In Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine's grim dark future there is only war...and the promise of a cooperative play mode. Alas, it won't be available when the game is (that is, tomorrow), which means you'll have to settle for shooting, pummeling, and sawing through throngs of snarling greenies by your lonesome if this tango in Games Workshop's far-flung future-fantasy dystopia-verse is on your radar.
What?! They made a Warhammer 40k third-person shooter? They sure did, and if you're only now hearing about it, blame THQ, or maybe just marketing budget sense for a change. Do games need ridiculously loud but utterly forgettable paeans to sell? Probably, but the spectacle's still annoying (and ephemeral—no one's going to care or much remember that stuff, looking back).
So Space Marine must not be very good, right? Like publishers trying to sneak crappy books or movies past critics to avoid the inevitable lambast-on? Maybe, but the reaction to the game from those who've apparently unlocked the PC version on Steam, where it's not available, sounds pretty upbeat, so far.
"Played 30 - 40 matches so far, no lag whatsoever, no crashing, so far @SpaceMarine mutliplayer is perfect," adds @GoffRokkit.
"WH 40k Space Marine passes the lodur 15 minute test. brutal, amazing, and captures the mythos of the ultramarine perfectly," concludes @LoduZJ.
The critical reaction? Embargoed until sometime later today. My review copy turned up last week, but I was three or four states east of the home office (in Michigan), hiking around the Appalachian Trail. Space Marine's sitting here unopened, something I expect to remedy this afternoon. If you're wondering what any of this Warhammers stuff's about, see here, and don't forget there's also a demo (for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360).T
The first downloadable content pack, dubbed "Exterminatus," will add cooperative play gratis when it's released sometime next month. Expect the new mode to include two scenarios that'll allow up to four players to hunt some orc cooperatively.
And for those of you naturally wondering "Yeah, but Gears of Warhammer?", have a look at this: