Warhammer 40k: Space Marine, first footage

Via VG247 we discover that a couple of Czech sites are hosting the first footage of THQ’s third-person action title Warhammer 40k: Space Marine. The piece seems to narrated by someone from the dev team, who shows off a load of in-game footage, and employs excessive use of the word “cinemaction”. The game is reportedly coming out on PC and consoles, and we think that’s a fairly safe bet. Only War, after the jump.


  1. Jigglybean says:

    neat! I just want DoW 2

  2. Janek says:

    So it’s Gears of War with more cutting people’s face off.

    Well, there’s no license more suited. Although it seems a little clunky as it stands, but hopefully that’s just from being an early build.

    Also: OH NO QTEs.

  3. Bobsy says:

    Whoa. There’s running… AND gunning!

  4. Ging says:

    I dislike how his bolter is useless as anything but a torch… I hope that changes, WH40k shouldn’t just be about melee! (was it just me, or did that Bolter fire faster than it seems it should?)

    But for an early build, it sure looked purty.

  5. cullnean says:

    dunno lone space marine run and gun, is that really in the spirit of 40k?

  6. spd from Russia says:

    looks good, I guess – cant see details from video compression
    But the battle system doesnt impress me. Doesnt look fluid and dynamic. Also stiff animations :( I guess a space marine in a power armor shouldnt jump around like Kratos or Prince of Ubisoft, but he could move around a bit more.

    I see a WH40k marine shooter more similar to CoD4 – where you fight as a member of a squad, battle raging all around you. Not as a slasher ;/

  7. Ging says:

    spd: He does mention that this is essentially the first playable build, so the animations and well, everything will become much smoother (I hope).

    But I do agree, I’d say that an FPS would perhaps match the ethos more (though Fire Warrior disagrees with me)

  8. schizoslayer says:

    In the grim darkness of the far future there is only a minor police action!

    Not in the slightest in the spirit of the license. This needs a thousand space marines fighting by your side with a million Orks charging at you on an ash covered Hive world with Titans stamping on things and causing mini-apocalypses every time they fire their guns.

  9. Lord_Mordja says:

    Stabbing someone with a chainsword is just silly.
    Also: OH GOD! So many retarded buzzwords!

    I’ll wait and see; given that it’s early footage there’s lots of room for improvement.

    The outside environment is beautiful if…empty.

  10. Nick says:

    Totally agree on the point about the bolter being useless – since when have space marines been about melee combat only?

  11. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    So… 300 machismo (minus 299 soldiers) meets Gears of War with QTEs in yet another action title with awesome scenarios which you’ll only be able to run through and gawk at with the camera.

    Hey, at least it sounds better than FireWarrior.

  12. Del Boy says:


    I’ve just pressed the Enter key when the ‘Press Start screen appeared!

    Force of habit…

  13. Fumarole says:

    I want to orchestrate a Ballet of Death!

  14. mister k says:

    I certainly agree that it’d be a shame if you were a lone warrior- some kind of star wars battlefront rip off would rock if done well- I like my marines tough, but for your guy to survive that much combat (especially against traitor marines) seems unlikely.

  15. Sum0 says:

    The intro videos to the Dawn of War games always send tingles up my spine. Is it so difficult to do a shooter with hundreds of teammates fighting hundreds of enemies on a huge battlefield? Hitman: Blood Money did fantastic crowds. Just give them guns and make them run at each other on a giant, cratered battlefield. That’s how I see WH40K.

    Having said that, it does look at least marginally cool. I do wish the WH40K games would model the bolters as more than just bog-standard machine guns, though. These are giant, nasty pieces of work, they require power armour to even carry, and they shoot 20mm artillery shells with built-in rocket propulsion which penetrate flesh and then explode. It should be like a grenade launcher going off every second. And that’s just the pistol.

  16. Jonas says:

    Just makes me anticipate DoW2 more to be honest.

    And his stupid PR words got on my nerves. “Cinemaction moments”? Finishing moves, then. “The parrying system”? It’s parrying swords with your arm, how is that a system? “A whole different experience”? No, just another animation sequence. You call this orchestrated WHAT of death!? I call it a bunch of melee combat.

  17. danarchist says:

    Well from a 40k nerd: the player seems to be a squad sergeant so the use of the chainsword fits the flavor, they are supposed to lead from the front, power fist to fang, with any alien or heretic scum they see. I didn’t catch it but did he say this was a mmo or just a single player game? If its multi player that may fix the issue of only one marine running around alone. But your right marines very rarely work alone, actually in over a decade I don’t think I have read one book where they did.
    I am dying for something other than swords and sorcerery or fps crap to play. I can only replay deus ex so many times. Here’s to hoping the industry is finally over its elf fetish!

  18. Jochen Scheisse says:

    When I go to the crapper, it shall henceforth be known as “orchestrating a Water Ballet of Excrement”.

