Until now, fans of Warhammer 40,000 aka Warhammer 40K were stuck with two formats – the tabletop miniatures war game or PC based video games. There have only been three Warhammer 40K titles that weren’t for the PC, and two of those were for portable consoles. Pretty much your only choice for playing Warhammer on the big screen were the old PSX fantasy titles, Shadow of the Horned Rat and Dark Omen, neither of which were games that I personally enjoyed.
Now though, console fans finally have not one, but two Warhammer 40K current generation titles coming their way. Space Marine comes out next month but now we have Kill Team, a ten dollar downloadable title for the 360 and PS3 that promises to play like classic shooters of yesteryear with co-op play to boot. I haven’t played enough of the game to give it a full review, but while you are all waiting for that, here are ten quick thoughts I have on the game and if it’s worth both your money and your time.
1. Wow. Cheap affordable Warhammer? How often does that happen? Anyone that collects the miniatures knows what I’m talking about…
2. You have a choice of six teams: Blood Ravens, Ultramarines, White Scars, Imperial Fists, Blood Angels and Salamanders. Blood Ravens are the correct thematic choice in Warhammer 40K for a hack and slash style game, so I went with them.
3. You have four classes: Librarian (with a psychic shockwave), Vanguard Veteran (with a jump pack), Techmarine (with a tarantula turret) and Sternguard Veteran (with focused fire). I went with the Librarian. Each character has customizable weapons and can equip up to two perks. There are twenty-six different perks to unlock so there’s a lot you can do to create a Space Marine that stands out from the pack.
4. The game plays like a general hack and slash game. It has some RPG elements ala a Champions of Norrath or Marvel Ultimate Alliance and it plays like the PS2 era Contra games and Smash TV. It’s very addicting and a lot of fun. It brings me back to the classic days of run n’ gun or hack and slash games.
5. Perks appear to unlock based on different things that you do. For example, I unlocked one by killing thirteen enemies in a row with my ranged attack without moving. Others will be unlocked by performing repeat actions or are slowly earned over time
6. The camera is fixed, which can be both bad and good. Sometimes the camera will stick in such a way that you can’t really see things, but eventually it does right itself. It is better than a controllable camera that likes to set itself at weird angles that you’ll have to fix at inopportune moments,
7. So many orcs, so many more bullets. The game presents a very nice balance between melee and ranged combat although as you can imagine, your gun should always be blazing simply for a tactical advantage. Thank god you never run out of ammo.
8. Co-Op is a blast. Again, Kill Team reminds me of a modern Contra and even if you’re not a fan of the 40K miniatures wargame or the novels, you’ll have a lot of fun with this. For those who haven’t experienced a Warhammer game before and are curious about the mythos, you’ll unlock codex entries via in game collectables. These will explain the characters you’ll encounter within Kill Team.
9. Everyone has a British accent. Considers Warhammer and Games Workshop are as British as it gets, this is a nice but subtle touch. Voice acting, sound effects and the music are al extremely good and on par with what you would see in a full priced disc based release. I’m really happy here.
10. I’m really happy that the PS3 and 360 finally have a Warhammer 40,000 game to call their own. Previously all Warhammer 40K titles were exclusive to the PC except for a game for the DS, a game for the PS2 and a game for the…N-Gage. I actually had more fun with Kill Team than I did with any of those aforementioned games and it’s well worth the ten dollar price tag. I know the upcoming Space Marine release won’t play like this, but god I really hope it’s similar. Of course, now that we’ve seen that they can make a good Warhammer hack and slash, maybe we’ll get a classic fantasy style Warhammer game with this same engine.