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Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine Gamescom Preview

Showcased by THQ at Gamescom this year was the latest installment to the Warhammer 40,000 series, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine.

Developers, Relic Entertainment have opted to take the series down a different path. The developers want to explore in more depth, who are the space marines and what are they all about, they feel they can express this better by ditching the RTS genre typically associated with this franchise and making a third-person action title instead.

space marines

Relic played through a few different segments of the game to show us what we could expect from the finished project. The first section detailed the beginnings of the game, The Orks are trying to take over a planet sized factory. The Titan factory creates all kinds of weaponry, which would spell certain doom for the world if the Orks managed to get their grubby mitts on them. This is where you, the space marines come in. You need to stop the Orks taking over the factory at all costs.

Space Marine

The first scenario shows you shooting out the side of a plane you have commandeered called the Valkyrie. You have to defend this plane from various airborne attackers using mounted guns, it's fast paced and frantic and looks to be pretty good fun. Eventually your best efforts are overcome and your plane crash lands in the middle of what looks like an old-style stone city which has seen many a fight and has been pretty much completely levelled.


Relic wanted to replicate the feel of the Warhammer 40,000 universe the best they could, and you can see that they have made a real effort to do so. Tall buildings tower above you, everything is of a grand scale. Big stone archways and dilapidated buildings add to the Gothic aesthetics and feel of the world around you.

The next section of the demonstration gave an insight into how the combat works, moving around and shooting is all done with a standard third-person view. What makes the combat interesting however is the fluid change from shooting to melee combat. In the blink of an eye you can go from shooting a wave of Ork fodder to slicing them apart with whatever melee weapon you have equipped, in the demo it was a rather brutal looking chainsword that sliced through enemies rather nicely leaving a trail of blood, guts and dismembered body parts around.

melee combat

There is no ‘snap to' cover available as they feel that it would contradict the seamless feel of the combat, having to stop and find cover. They want you to march right in there, blast everything and really throw your weight around. Relic want you to feel the power behind the Space Marine, big and strong, with heavy armour and heavy attacks, smashing through the destructible scenery and laying waste to hundreds of bloodthirsty Orks. Aiding you in this task are three AI partners which gather around you and watch your back looking out for incoming threats and taking them out.

Story wise, the game is considered to be very linear. Relic say that you don't need to have played the other related RTS titles in the series to understand the story so newcomers will not be lost but there will be references to the Warhammer 40,000 universe that fans of the series will be able to recognise so they will find themselves right at home amongst familiar surroundings and characters.

Space Marine

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, seems to be a quality entry into the universe, with plenty of action and a good story which should please fans and newcomers alike. The combat looks to be the real gem of the game with the seamless swapping between shooting and melee fighting allowing you to chain together multiple kills. Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is planned for release in early 2011.

Angelfromabove | 26th August, 2010
azrael316's picture
bustercapinme's picture
where's the tape measure and the 24 sided dice i ask you?
azrael316's picture
Originally Posted by bustercapinme View Post
where's the tape measure and the 24 sided dice i ask you?
Tut,Tut.. WH40K only uses 6 sided dice...

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