks. So how do you treat them? Like enemies to be crushed under your boot! You’re default weapon load out is a Bolt Pistol (think of a hand gun crossed with an RPG launcher) and a Chainsword. Yes,  you read that right. It’s a chainsaw that looks like a sword. Notice I said basic before, we’re only getting started here. There is also the sniper-rpg-pistol, an actual grenade launcher, and a fully automatic rifle that fires bolter rounds. And this is the Demo. The first level of the Demo, with five weapons available to use. The bolter rounds sounds like a bone shattering impact, the chainsword has a satisfying grind to it. Above all else, these are the tools you need to get the job for almost any playstyle. Want to play it like a normal 3rd person shooter? Use the scoped bolter and grenade launcher to avoid damage. Want a little more action? Bolt Rifle. Want to play an actual Space Marine? Grab that Bolt Pistol and Chainsword and go murder everything.

Orks put up enough of a fight to be a serious problem if left unattended, bit nothing the player can’t handle. Gretchin are weak, but swarm. Nobs (bigger Orks) run about smashing everything in their path. And you can take all of them down. Enemies feel varied and alive in action and swarm to kill you, and it’s up to you to kill them. Executions feel visceral and give the hit-points to keep going, your large arsenal gives you the tools for range, and your Chainsword gives you all the power you need for a close range kill.

Close range is best range.

Honestly, this is a game I’m looking forward too. A lot. It has the right mix of tough enemies and tougher players that makes the player feel powerful and potent without reducing enemies to faceless mooks without any power themselves and without throwing the player as high up a power-curve as the dev’s arms can handle. If you like visual games with a certain flair, Warhammer 40k, or just something to blow some steam off on, check out this game. The demo is on Steam now, and the game releases next week. If you do buy it make sure to check out the multiplayer. I’ll be chopping heads in melee and having a general blast.

For Chaos!

"And give yourself body and soul to chaos!"