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Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine - Xbox 360

  • Publisher: THQ
  • Genre:Action, Adventure
  • Developer: Relic
  • Release Date:Sep 6, 2011
  • # of Players:1 player
  • ESRB:M - Mature (Blood and Gore,Intense Violence)
  • Platforms:
Game Description:Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine takes place in the brutal, science fiction setting of Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 universe. In the 41st Millennium, humanity faces extinction at the hands of horrific aliens and demonic hordes. Only one force offers salvation, the superhuman Space Marines. Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is an intense Action-RPG featuring epic battles where players take direct control of the ultimate defender of humanity, the mighty Space Marine.
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Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine Multiplayer Hands-On Preview
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Article_75061

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine Multiplayer Hands-On Preview

By Jake Gaskill - Posted Jul 20, 2011

With Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, the developers at Relic are focused squarely on bringing players nose to bloody nose with the brutal and war torn Warhammer universe like never before while staying true to the dark core that has defined the table top phenomenon for the past 25 years. And nowhere is this more evident than in the game’s competitive multiplayer, which we recently played for the first time at a press event here in Los Angeles.


Space Marine’s multiplayer can be divided into two distinct categories: gameplay and customization. Given Warhammer’s pedigree of giving players endless choice when it comes to personalizing and managing the countless units that comprise the various armies available to players, it’s no wonder that Space Marine features a deep character customization system that lets players tweak, color, and outfit their soldiers--Space Marines and the evil Chaos Space Marines--in 1.8 billion potential ways.

Shoulder protectors, leg guards, arms, chest plates, backpacks, and helmets can all be swapped around and each features a wide variety of textural options (battle scarred, metallic, taut skin, etc.) in addition to numerous color options. For Warhammer buffs would nerd out over painting their own figures, expect to spend a lot of time mixing and matching to find the perfect combination to fit your particular mood. Best of all, think of all the money you’ll save on paint!

While you can create your own armor sets, the game includes a bunch of preset ones you can choose from too. Some of them are unlocked after completing certain chapters in the single-player campaign, and they also include Warband schemes in case you are drawn to a particular army’s style. However you decide to outfit your character, just know that you will not be wanting for options. 

Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine

Once you’ve pimped your space marine to your liking, it’s time to select your class. The game sports three. The Tactical Space Marine/Chaos Space Marine is your classic Arnold Palmer class, a part ranged, part close combat fighter. Assault Marine/Raptor is a strike and flee expert thanks to his jetpack and wicked Chainsword and various other handheld instruments of carnage. Finally, the Devastator/Havoc class is the tank, a lumbering brute with a bone meltingly powerful arsenal at his disposal, whose melee attack—a thundering foot stomp—tells you everything you need to know about this behemoth.

Each class features unique load out options, in addition to a massive number of weapon and armor challenges, skill bonuses, team XP rewards, and character and weapon perks. The challenges range from kill a certain number of enemies with a particular gun to getting killed 50 times, and there are a ton for each weapon. There are also appears to be one for just about every kind of action you could imagine, so everything you do while playing will have a clear impact on your character’s progression as you work your way to the magic 41 level cap.

And if that wasn’t enough, you also get to choose two perks for your character as well, one class based and one weapon based. Each class has its own set of perks, ranging from having your jetpack explode after you die if you’re an Assault Marine to a health regeneration boost if you’re Tactical. The secondary perk pertains to your weapons, so you can add faster reloads or the ability to carry an extra weapon for instance. Again, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to personalizing your marines, so each player can expect to have exactly the type of soldier to fit their playstyle.


Once we had settled on our characters and designed the space marine of our dreams, we jumped into the game’s first multiplayer mode, Annihilation, aka Team Deathmatch. The game handles just as well as it did when we tested out in our Space Marine pre-E3 single-player preview last month, and it didn’t even take a full match before we were strafing, scoping, sawing, and jetting around the maps with ease. One of the quirkiest control issues for me though was picking up ammo.

While the game tells you to tap B to pick up ammo, you actually have to hold it for a few seconds before it registers. I hate it when games force me to approve picking up more ammo, as though I wouldn’t want all the ammo I could get (“No, that’s okay. I don’t need more bullets. I’ll just throw the gun at the other players. No worries.”), so to have this added annoyance was frustrating. Our features editor Kevin Kelly said he liked the tactical factor the ammo grabbing added, and while I can see his point, I’d much rather the game just play out the picking up animation whenever I came across ammo.

The handful of maps we played offered a nice variety of themes and layouts. From an outdoor industrial complex to an indoor stone temple, each map brought something unique to the fray, which in turn influenced how each class could maneuver through the spaces. For instance, while jetpacks work great in open arenas, they are somewhat hamstrung indoors. Or if there’s a large no man’s land, the lumbering Devastator will need to make sure he stays on the periphery so as not to get hung out to dry.

Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine

As for each class, I stuck almost exclusively to the Tactical marines, because they’re ranged weapons, particularly the scoped stalker pattern bolter, are devastating and great for holding back incoming forces, which is especially useful in the game’s second multiplayer mode, Seize Ground. In this mode, each team tries to hold objective markers to accumulate the most points.