  19. Bursar says:

    Brothers of the Snake by Dan Abnett featured Marines working alone. The idea being that 1 marine was often all that was required in certain situations.

    Pretty good book all told.

  20. monkeymonster says:

    @Sum0 – exactly, the bolter is an evil piece of work, not a mere semi-auto.
    It does appear to need a lock on of some sort… Running around aimlessly being battered merely because you can’t strafe does seem a bit ‘tarded – though given its a 1st build perhaps its not been tagged on yet.
    for 100’s of cinemoments – upgrade weapons, different ones? Powerfists, energyswords etc…
    Plus since when is a chaos space marine the equal of a “normal” one.

  21. mujadaddy says:

    It reminds me of the Tekken Brawl mode or whatever it was called.

    monkeymonster: “since when is a chaos space marine the equal of a “normal” one”

    Chaos marines are far superior to the weak-minded shepherds that tend the Dead Emperor’s flock. Skulls for the Skull Throne!

  22. Tom says:

    Anyone remember Spartan: Total Warrior. Sadly it only ever came out for the xbox and I never did play it, but that featured mass battles, where you were fighting alongside many in what seemed like huge battles. (From videos I saw)
    At current this game however resembles Gladiator: Sword of vengeance, which was bloody, had finishing moves and a weird story. Sofar, the only difference here is the W40K license.
    Oh well, time will tell…

  23. Biggles says:

    Yeah, bolter should be insta-hit with explosions and a bit slower, say a cool 2-4 shots per second and some nice kick back, with probably some emphasis on taking cover or parrying bullets and rockets with your arms/shoulders to hide the exposed head. Also, team mates, obviously, or even better, co-op ala left 4 dead.

  24. Aubrey says:

    Less cinemaction please! It’s already annoying. Especially the amount of time taken to get back to the idle pose.

  25. Heliocentric says:

    what a waste. Of effort and of a license, i never really felt the dow represented the world of 40k, but it represented the board games depth (not too little not too much). Couldn’t they at least make you an imperial assassin, any would do. They could even be a game start class choice. Sniper, stealth melee etc. Hell.. Even stick you in a dredy. Infact a dred would make a great console game due to limited turning speeds being justifiable. But if nids are in the game all is forgiven.

  26. Lu-Tze says:

    Genuine constructive criticism:
    – Cinemaction too frequent
    – Animations are very unpolished
    – Pumelling previs looks AWFUL

    Stupid geek criticism:
    – Bolter fires too fast
    – Chainsword goes through Power Armor like butter
    – “Chaos Marines are you equal on the opposite side. Now watch me kill 6 of them”. This game is going to end with a Space Marine tearing down huge vehicles single handedly.

    In general the “Gears of Warhammer 40k” should make me go “ooo”, but I can’t help feeling more than a little disappointed by this video. Sometimes there’s good reason to keep your cards close to your chest, regardless of how much the fanboys are gibbering.

  27. ack says:

    Environments: Yes.
    Gameplay: No.
    Any developer that uses that many buzzwords have spent waaaay to much time in a meeting room with suits trying to defend why they should let him keep the licence.

  28. Steelfist says:

    I see a WH40k marine shooter more similar to CoD4 – where you fight as a member of a squad, battle raging all around you. Not as a slasher ;/

    There is a lot of 40k art of huge battles, treading on mountains of bodies and stuff. I don’t want to spend the whole damn game chainsawing people…

    And the stun system is an awful idea. It really breaks the immersion, having an enemy just standing there looking dazed. Its so obviously shoehorned in.

    So far, not impressed at all. Looks like some knock off GoW clone.

  29. Radiant says:

    This looks fun as hell.
    Sounds like the devs are having a lot of fun.
    Nice environments too.

  30. David says:

    Continuing on what Lu-Tze said.

    The bolt-pistol needs to be a BOLT PISTOL, not a heavy autogun. Which means mini-rockets of doom instead of bullets. If you need a torch, use an auspex.

    How come the Space Marine never gets hit, when people fire at him? Seeing shots ‘ding’ off his armor would really sell how awesome Power Armor is. And I agree that Chainswords shouldn’t cut through them so easily.

    And, I agree that as the game progresses, “Cinemaction” kills should happen less and less, unless they’re new. They will get old, and they will get old fast. It’s good to have them, just don’t depend on them.

    I liked the idea of pummeling an opponent, but in the middle of a firefight that doesn’t really seem plausible. What do you get out of doing that, anyway?

  31. Alex says:

    This looks like Blood Rayne in Power Armour. Why don´t these devs never have a complete 40k geek amongst them… for, lets call it, quality assurance. I´d like to see a game from that franchise that fits it already! 40k is so neatly laid out in dozens of books, tabletop- and pen and paper games… and still noone of these publishers will ever bring out a proper 40k game. Not even DOW is close to be really from the 40k universe. Not even close… sigh.

