Iím a big fan of Warhammer 40K. I tend to eat up anything that involves pixel versions of Space Marines, Vindicare Assassins, Orks, Eldar and so on. Iíve played lots of 40K games including Dawn of War, Dawn of War 2 and especially the old classic Space Hulk remake for the 3DO. Yet Iíve always wanted something a bit more visceral and more hands on, something where I could play the Emperorís finest.
Well, now THQ have given that chance in spades. Not only with the imminent release of Space Marine but with Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team. It is a rather engaging third person isometric twin-stick shooter that serves as a prequel or aside to the events in Space Marine. The bottom line with Kill Team is that itís well worth the 800 microsoft points to purchase and unlocks a Power Sword for Space Marine if you finish a mission in the game.Story
Simply put...Orks are coming in a massive Ork Kruiser to smash a Space Marine Forge World, their home base for those of you who havenít a clue. A drop pod is sent to the ship and aboard it are two Space Marines. The finest warriors of a holy order of Battle Brothers to serve the Imperium of Man. They are tasked with the shipís destruction and they must fight through the belly of the beast, past thousands of Orks to wreak havoc.Gameplay
Itís a delightfully simple game, a twin-stick shooter that runs from an isometric 3d viewpoint. The left stick controls your movement; the right aims and fires the chosen weapon that you have equipped. The bumpers are assigned to special moves, grenades and so on. A lets you attack in melee. The controls are a breeze and extremely responsive allowing you to concentrate on the meat of the game, following your commanderís objectives and putting an end to countless Ork lives with a spray of bullets or a swing of a power axe.
The objectives are quite fun and some of the missions mix things up with big boss fights, requiring a little thought and tactical planning. There are also power ups that can be activated in the game, only one of these can be active at once so itís best to think about the situation at hand. Do you want the quad fire or rapid fire...or perhaps youíre being swarmed and 30 seconds of invulnerability is what the medic ordered? Need health quick, well that health restore power up would just about hit the spot!
You can choose from several Space Marine Chapters, picking from the likes of the Ultramarines, Blood Ravens and so on. They offer a cosmetic change only. You can choose from 4 Space Marine classes in Kill Team, these have various statistics that mean theyíre good in ranged or melee combat or a mix of both. They can be equipped with a few primary weapons and at least 2 unlockable perks, which are unlocked by killing lots of Orks and scoring high points in combat.
Perks are extra health, bonus special power and duration, extra grenade slots and so on. They run from bronze to gold and offer bigger bonuses to the Space Marine at the higher tier.
The 4 classes are:
The Sternguard Veteran: A ranged specialist can be equipped with the likes of a Heavy Bolter, Plasma Cannon and Missile Launcher. His special ability is focussed fire that lets a massive damaging stream of firepower loose upon his enemies.
The Vanguard Veteran: Up close and personal, equipped with the likes of the power sword, chainsword and so on. The Vanguard Veteran can also use a jump pack assault as his special ability.
The Techmarine: A medium range specialist that can equip a variety of support weapons including the fearsome Melta gun. He is supported in combat by his deployable special move, the auto-turret.
The Librarian: A melee based character, with some ranged power, the Librarian is a powerful psychic and his special summons a psychic storm that can wreak havoc on his enemies. He can be equipped with the likes of the force sword and so on.
The classes all offer something different in terms of their weapons, base stats and potential to give different types of players a role in a battle. I really do like the Techmarine since the Melta is a formidable weapon and the turret is highly useful to protect your back as you take on waves and waves of tough Ork warriors.
The game uses reasonable checkpoints to keep track of progress and there arenít very many frustrating missions. Youíre scored at the end of a section and awarded a bonus score for a faster completion time. Missions can take 30 or so minutes to complete at first with your time lowering as you become more familiar with the way that KT works and plays.
There are also survival modes that pit you against waves of Orks outside of the main campaign.