No “Room” For Space Marine Sequel

By Jim Rossignol on October 14th, 2011 at 2:52 pm.

Aww, poor neglected old Ultramarines.
Speaking to Joystiq, THQ bossman Danny Bilson wasn’t lending support to the idea of a Space Marine sequel, preferring to emphasize upcoming MMO, Dark Millennium. He said: “We’ve already announced the Imperium in the MMO as a class you can play… and if you combine that it’s very active, as opposed to the more turn-based stuff. I’m not sure there’s room for Space Marine.”

Oddly, this awkward statement lends a bit of credibility to yesterday’s “leak”, which THQ later dismissed as “pure speculation”. It might well have been speculation, but it does sound like some of it is on the mark, and it’s not like they’ve not had some big info leaks before. Might be interesting to look back, come 2013…

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52 Comments »

  1. Echo Black says:

    Space Marine was so forgettable I had forgotten about it completely. Until I read this news item.

    • Balhazer says:

      I really should had allowed the “remember your pass” option ON…

      I have lost many “first”

    • RichardFairbrass says:

      I wish it weren’t true but you’re right, very forgettable. If it had only had as much time/budget/effort/skill, or whatever it is that makes AAA titles AAA,put into it.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Funny, in my view Space Marine is one of the best third person action games we’ve had on PC in a long time and a nice antidote to all the knee-high wall simulators.

    • 7Seas says:

      I found Space Marine superbly enjoyable. As the first game in a series and the first game of that type from a developer it showed a great deal of promise if it could have won the commercial support for sequels.

      Having recently played through GoW1 and GoW2 for the first time, you can see that GoW1 was a stinker. It was less polished than SM and ugly as hell, but it managed to twig with the console crowd and so got the money to make vastly superior sequels. It’s a real shame that may not happen here, as the 40k universe is far more interesting, and the gameplay in SM was hella fun.

      As an aside, why the hell is it that every time Space Marine or 40k in general are mentioned do all the scrud come out of the woodwork to repeat for the 50000th time that they didn’t like the demo. I’m reduced to clicking through to joystiq to see intelligent comments on the post! I fled Joystiq a couple years ago at a time when they were posting idiotic peices to a crappy community, and I came to RPS which was the bastion of adult and game positive commentary. Now it seems that every story just receives comments from people saying how much they disliked something. Constantly reading posts by people saying “Hiiiii this is Scrudbucket, just chiming in again on the 12th post about this game to say you knoooooow… IIIII didn’t like the deeemo, it was crap and its a shit game and I just fiind it deeeelightful to see that it will not be getting a sequel and hopefully the developer will just die becaaause their games aaare all teeeriible and nooobody should lliike them because iiii dont”

    • Hallgrim says:

      @7Seas: Yeah, seems odd to me too. Sometimes I make a post about something being a “shit game” because I wish someone had warned me about it before I bought it. At this point, I can’t imagine anyone interested in SM who hasn’t tried the demo or read countless “I love it” and “I hate it” posts.

      Its very edgy to hate on WH40k and Space Marines these days. Whenever I see “Space Marine game is shit” I just substitute “I’m a complete wanker who hates good things and I want to tell you for some reason”. Boring, repetitive and a bit uninspired, maybe. Laggy peer-to-peer multiplayer, sure. “Shit”? Ridiculous.

    • Bull0 says:

      This business is confusing me:

      In purely cold, detached terms, Gears 3 is generally perceived to be a superior package to Space Marine. However, Gears 3 is dismissed because “it’s a sequel”. Gears 3′s achievements are built on the groundwork of the previous two games; it does not exist in a vacuum.

      HOWEVER, Space Marine inhabits the same corporeal realm as Gears 3 – they had access to Gears 1 and 2 just the same as Gears 3 did in every meaningful way except the actual source code – the design was there to be used and there’s clear evidence in Space Marine’s implementation that they took a good chunk of inspiration from the way Gears plays. Also, Gears of War came out five years ago.

      And yet, we’re making comparisons between Gears of War 1 and Space Marine with an entirely straight face.

      If Space Marine wasn’t better than Gears of War 1, I’d be fucking shocked. There’s no reason at all why it shouldn’t have been every bit as complete a package as Gears of War 3, and asserting otherwise on the basis that Gears 3 is a sequel is just excusing mediocrity. And the biggest nail in that coffin was laggy, buggy multiplayer and no co-op in the release build.

