So I'm doing this now too, sort of. With Nerdgasms and Happy endings on hiatus until next week Moh asked me to review this game for him before he and Tom could discuss it on the next show. I'll admit I've played the table top and while it never really caught my attention in fourth edition the various RTS games have been fun over the years and I truly enjoy the "fluff" as they call it. I even own many of the releases from Black Library.
Now when I say Moh asked me to review this I mean that he forcibly entered my residence, threw his copy of the game onto my dinner table thus scaring my ferret and demanded that I have it back to him in two days time or he would do unspeakable things to my front door knob. I finished the single player campaign once through and played a few games online and even worked with the character customizer.
= Fun story as ever but horrendously predictable. They are following the same old cut and paste of the last 4 or so games they have released. The surprise Ork boss fight was fun and the ending is the suitable dreary, can't catch a break, we all know and love from 40K. this sits on the middle ground for me between good and bad.
+ the atmosphere of the game is magnificent, most of it is played through the ruins of the titanically large Manufactorum and while the halls and doors can get rather repetitive the level design is well thought out and captures the essence of 40k. There's lots of fun little things they did throughout the game to give it this feeling. Guardsmen call you "my lord", correcting themselves when they say "sir" out of habit and even kneel before you at one point.
+ voice acting for all people is fantastic and the little audio file skull probe collectibles are really fun. My favorite is by far the workers who keep coming to the factory despite the ongoing Ork invasion.
+ all weapons are useful and head-shots sound like exploding melons. You'll evenutally tire of seeing the curb stomp execution since no matter what weapon you are using it's going to happen but even the melee weapons play differently from one another and are loads of fun.
+ the best touch of love this game received by far was the means by which Titus gains his upgraded and new weapons. Remember that Space Marines are holy figures to many citizens? Throughout the game you'll come across reliquaries which open at your approach recognizing you as a space marine. Inside are purity seals and weapons for the Astartes, things the unwashed masses should keep their grubby little hands off of. I can just imagine the line up of people that go to offer prayers to a grenade launcher.
+ The thunder hammer, not because it makes Thor look like a wet noodle but because of it's balance. Most of the game is played without the jet pack and you only get pack+ hammer on like 3 occasions so you are usually running. Equipping the hammer means you loose access to any weapon you have aside from your pistol and your bolter. The balance is just SO good since you'll really want that Lascannon in most of the same sections you would like the hammer.
+ Challenging!!! I played through on easy so I could get the whole of the game as quickly as possible. Despite this I found myself of the verge of death for most of the latter third of the game. The game seriously challenges you but not to the degree that Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry 3 does. Because it's still playable the challenge offers a sense of accomplishment you don't see too often anymore.
- The awesome looking character customizer requires you to play for months to complete. You actually don't have access to it at all until you reach level 4 and when you do there are only a few armor pieces you can swap around. While you can fiddle around with the paint editor at level 4 the lack of swapping options for your armor hits you like a brick wall. What's more, you can't unlock these armor pieces (and there are a lot of them) until you fulfill various multiplayer goals. You don't unlock them by leveling up you get them by getting a certain number of kills or assists in a single game or a certain amount of career headshots. It's irritating but it does force you to play the multiplayer to the fullest. Problem is, it's forcing you.
- Multiplayer needs to improve. When I first logged on there were players using kit I thought I would have to game for weeks to get. You are able to steal the loadout of whoever killed you but if you die again you don't keep access to it. those that play longer will have much better weapons than you and it's annoying having just a heavy bolter when half the other team has lascannons. While none of the classes seem over powered in relation to one another there is a very, very serious issue that must be discussed. LAG. I play Halo Reach. Anyone wanna add me online feel free to do so, my name on Xbox live is Aderath. In Reach I occasionally get a laggy game because my xbox is working off a wireless network that has a security password. It slows down my connection a tad but I've never had serious problems with any online Halo or Gears of War. This game was damn near unplayable. You know how I got to level 4? by making a private capture and control game and then playing it alone. out of 5 games with other people I'm sitting at approximately 5 kills and 4 assists against close to 40 deaths. I see the waiting for host message more than I die and because of the incredible lag I die quite a bit. Funniest part is that when I check what the game is saying my connection speed is at I'm at 4 out of 6 bars. In what way is this unplayable with only 2 bars down?
- this one's a minor quip but when you get the thunder hammer the game says it's one of the most powerful and rarest of astartes weapons but then a level later you are finding them and power axes all over the damn place.
- What the hell is up with Melta Guns in the video games? first Melta gun I saw was in Dark Crusade, it was a pistol (ha ha) upgrade you could give your commander and it fired what looked to be orange plasma bolts but you knew they were hotter because they were orange. Then Soul Storm comes out and it becomes a single connecting stream of bright orange lava. This continued into Kill Team despite many novelizations describing it as a microwave cannon. Now it's the short range BFG 9000. It fires in a cone and does truly frightening amounts of damage. It seems to be closer to what they describe in fluff but seems more like an energy shotgun than the bane of tanks it is in the current table top. Not saying it's a bad weapon, I killed 8 blood letters with a single shot of that thing, damn gun's fantastic. Just wish they could get their ducks in a row on this though.
- faces are a little strange, their lips barely move when they talk
- kinda devolves into a hack and slash but if you swap around a few weapons and change up your tactics...well you shouldn't have to work at a game to keep it interesting for you.
This is most definitely a game that will get the hobby some serious converts if the multiplayer can be improved upon.