Last weekend I played through Warhammer 40K: Space Marine on my PS3 (yeah, I know I am bit late with that one). First I have to admit that I always enjoy visiting the Warhammer 40K universe with those fancy space marine servo suits, orks in space and the over-sized weaponry. Sadly, the story and the dialogues are completely forgettable and the game would have been more enjoyable with a bit more variety within the level and art design.
But we’re in the grim dark 40th century and looking for some action, right? In most cases you start approaching the enemy’s forces by some short-range shooting with your guns but end in close-combat surrounded by a group of enemies. That’s not only because your Space Marine rocks in close-combat but also due to the fact that the only way to regenerate health is dropping finishing moves on your enemies at close range.
Sometimes the third-person camera comes so close to your servo suit hero that you have to manually zoom out, while bashing buttons or continue bashing buttons and pray to the emperor that you’ll hit some foes. You may get used to this issue, but close-combat has a much more serious problem. If you’re starting a finishing move a fixed animation starts and will last some seconds with optional quick-time event button pressing to overwhelm your combatant. During this fixed finishing scene no other enemy can touch you in close-combat, which works similar to the quick-time events and finishers in God of War or other hack’n slay games. I am ok with the fact that other enemies can shoot at you during the finisher, but which really annoyed me was the fact that – especially later on in the game – there was a high chance that someone would throw a grenade right to your feet during the finisher phase. You see the grenade landing nearby, hear the warning – and can do absolutely nothing. Neither can you stop the finisher nor can you kick back the grenade or evade it. You just sit there and watch your Space Marine die. Dear Relic Entertainment – why not include another quick-time event to add a chance to escape this situation?
Shooting works out pretty fine until you come across a stationary weapon that is even larger than your super-sized weapons you already carry around. To use the weapon you have to approach the weapon and press a button, which shows up when you stand in the right area of interaction. Sounds pretty easy. But the tolerance for the area of interaction seems to be pretty small, so I often walked back and forth several times to exactly hit the right spot in order to use or rip-off the super-sized weapon in front of me (ripping it off is always better to keep moving and make a use of cover). Being veteran gamers we all know that big guns are there for a reason (e.g. large waves of enemies or boss fights) and that’s why it is a frustrating experience when you approach the weapon and cannot use it immediately because those enemies won’t wait until you are ready. Come on, Space Marines are not known for their fine motor skills, so why do I have to take several attempts to use the big guns?
That said, Space Marine delivers great combat action but it would lead to less frustration if someone would have taken care of these issues.