      NB: You don’t have to accept my cold objective belief that GoW 3 is generally superior to Space Marine, but a number of prominent commentators have and broadly I agree, and if you don’t, kindly just disregard my comment and move on.

      NBB: All this aside, I’ve got a stronger-than-strong suspicion this is just so much marketing horseshit to build interest in a sequel. I fully think it deserved one, and everyone knows it’s the sequel that makes the money – not doing one would be daft

    • Metonymy says:

      This kind of title has too much artistic content, and too little “game.”

      Exploring gameplay elements is fun. Space Marine, like so many others: Cod, Gears, Assassin’s Creed, is just a poorly written movie, seasoned with some very light player interaction, and in the case of SM, with a very poor user interface and control method.

      I’m very happy about the decline of this type of game, and I consider that decline to be a DIRECT consequence of how much they suck, and not some other absurd reasoning or rationalization connected to their profitability.

    • 7Seas says:

      Bull0: Well there is one reason… budget. I guarantee you the budget for GoW3 was many multiples the budget of SM.

      Metonymy: SM didn’t suck, and the controls weren’t awful. In fact I found the controls to be quite tight. Out of curiosity, did you play the game or the demo, and did you play using a controller or a mouse keyboard? Also, do you wake up every morning with the bitter taste of hate in your mouth or just today?

    • nrvsNRG says:

      I started playing Space Marine when it was released, but stopped after a couple hours cos i wasnt motivated properly. I quickly moved onto gears 3, and was completely bored shitless by it ( i had been a gears fan since the first one).
      I forced myself to finish gears then afterwards continued my SpaceMarine campaign, which all of a sudden seemed amazing to me.It was just so much better then gears, and i’m not sure if i would of appreciated it as much if i hadnt timed it so closely with my playthru of gears.
      Just my $0.02.

  2. Alboreo says:

    Well, this is a shame. I loved Space Marine, and the ending really pointed to a sequel. :(

    • Jnx says:

      Something swallowed my reply :(

      Anyway I liked it, too bad.

    • Bull0 says:

      It positively screamed sequel. It was like in batman begins, when commissioner gordon hands him that joker playing card

    • vecordae says:

      There will be a sequel. Hopefully, they will re-imagine it as a top-down board-game/collectible card game hybrid featuring strong rhythm game elements and a lighter, more sugar-coated setting.

    • Bull0 says:

      So like, edible warhammer 40,000?

    • JiminyJickers says:

      I would like a sequel too, I quite enjoyed Space Marine. It was good fun, even though the game didn’t change much I was entertained all the way through.

      The ending definitely pointed to a sequel.

  3. bit_crusherrr says:

    I really liked Space Marine, would of liked a sequel. Would be nice if they made a Ork game. WH40K: Warboss?

    • Icarus says:

      I would love WH40k: Aspect Warrior. Where you played an Exarch which gives you an in-game raison d’etre to pick up and use all the different kinds of weaponry from power weapons to Shuriken cannons.

    • Lemming says:

      Icarus, ‘in-game reason’ would have done surely? raison d’etre means ‘reason for existence’

    • YourMessageHere says:

      I’m just waiting for something that lets me play a non-human in 40K. Fire Warrior was generally dreadful, but it did have the distinction of making Space Marines and IG the enemy, at least some of the time. I’ll take WH40K: Aspect Warrior, I’d play WH40K: Warboss, or WH40K: Commissar, or…

      …but where’s my Dreadnaught game?

  4. coldvvvave says:

    It’s good news to me. As much as I love WH40K and Relic, I felt that spending 50$ on Space Marine would be a mistake. I waited for it since it was announced but the SP demo was just so boring and I wasn’t interesting in MP( I have DoW2 already). Now maybe Relic will have more time on their hands.

    • Bull0 says:

      it’s nothing like dawn of war at all. and you say you played the demo?

    • Hirmetrium says:

      Whats even more ridiculous is that you think this is a good thing. If Space Marine proved one thing, its that keeping that sort of gameplay to confined segments is rather enjoyable. Having it be repetitive over [INSERT X NUMBER OF LEVELS FOR AN DMO] with lag (as demonstrated by the MP) would be the worst creation in a while.

