|Space Marine DVD Cover.|
Two weeks with this game has been an interesting meld of monotony and heart-pounding action.
The game has two main modes of play, the typical single-player, and an online mode.
Single Player Campaign
While nothing new, a third-person perspective on a shooter is still not as good as a first-person in my opinion. The character, being a Space Marine, blocks a good percentage of the screen at times, especially during 'aim' mode. Still, it gave advantages, one being the ability to 'see' past corners with the right camera angle. The story is forgettable, and very linear, but in my opinion, not enough to disappoint the average gamer. Very good learning curve, and while some bosses would definitely require several restarts to beat, the skills learned during the campaign mode will serve one well in the online mode.
Okay, I'm hooked. The online facet of this game, while no Call of Duty, is certainly enjoyable and interesting. Entering online mode without completing the campaign is, in my opinion, just madness. There is no regular jump button, and there are no 'stealth' or quiet modes as well. You are going to be in charge of a huge, hulking Space Marine and you will have to be very quick on the left hand (dodge/evade, roll, aim, etc.) to even hope for a 1:1 K/D ratio. My favorite component is perhaps the customize mode, where you can unleash all your W40k fantasies (on the design aspect, at least). You can only customize a Space Marine/Chaos Marine after reaching Level 4 online though, so you must really invest some time to unlock this. Also, you would start with a limited selection of armor, but the entire color palette is available from the get-go. Weapons are also unlockable as you progress. Maps are few but diverse enough that I was kill leader for several rounds, and suddenly a mid-level support in others (same map).
Game modes are also limited, but very fun. "Seize Ground" is the typical capture control point mode, while "Annihilation" is a first-to-41-kills" affair. 41 kills typically take only several minutes of play, creating a dynamic and fast-paced gameplay. Also, the "Exterminatus" mode is a great way to gain experience points; one teams up with other players and bear the brunt of wave after wave of AI-generated enemies. At the latter waves, they are virtually impossible to kill. Still, quite a fun way to spend an hour or two.
Overall, the beautiful graphics and environment, as well as reasonably well-made sound effects and voice acting make for a beautiful game, once you get past the numbing campaign :) Online mode also ensures you play this for a few more weeks (even months!) after you complete campaign.
Recommended System Requirements:
20GB Hard Drive Space
512MB Video Card or better
Online Steam Account
I play the game on my custom rig which runs on a W7 Pro, i3-2400 quad-core, 4GB RAM, and 2GB Palit nVidia graphics card. Settings all on high, with Internet speed of 512kb/s (Globe Wimax).