Yes, you read the title right: a criticism of Space Marine, and of game criticism at once. But not by me, no. By the authors of this webcomic over at the Escapist. Go and read it before posting
Read it? Good. Now tell me, and be honest: how many of you usually complain about brown-and-grey space marine shooters for being too samey and boring, yet bought the game the title of which actually is "Space Marine"? And on the contrary, how many of you have given it a pass because of it's "manly man shooting space-orcs with future-guns" aesthetic and plot even if you generally like third-person shooters?
I understand that the main object of RPS readership's hate and derision - the Call of Duty series - is about actual marines rather than space marines and thus even more boring, but as far as i know, generic space marines aren't liked here that much either. So please, let's discuss this. Is it significant in any way that some people are willing to criticise games for their space-marine-ness and insist that all space marines are boring and uninspired, but will waive these criticisms as soon as space marines they actually like come along?
Further yet, the commentary for the comic poses another criticism, and i think it's a fair one: we should not be allowed to treat basic game design elements like regenerating health or cover systems like they are anathema to good design. These systems are just tools: sure, they might bore us today when there are a lot of them on the market, but in the times of old-school shooters a Gears-style game would be treated like a pinnacle of innovation, on par with how, say, Plain Sight looks to us today. Similarly, regenerating health seems to work fine when it's actually a shield that protects your other, actual and non-regenerating health. And so on. Wanting cover systems, health regen, limited weapon storage, and so on to be gone forever is irrational: sure, they make for a more "gritty and down-to-earth" sort of game, and there are too much of these right now - but sometimes, a gritty and down-to-earth game is exactly what you need, as long as it's done well.
So, let's discuss this all. And honestly... i do not know how we're going to keep two separate discussions in the same thread working, but let's try anyway.