      I think its just Vigil in a fad – they loved Space marine, they are already working on a “more RPG dungeon like” Darksiders 2, and their putting both into DMO. And I think they will realise it won’t work, and will change it.

      Honestly, I don’t know what to say/do about Space Marine. I love the game to bits, its far more gripping and original than Resistance 3, Gears of War 3, or anything else that came out this month. So far I’ve played both of those and RAGE, which I can say is as much “inspired” by fallout 3 as it is the same game. Nothing is inspired or original anymore. And even after that, it is still a rinse and repeat game, but its the 40k melee brawl we were waiting for.

      The demo has proved as much as curse as a blessing, and Eurogamer’s ridiculously harsh console based review didn’t help either. Maybe if we didn’t get a demo, more folks would of bought it to try it out. If your going to make a comment about the gameplay in the demo at least make it constructive. It’s comments like “demo was boring” that kill them.

    • Bull0 says:

      Now I love warhammer but I still think of the two Gears 3 is the more polished experience.

      Space Marine had plenty of charm, but Gears 3 can only be described as “incredibly comprehensive”.

    • coldvvvave says:

      I didn’t say Space Marine was like DoW2. I said that I wasn’t interested in getting into it’s multiplayer since I alreaddy have a MP game in WH40k setting. And I like it.

    • Bull0 says:

      Oh, I was just confused because that’s a really weird counterintuitive sort of motive to hold. That’s like saying “i’m not interested in call of duty because I’ve got panzer general” or “I’m not interested in mass effect 3 because I can play star control 2″

    • Hirmetrium says:

      Gears of War 3 is a third in a series. There was no way for it to NOT end up being polished, especially after the ridiculous length of time its taken to come out compared to the previous two. I am not saying gears of war 3 is a bad game – just that it is the third in a trilogy which I got bored of two years ago. Space Marine won’t even get that chance.

      While I understand the MP quarrel (because I myself am struggling to split time between DOW2/Space Marine MP and new releases :P) I still take offense to the fact that the demo is being used as an active deterrant to buying the game, when its possibly one of the first demos for a big release in a while. And Space Marine was a big release for THQ.

      With Space Marine’s poor sales, and the empty promises and dashed hopes of DMO (and they ARE empty promises – people don’t even know if TOR will last, and nobody wants to “level up” a space marine) THQ are not going to last much longer. Their shares just keep tumbling, and their three big releases this year have fallen flat (Red Faction, Homefront, Space Marine). We won’t see a Dawn of War 3 at this rate, and if we do it may end up little more than a cash grab for that fiscal quarter.

    • Bull0 says:

      Absolutely. That’s obvious. It doesn’t stop it being true though – it’s the more polished and complete of the two games.

      Relic should probably work on a really polished sequel to one of their established properties – SM and Homefront were huge risks, but they’ve got some great properties to play with and I hope they go that way with it. Even if that means “Homeworld” the FPS in 2013…

    • 7Seas says:

      The problem is you *cannot* afford to make a AAA second or third generation game the first time out the door. Because a) you will not have the budget and b) you will not have the know how. So expecting SM to equal GoW3 in scope and polish is unrealistic. What you have to hope for is that the game will be good enough (it is) and polished enough (it is) to get a chance to win enough of an audience for the publisher to green light an expanded sequel. Sadly it looks like it did not win that roll, although it may get a second wind via DLC… but doing that across all platforms will be difficult. Also launching without the co-op was a terrible mistake that THQ must have pushed them into.

      Although I love 40k and relic to bits, and I have logged hundreds and hundreds of hours across Dawn of War, Dawn of War 2 and xpaks (300+ hours according to steam on DoW2 & friends), and Space Marine, 40k is simply not big enough in the US to have a mainstream audience. By a long shot. And I may be wrong, but my instinct is that the 40k tone isn’t going to find a mainstream audience in the US, ever.

      As a total aside, I think one main mistakes they made in SM was difficulty levels. They should make three: Heroic becomes normal, Normal and easy should be removed from the game, and a new difficulty Heroic should be added which is very very hard. In other words, japanese up the difficulty.

      So many games have been hurt by having terribly easy “normal” dificulty that immediately ruins all the sense of tension and challenge in the game, and *breaks* the game mechanics. Normal on games these days is like Chess allowing you to move each piece three times but your opponent only gets to go once. It makes many of the game mechanics worthless.

