One of my biggest surprises at E3 was the announcement of another Warhammer 40k game, this one a console exclusive. This newest outing in the Warhammer universe already looks ready to top the previous lackluster offering on the consoles, Fire Warrior. With a mix of in-game combat and several mouth dropping cutscenes Space Marine is looking like a game to watch this year.
From the set-up that was shown the game seems to deal with the Orkz invading an Imperial Planet with the Space Marines stepping in to stop them. There were grunts and Nobz being gunned down while they attempted to use superior numbers to overwhelm the guardians of humanity. But when the gameplay started you rapidly saw just what we were looking at here. Four man Space Marine squads fighting off armies of the Dakka screaming lunatics? Oh hell yes.
With it's basic appearance Warhammer 40k: Fire Warrior looks like a mix between Mass Effect and Too Human. Even at this early stage the graphics look really good, allowing your well detailed Ultramarine to hammer, cleave and shoot their way through large waves of enemy cannon fodder. The demo showcased had a four man squad of Space Marines, each with a different weapon type, supporting each other as they fought towards what appeared to be an Ork leader.
The four man squad has a lot of promise to it but Relic was mum on the issue of co-op or multiplayer at E3. Their only solid stance is that they are they are known for their good Warhammer games and good multiplayer elements. They're quite intent on making sure that this title does the universe justice. It stands to reason that there will be some sort of online multiplayer and a few comments hinted at the possibility that a competitive multiplayer component might pop itself up, allowing you to play as the Orkz.
Character customization was mentioned as a very high point of the title. In the demo they showed a Space Marine slapping on an Assault Pack, a powerful jet pack device, and crashing into a group of Orkz, scattering them. A few vicious hits with his Power Hammer was all it took to clean up the crowd. In that screen there seemed to be more options for you to switch up your weapons, equipment and level up. So depending on what directions they take this could be a fairly robust, replayable title.
One thing that really stood out was closer to the end of the movie they showed. In the cutscene you can see a Titan walking around and blasting the Orkz which is pretty cool. But just before an orbital bombardment strikes like a miniature nuke you can see what almost appears to be a Hive Tyrant marching towards the Marines. Between that and the bit at the beginning that speaks of the taint of Chaos, the evil that seeks to corrupt the universe, this promises to be a wild ride through the dark and gritty Warhammer 'verse.