Backlog Burner Episode 5 :: Warhammer 40K: Space Marine

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If you are someone who is well-versed in the history of Warhammer video games, you’ll probably agree when I say that “for every good Warhammer game, there are five worse ones”. For every Dawn of War or Vermintide, there are a plethora of mediocre or even outright terrible titles like Kill Team, Inquisitor: Martyr and Eisenhorn: XENOS (this one didn’t exist! this one didn’t exist! this one didn’t exist!). While the 40K universe is guilty of having the most number of bad games, it’s also where some of the very best ones exist. Oh the juxtaposition!

There’s Only War!

The one game that comes stomping to mind when talking about good 40K games is Relic’s Space Marine. B…but where’s Dawn of War you may ask. Hey, someone has to talk about something other than Relic’s masterpiece for once. In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war! Why can’t the empire and his team of very huggable big ol’ teddie bears enjoy something like…I don’t know…a quiet day in the park for once? Anyways, Space Marine, if you already don’t know, is a solid third person shooter/slasher where you shoot and…slash your way through anything that isn’t allied with the imperium of man. Sheesh…talk about millenials (41st) and their xenophobism. The gist of the story is that Graia, an entire planet dedicated for military production is invaded by everyone’s favorite greenskins (Dakka dakka dakka anyone?). What good is an Ork if he doesn’t try to steal your shit at least once?

Achievement Unlocked: Witness the Average Day of an Ork

The last thing standing between the endless horde of Ork armies and total annahilation are the Ultramarines: the strongest and badass(est?) among the Space Marines chapter in the Imperium of Man and nothing shall stay their wrath! You play as Titus (first name assumed to be Badass), a stoic, battle-hardened veteran and the commander of a company  of Ultramarines, whose members include Sergeant ‘been here, done that’ Sidonus and Leandros, the by-the-book rookie whose has 110% chance to report your butt to the authorities. Covered in armors the size of Humvees and armed with the types of weapons that will make a Fortnite player go “AAAAAA”, it’s upto this band of elite superhumans to purge the green meanies and save the day. Through the destruction of enemies do they earn their salvation.

health kits are for pussies!

For a large part of the game, melee is the key. You get access to increasingly powerful tools of destruction starting from a measly Combat Knife, to a Chainsword (because who doesn’t love an extra bit of sawing while the sharp edge of a sword meets squishy great flesh?), a glorious Power Axe, a slick Power Sword and of course, my personal favourite- the totally badass Thunder Hammer that is slow as the fat man in a marathon and hits like a wrecking ball. If all of this isn’t enough, then certain parts of the game allows you to hop into a jump pack (think jet pack, but more badass) and fly around, crushing foes with the Thunder Hammer. Not only is melee the most effective way to clear hordes of greenskins, the only way for Titus to regain health is to execute enemies in gory fashion that puts even Gears of War to shame. There’s even a rage mode where you basically become invincible while you haplessly mow down enemies of the emperor. Like someone once said, health kits are for pussies!

Titus, voiced by the legendary Mark Strong is the show-stealer in this brutal action adventure. Watching Titus rip, tear, scream, purge and stomp his waythrough hundreds of Orks, just to get to their boss, who honestly looks like as if Shrek had sex with rusted bulldozer and put himself through a garbage grinder. Man don’t I love this game? But wait, there’s more! No Warhammer game is complete without the force of Chaos and Space Marine is no exception. Midway through the game, you have the chance for a lot of meet n greets with chaos marines and show’em the big ol’ iron in your hip.

But of course, you can’t spell Space Marine without mentioning the awesome array of unwieldly looking guns and this game is no exception. Titus’ arsenal includes your standard standard Bolt pistol, a Bolter (Bolt Pistol, but one that is a rifle and is on steroids), the Heavy Bolter, the Stalker Bolter (the most satisfying sniper rifle in all of 41st millenium), an Autocannon, the awesome Storm Bolter (because fuck accuracy), the Vengeance Launcher that launches sticky grenades that can be exploded at will, a Plasma Pistol (pew pew), a Plasma Cannon, the orgasm inducing Lass Cannon and the appropriately named Meltagun. You’ll need as much as you can get because those Chaos Marines can be quite the nuisance with their range induced heresy and fervor towards the Chaos Gods. If all of this didn’t pique you interest then know that there is a Blood Raven mod that turns captain Titus into a frigging Blood Raven and what happens then is one for the history books. Did I already say that I love this game?

The game does get a bit repetitive and the final boss fight is a QTE disgrace. But everything in between is golden. It’s such a shame that the game ends on a cliffhanger and we’ll probably never see the two planned sequels ever again, thanks to THQ’s untimely death long ago. For me, Space Marine nails the experience of being put into the shoes of 500 pound gentetically modified (just like the vegetables in Indian markets) superhumans that can roll better than an average Dark Souls player. Change my mind!

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