      Worse, gamers are becoming very confused about the interplay between mechanics and challenge, and so you see people complaining that the healthy recovery execution in SM does not make you invincible during the animation. Something which would obviously be game breaking. Or they complain the game is boring, because on the default difficulty level it IS boring. You cannot remove all sense of challenge, threat, tactics, tricks, and skill from a game and have it still be interesting! Games are doing themselves a great disservice by making their default settings too easy. You can also see this on Dragon Age 2. DA2 was a very disappointing sequel, but its combat mechanics were sometimes fairly interesting when playing on a harder difficulty setting.

    • Bull0 says:

      Gears of War managed to get sequels though, and that wasn’t as polished as Gears of War 3 either. Not by a fucking long shot. What it *did* have was silly Microsoft dollú backing it up

  5. nimzy says:

    Then bring Relic in on the MMO.

    • razzafazza says:

      if by relic you mean the guys who made Homeworld, COH and DOW1 then i d agree but unfortunately modern-day relic are the guys who made DOW2 and Space Marine, and i think i could live with seeing a 40k game those guys arent involved in.

      edit: not that DOW2 or SM were “bad”, i more or less enjoyed both, but it d be nice seeing 40k games that want to be good games first, 40k fanservice 2nd – not the other way around.

    • 7Seas says:

      razzafazza: I have to say, your perception that DoW2 is not a good game is simply mistaken. I urge you to go back and play the SP/MP and last stand, and you can perhaps say that it is not to your taste, but they are good games even without the setting. Relic knows how to make a superb style of real time tactical combat, and while that might not be up your alley (I guess you are one of the people that says “no base building no fun”), it is simply factually incorrect to say they are not very well crafted games. DoW2 continues to entertain me and many other people playing it and its xpaks years after its release. That is *not* because we are deranged 40k fans who are willing to eat shit to get a taste of the setting, but because they are extremely good games. The same way I can play CoH games today and still enjoy them greatly (although CoH has some mechanics that I find irritating that DoW2 improved upon).

      Seriously. Go back and give DoW2 a second chance, particularly MP/Last Stand if you like Relic and you dismissed them when they came out because they were different to DoW1. They are *very* good games that have created what amounts to a (as far as I know) unique sub genre of RTS.

    • 7Seas says:

      Actually, Relic must have heard me because right now DoW2 Retribution is Free to Play and all games and DLC are 50% off. Try it! Enjoy it!

    • razzafazza says:

      @7seas

      its not my “perception”, its my opinion – obviously feel free to disagree, but i m fairly certain i m not the only one who disliked DOW2 and prefers other RTS.

      i have recently given DOW2 another chance with retribution and apart from the singleplayer being much better this time around (mostly because vanilla DOW2 SP was utter crap and retribution is playable apart from the awful passive AI and resulting lack of challenge ) i still think TLS isnt even remotely as good as similar mods for WC3/SC2 and i still think DOW2 MP isnt even remotely as good as COH. and its not because the lack of basebuilding but because DOW2 imho has less “depth” than COH.

    • Iskariot says:

      I agree with razzafazza about DOW 2.
      If you are mainly interested in single play against the AI then DoW2 is a disappointing second rate game. DoW1 is far superior and is able to give you juicy, attractive and chaotic battles against a very aggressive and quite intelligent AI, especially when you are using the superb community AI mod.
      DoW 2 is a complete disaster in that respect.
      -
      DoW2 might be interesting if you are into online battles against humans but if you like singleplayer skirmishes against a truly challenging and interesting AI then forget about DoW2. It has nothing to offer in that respect.
      And if you enjoy a little bit of intelligent base building and like the mechanics of a base as a strategic object in warfare then DoW2 has nothing to offer either. For me this aspect was a big disappointment too.
      -
      I am a real 40k fan and bought the Dow2 Gold edition and after desperately trying to like it and playing the campaign for 12 hours or so I decided I would rather spent more time with DoW 1. I never touched DoW 2 again.

  6. sneetch says:

    I wonder how happy Relic are about that. Look at what they’ve done with DOW and DOW 2 for instance, they created the engines, launched the game then put out 2-3 expansions or standalone expansions for each (which improved on the base game).

    I find it hard to imagine they won’t be bringing out Space Marine: Redemption or Space Marine: Grey Knight or whatever to tell whatever happened to Spacey McMarine after the first game. I dare say they’re a bit pissed about that.