  32. Anonymous says:

    On the bolter, it should be doing more damage. However, the firing speed is debatable – they do apparently fire quite quickly depending on type. Personally I’d slow it down and make it meatier-sounding, but eh. It just didn’t sound angry enough.

    On the chainsword, it’s a slashing weapon you gits, not stabbing. Also, I’ll refuse to play in rage if you can’t get either a thunderhammer or an Angry Marine’s power wrench at some point in the game.

    On the outdoors bit, it was great the first time a vulture gunship swooped overhead, but a bit later a… marauder? I dunno, whatever it was it flew past, following the same path. Twice. Although I’m sure that repetitiveness is an early build issue… and it was cool to see a vulture.

    Other comments… if there’s a multiplayer mode, a vortex grenade would be hilarious, especially if it stuck around and drifted.

    Edit: In the spirit of Goto, there should be an unlockable/easter egg marine-portable multilaser somewhere in the game.

  33. David says:

    Alex, FireWarrior did a good job of keeping to the fiction, if I recall correctly. Not that it prevented it from being a Halo mod.

  34. Lake says:

    In the future, doorknobs will be obsolete and everyone will shoot doors to open them.

    @Jochen Scheisse – My BMs could be called Intimate Brutality.

  35. phuzz says:

    As Tom says, it reminded me of Spartan Total Warrior, although although that game was fun, it was a bit, how to put it, dumb?
    But what it did have was loads of guys running around with you, and some fun, flowing combat, although this early demo is obviously far from finished.
    Something closer to Halo in terms of more ranged combat would be my preferred balance, but it sounds like they’ve already made up their minds about the direction which is a shame.

  36. Alex says:

    David… maybe. I must admit I never played it. And thinking about it again… Space Hulk did a nice job, thus limited technically even in its own aera. That epic battle game did it, as well… and Chaos Gate was good. So blame me for being over anxious when I watched that shity vid.

  37. Hypocee says:

    Spartan came out on PS2 as well – that’s where I played it – and it’s a real buried gem. The box art just screams that it’s some kind of dull action-RPG, so I kept pasing it by for over a year.

    What it actually is is some alternate-world version of Koei’s Warriors games. In my experience this one’s less about building up combos and more about movement and manoeuvre – where you’re usually surrounded and fighting in circles in Warriors, in Spartan you’re usually judging your movement relative to some strong enemy while trying not to get surrounded by mooks. The rest of the time you’re usually trying to fight your way through them to a time-limited objective or boss. There’s lots of dodging and shield-bashing to get people where you want them, and some scrums feel a bit like a precursor to AssCreed’s crowd pushing engine. It’s a terribly un-special-looking game, but extremely interesting to play.

  38. Taxman says:

    Looks pretty decent to me for an action title.

    To those complaining about the bolter the videos narrator says it is not meant to be powerful the game is intentionally a melee close combat title.

  39. Okami says:

    Is intimate brutality some new form of domestic violence?

  40. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    @Okami: more on par with consented rape.

  41. Gerfervonbob says:

    So much negativity! It is early in development and it was just a small segment of a level, they may have battle segments. Instead of a liner melee corridor shooter I see an opportunity for an really kick ass War40k game. Call me an optimist.

  42. JonFitt says:

    Shouldn’t he have to be 2″ or less from his nearest buddy?

    Lone Space marines roaming around just strikes me as completely wrong.

    Also as many other have said, the chainsword (as preposterous as they always were), can only ever have been a slashing/sawing weapon, the most dangerous part is the front edge, not the tip.
    If you want to treat it more like a sword, then use a powersword.

    Also, the “cinemactions” really broke up the flow, with him standing there like a lemon and returning slowly to idle as people are shooting at him.

    The best game I can think of would be Battlefield: 40k. With all the vehicles and maybe even done single player with more progressive levels, rather than a Battlefield map.
    But definitely large scale, with many friendlies, and heavy support.

    I know there a mod out there, but this needs to be done for real from the ground up.

  43. JonFitt says:

    @Taxman “narrator says it is not meant to be powerful, the game is intentionally a melee close combat title.”

    Doesn’t that strike you then as missing the point of 40k Space Marines? Completely?

  44. Noc says:

    I’m normally optimistic about these sorts of things, too. But I hate “cinimaction.” It’s hugely immersion breaking, and moderately disorienting. What I’d LIKE to see is the same concepts applied more subtly; the camera swinging around slightly to catch a better view of the action, blood spatter, projectiles whizzing closer to the screen . . . subtle things that help make the whole experience look more dramatic.