The Assault Marine offers high mobility thanks to its jetpack, and it has brutally strong melee weapons, the power axe and massive thunder hammer for instance, but this class requires a great deal of precision in terms of timing your landings. Because they’re all about melee, you have to time your landings perfectly or else the guy you were trying to kill will just backpedal and lay you out. I only played a few rounds with the Devastator, mainly because I’m not a big tank lover, but his highly powerful weaponry definitely make him an attractive option, and the ability to turn him into a human turret (an alt-fire option) is rather nice.

It’s a little surprising Space Marine only features two multiplayer modes, given that the Warhammer franchise is all about player vs. player competition, but what’s here looks to deliver some solid fun for old and new fans alike. We’ll find out how players take to closer, faster, and meaner take on the Warhammer universe when the game ships September 6 on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

Comments are Closed

  • AlliedDrako117

    The only thing that could make this game better is if they had a co-op mode for the campaign and or survival mode!!! :D

    Posted: September 19, 2011 10:37 AM
  • Bitshift3r

    Whether or not the game has native (i.e. non xBox live) multiplayer is going to play a huge roll in whether or not I pre-order the game, or if I wait for it to drop in price in a few years to play it. Halo's always had it. CoD's got it. There's no good reason why this game shouldn't have it too. There are plenty of fun games slated to come out in the next 6 months or so, and as much as I love the 40K IP I'm not going to spend money on a game with little to no replayability. Pure and simple.

    Posted: August 4, 2011 12:45 PM
    Bitshift3r
  • colonel_robcy

    it is going to be a great game it is just getting us read for the rpg warhammer 40k cant wait already got a group of 8 ready for maltiplayer we are going to kick some ass ECG forever (Emperors crafted Guard) i give from what i have seen 10/10 lol

    Posted: July 24, 2011 5:54 PM
  • LeadTeeth

    Although I am, or was, really excited about this game, the lack of a robust multiplayer experience and the choice of three classes (if I read the article correctly) seems kind of lame. The graphics and environments look very similar to Transformers: War for Cybertron and, as the person that wrote the article states, you have to use the 'B' button to grab ammo. I'm worried about this game but I will probably still buy it.

    Posted: July 21, 2011 4:44 PM
  • EKG

    This game looks GREAT! I can not wait for this.

    Posted: July 21, 2011 11:12 AM
    EKG
  • BoydofZINJ

    boy, I was so excited I could not spell purchase

    Posted: July 20, 2011 4:40 PM
    BoydofZINJ
  • BoydofZINJ

    I better upgrade my purcahe to the collectors edition.

    Posted: July 20, 2011 4:39 PM
    BoydofZINJ
  • soldojo

    Well then. I usually am VERY VERY picky about my shooter-esqe games. However, I was sold in about 20 seconds here. Dawn of War is still, in my opinion, the only RTS to ever compete with Starcraft, and (highly, I understand this is subjective and biased) depending on your playstyle and preferences, perhaps surpass it. I'm willing to concede that point as pure bias tho ... SC is to strong a franchise to disregard. Anyways...

    Damn when I saw the guy equip a two handed mace and also a sword and a SMG type gun, instant buy. I agree with Pomoel, total sleeper hit on our hands here!

    I am not going to buy Gears of War 3, even thought I have beaten 1 and 2. I just feel it is so generic. However, the lore of this universe is so strong, so fleshed out, that I feel like this game will be the Demons Souls of this year. Nay, I am PRAYING this will be a sleeper of the year.

    I can still tell you my Wargear\build order setup for an un-f'ing-stoppable rush with an Eldar Council attached to the Hero, and late game supported by the Avatar of Khaine and well placed healing warpgates. Jesus that sh-- was crazy. Like 15 guys just absolutely crushing anything and everything that came near them, and will just wipeout even the best vehicles\Heroes\ultimate units.

    CAN NAWT WAITZ !!!!!!

    Posted: July 20, 2011 2:42 PM
    soldojo
  • Really_another_Sequel?

    Can't wait for this one, wish I could hypernate till September. Since assault marines will be playable, I can't already guess that people will get sick of me saying "STRIKE FROM THE SKIES, BROTHERS!" And when I see someone not playing I'll probably say something like "Heresy grows from idleness". You know what I'll more then likely end up quoting many well known space marine lines.
    I'll look like such a nerd doing so, but I'll love every minute of it.

    Posted: July 20, 2011 2:05 PM
    Really_another_Sequel%3f
  • lowkevmic

    @Pemoel- I agree. It's coming out just 2 weeks before Gears of War 3, so with that release alone, it will be swallowed up by all the hype behind Gears 3. But I've been following this game since they announced it last year. But it will definitely be a sleeper hit of the holiday season.

    Posted: July 20, 2011 1:27 PM
    lowkevmic
  • Pemoel

    I... smell...

    Sleeper hit.

    Posted: July 20, 2011 1:11 PM
    Pemoel
  • Madbagofhorses

    I've never felt the shame of premature ejaculation until now. The video has not even left the character customization screen and I'm already going limp after having blown my full load.

    Posted: July 20, 2011 12:02 PM
    Madbagofhorses
  • Bonedegon

    I did not know till just now that there was a multiplayer aspect to the game. It kind of makes me wander if they planned to wait to mention about it, or they added it last minute because they thought it would help with sales. The game looks great, and multiplayer sounds great for the game. I just hope they have a really strong game altogether.

    Posted: July 20, 2011 11:23 AM
    Bonedegon
  • lowkevmic

    I AM TOTALLY BUYING THIS GAME!!!!

    Posted: July 20, 2011 10:47 AM
    lowkevmic
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