  7. bigdeadbug says:

    I just don’t understand the reasoning. If I was to use that logic then there’s no point making a single player RPG since there’s so many MMORPGs out there…

  8. Hirmetrium says:

    The only conclusion I can draw out of this is that Danny is scared. Scared that his “Warhammer 40,000 Fan” sale won’t go to DMO – it would go on a Space Marine sale instead. When ultimately, it won’t matter because nobody wants another MMO.

  9. mondomau says:

    Doesn’t make any sense – first, that’s promising a heck of a lot for DMO. Second, it means going another 18-24 months without any 3rd person Warhammer-esque shooty-biff. Seems a bit of a missed opportunity really.

    Wonder if they have any other Games Workshop properties lined up in the meantime?

  10. Wulf says:

    I’m not sure whether I’m disappointed about this. I don’t think I am. I’d be disappointed though if the sequel were from the ork side of things. That’s the thing I loved about Dawn of War, really. The orks were the only guys I’d play as until the ‘nids came along, but the ‘nids were a bit crap, so back to the orks!

    One of the elements that caught me off guard about Space Marine was that they didn’t overdo the more serious side of things, like so many things that try to do Games Workshop stuff do. It was… frankly, very silly. And funny. The funny part was what surprised me the most. The orks and goblins got some genuine laughs out of me. The space marines, as ever, were dull, dry, humourless, and… well, can I just throw them at the orks and let the orks win? :P

    “ISSA DIGGA!”

    But yes, I’m always incredibly amused by the orks in Warhammer stuffs. It was the ‘orcs’ that made WAR palatable to me for even a short amount of time, despite it just being far, far too WoW for my liking. And there is so much more humour in the Games Workshop approach to orcs/orks than there is in any similar offering (including those of Blizzard).

    If their next game had been from the ork perspective, I’d be yelling “BOOOOOOOOO!” about now, and not Boo-urns. I would be yelling boo a lot. But more Space Marine? Hm. Might be fun. The first one was, but the space marines are just so, so dry. It makes the whole thing feel more ‘grim’ and ‘dark’ to me, and that’s what I dislike.

    The orks saved Space Marine. Would they save another marine-focused game? Iono.

    But yeah, another Space Marine game from the marine-view being lost is not a huge loss in my opinion. Sorry. I feel that Space Marine, the first game, pretty much did all it could with that.

  11. CelticPixel says:

    Regardless of the mixed feedback, I’d buy the bloody game if they’d only put it on Steam.

    THQ, please take my money.

  12. bill says:

    Assume it didn’t sell well then?
    Cos it seemed ripe for a sequel… and surely a sequel would be much cheaper to produce and more polished now they have all the basics in place.

  13. Iskariot says:

    Well, Space Marines was on my ‘TO BUY’ list, but when I read in reviews that the game was rather short and monotonous I decided I would buy it when the price was reflecting that general lack of content.
    9 bucks feels about right. I already spotted it for 19 bucks in the local store, so I guess I won’t have to wait long.
    -
    I am interested in a sequel if it has more to offer than the first one, but when push comes to shove we have more than enough action shooters to play.
    -
    If I had a say in it I would want Relic to finally produce a new Homeworld game. That was a truly breathtakingly unique title and until this very day there is nothing that can really fill the gap.

    • bill says:

      since Relic seem to only be 40k these days, a homeworld-style Battlefleet Gothic would be fun.
      Though the atmosphere would be almost the polar opposite of Homeworld, i feel.

  14. Lemming says:

    A great shame as this really needed a sequel. Not for any story-related nonsense, but because you could see the mechanics and the stage was set, and it really needed the breathing room of success to go all-out for a sequel and do things better second time around.

  15. FRIENDLYUNIT says:

    Actually I’ve enjoyed SM immensely. It is what it is and that’s a gloriously rendered action game set in the 40k universe. It’s incredibly different in feel to DOW.

    Despite the horrible lag (which is an issue) the mutiplayer is a simple but very satisfying test of skill, cunning and resolve. It’s feel is personal and visceral and I urge you all to give it a go (and for a good few rounds too, until you “get” it).

    I probably agree that a sequel isn’t needed, with the MMO on the way but I can literally barely wait until next week when the co-op game mode is patched in.

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