I've been killing a lot of orks lately. Yeah, it's spelled with a K in the 40K universe. Since my last entry, I've finished both Kill Team and Space Marine, both melee and shooting based action games set in the grim, dark future. Kill Team was really just a diversion--a cheaply done couch co-op only blast and bash fest 5 stages long. Nothing serious. Space Marine was a much bigger fish to fry. It's a full on retail release, and as such, has to compete with the best in field, and being as it's on the fence between two fields, it's got to measure up to two titans of gaming: Gears of War and God of War. Even for a future where there is only war, that is a tall order.
Space Marine won't wow you like either of those titles, either in terms of spectacle or overall quality, but it does a pretty good job, considering the competition. As Ultramarine captain Titus, you lead the charge in fending off an invasion of orks on a valuable world that houses the factories that build Titans, the giant death robots of the Warhammer 40K universe. You will shoot/slice thousands of greenskins--and later minions of Chaos--on your way to the game's finale. It's good fun. Space Marine combines the gunplay of Gears with the simple combos of God of War, but does away with the stop 'n' pop of the former and the ponderous puzzles of the latter. It's a very lean concept, so it's probably best that the game isn't too long, coming in at about 8 hours or so, by my estimate. My favorite sections of the game were the jump-pack sections where Titus is armed with a giant power hammer and rocket jump ability. You know where this is going, right? Ground pound. It's too bad that those sections are few and far between.
Space Marine also has a multiplayer mode, but I haven't gotten around to checking that out just yet. Going off of Relic's (the developer) track record, we should see some good post-release support for the game, so I'm looking forward to trying the multiplayer and whatever else they might add to the game. I'm also down for an eventual sequel, supposing they are able to make one. The story didn't leave it hanging exactly, but our character was bound for something interesting in the epilogue. Check out Space Marine if you're into action games or Warhammer 40,000, especially.
I've played a bunch of other little things, too, including Dead Nation from PSN (twin stick zombie apocalypse score mechanic/upgrade system shooter), Track Mania (PC stunt race/time trial/mini-golf esque racing game), and Shining Force (Genesis proto-SRPG).
Also, there's a whole other post's worth of writing I need to do about Jamestown, Sengoku, Warhammer 40K: Squad Command, and Tactics Ogre, but if that is ever written, it won't be tonight. Sleep for the Sleep God!