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Reasonably Priced Game of The Week
With the economy the way it is many of us are looking at the £49.99/$59.99 price tag on brand new games, heaving a heavy sigh of dismay and walking away from the store depressed. However you need not anger your wallet to get your mitts on some quality gaming fun, oh no. In this article I will offer up a great game that can be found on the internet at a great price meaning you can all get some serious bang for your buck.
As the first ‘Reasonably Priced Game’ I give you ‘Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine’. This is a game I picked up three weeks ago and have thoroughly enjoyed so far, it also only set me back £6 (Around $9.60) so it is indeed, reasonably priced.
Space Marine is a third-person-shooter that feels like the illegitimate love child of Gears of War and Dynasty Warriors. You take the role of the overly masculine Captain Titus of the Ultramarines and are deployed on an Imperial planet that’s under attack by an Ork horde. The gameplay forms a deep and gripping storyline that twists and turns in many unexpected ways making you want to play that extra mission to find out more. For those who are fans of the Warhammer Table Top games there is the extra delights of seeing some those figures on your desk come to life.
The environments in Space Marine are vivid and interesting, at first. There are only so many times you enjoy looking at ruined manufactorums, which is where you do end up spending much of the game, however some scenes such as the ‘Architects Bridge’ are works of developing genius. The environment prove to be very linear with little opportunity to deviate from the set path, except the odd corridor or room that hides a servo skull. Now this would be a problem if you’re on cold turkey after 60 solid hours of Skyrim, not so much of a problem if you’re a Call of Duty bandit.
The mechanics of the game are quite special and almost the best thing about it. Space Marine pulls the clever trick of having effective third/first person weapons, coupled flawlessly with button mashing melee. You can effortlessly switch between your long range Storm Bolter to your devastating Thunder Hammer with the tap of a button, meaning you get the best of the shoot ’em up and the beat ’em up genres.
This makes combat more about tactics as it relies on the correct level of both gun and melee use to work best, making it a rather refreshing experience. The weapons are great and get better and better throughout the game, climaxing at some really bad ass tools of destruction such as the Lascannon which literally disintegrates enemies.Combat rolls and combos are simple to execute and add even more dynamics to combat situations, in many cases a quick roll to the left is the difference between health and no health.
The mention of health brings me to my biggest quibble with this game. The health. Games generally follow one of two health systems, you have your ‘Hide until your screen stops bleeding’ system or your ‘Find a health pack’. Now the developers of Space Marine decided not to do that as instead the only way to get more health is to perform an execution on an enemy. Simple enough, in fact it proves to be enjoyable at the beginning when enemies are easier to kill but later on it makes the game really tough which some people will like. I myself started to get a little peeved and was willing my screen to start bleeding and gain a heartbeat. Ultimately it doesn’t ruin the game but it can cause it to become slightly tiresome at times.
So when it does, go and play it online. The online experience offered by Space Marine ticks all the boxes when it comes to things you can do. You customize your character with just about everything from paint job to skull and seal trinkets, you create custom load-outs in the form of classes and you get to execute your mates. Priceless. Unfortunately you do have to pay for extra DLC to get above level 5 but you are supplied with enough fancy stuff to fully enjoy the online mode without it. I would, however, encourage scrounging together loose change for the Dreadnought DLC though, it’s simply awesome getting to drive one and for 800 Microsoft Points its not the most expensive DLC ever brought out.
All in all it’s an incredibly sound game with a brilliantly interesting storyline, stunning albeit short lived scenery, well developed enemies and AI, fun weapons, both gun and melee, satisfyingly long campaign and enjoyable online multiplayer. For £6/$9.60 this is my first Reasonably Priced Game of The Week. Enjoy.