    I’m not one to object to things on principle. Hell, I’ve argued for QTE’s before. But I’m seeing more and more of these micro-cutscenes in games, and it’s not something I like. The whole thing smacks as being half a concept: “Make the game look more like a movie,” good, but “Cut around to show movie in a slow-motion, awkwardly framed shot that would provoke forehead-slapping from most filmmakers” isn’t a good start.

    A good start would be a more intelligent camera, and maybe slipping in a few artificial “tweaks” to the combat timing to make it look and feel more visceral. For all the buzzwords, they didn’t really talk about any of that in the clip.

  45. ReturnToNull says:

    Looks awesome, most of the mechanics seem solid, but the presentation is currently crap. The animations are really wooden, and awful looking in places. The run/walk is particularly awful and grating on me. I’d love some sort of short rampup/cooldown after a charge so the animation transition isn’t all jerky.

    Also the AI looks awful, seriously. I would -love- to have them in on this so called ‘Ballet of Death’. If I’m engaging three guys in close combat it should -look- like a 3 on 1 with everyone involved, not a series of 1 on 1 fights while the so called allies sit back and watch as I beat the hell out of their comrades.

    Otherwise, a very tempting buy cause I’m a 40k junkie.

  46. MeestaNob! says:

    Too early to really judge, but based on what they showed us there it’s gonna be shit. Frankly. It doesn’t seem to even remotely capture the whole Warhammer vibe, as has been mentioned ad nauseum already. The weapons are wrong, the feel is wrong, the setting is wrong, the cocking everything is amiss. GoW 40K indeed. Remembering GoW was wank, mind.


    Hopefully things will improve dramatically, but I doubt it.

  47. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Annoying buzzwords, QTE silliness, and jerkiness of the animations aside…

    Definitely have to agree with the general 40K geek sentiment here. While I can put off my distaste for over-the-top violence, and my dislike of the Space Marines in general, I find it difficult to fathom how apparently difficult it must be for 40K game devs to “get” the message that the Bolter is supposed to be a–how do you say?–ah, yes, BFG.

    Every time you ask a 40K fan about what the Bolter is, they’ll tell you. It’s basically a grenade launcher that fires its rounds as quickly as an M60, whose projectiles function like really, really big, mean bullets. THQ didn’t quite “get” that in Fire Warrior, and here it seems like they didn’t quite “get” that here.

    The rest of what they’ve shown captures the feel of 40K really well, so I guess this is a case of geek-lore’s Uncanny Valley. It’s so close to what it should be, the mistakes glare at you even more.

    I guess they sacrificed canon authenticity for the design philosophy, which is about as melee-based as you’d expect a game focusing on a guy with a chainsword to be. But they could at least make the bolter feel meatier, and retain the same level of, er, non-effectiveness as the current build seems to imply.

    They could at least reduce the fire rate and increase the volume of the bolter’s sound effects.

    But hey, it’s kind of moot because, frankly, I don’t actually care for the Space Marines. They always got all the setting love, when I thought there were more interesting things afoot across the rest of the Imperium. Honestly, who’d have thought a Commissar could be a hero of a series of comedies?

  48. neoanderthal says:

    argh. to throw my hat in the ring as well:
    it is very pretty looking.
    what chapter is our brother-marine from? From the colours, it would appear he’s a Blue-Boy from the Ultramarines, but the shoulder badges don’t bear this out. The same for the Chaos Space Marines – at first I thought they were World-Eaters, but I’m not so sure upon further inspection.
    Parroting the comments of others, the “cinemaction” takes away from the game. Breaks in the flow of combat like that are detractors from the game, not stunning additions. Reminds me of that rather horrible “Demon Stone” for the PS2 (and later PC) that was done a while back.

    Just some friendly tips to the developers of this game, on the off-chance they’re going to read the comments:
    Warhammer:40K fans care about things like Space Marine chapters, whether bolters fire mass-reactive bolts or just appears to be a glorified machine pistol, and how chainswords are meant to be used
    I personally would like to add that while the “cinemaction” cutscenes look nice, I’d be punching my screen when I lost control of my on-screen character while pulling one of these “finishing moves”, and then taking damage from one of the baddies hanging out around me who basically gets a free attack against me while I’m occupied with my “Ballet of Death”.

  49. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    From the looks of it, baddies seem considerate enough to stand back while you finish the one-on-one cinematic. Like movie ninjas, but with more power armor.

  50. Erlam says:

    “But I do agree, I’d say that an FPS would perhaps match the ethos more (though Fire Warrior disagrees with me)”

    I’d say the opposite, really. At least the way FPS’ are done — you’d need to be one small soldier in a massive battle of thousands.

    If I recall correctly, about the bolters (from the TT game), the popular quote/joke is “How do you use a bolter? You turn it around, and hit the guy with it.” Run-and-gun works, but only in terms of making the game more fun. Run, stop, fire, run, stop, fire is only fun for so long.

    That said, if this is a first playable video, that’s fucking good.