Whoosh! Bam! Space Marine Preview

About five minutes into my demonstration of Relic’s Space Marine I realise what I’m looking at is a 3rd person shooter that draws heavily from Gears of War, so I ask an obvious question. “Is there some kind of cover system?” Relic man grins. “Actually, the team has an internal line about that. We say, ‘Cover is for Pussies.'”

I don’t take my eyes off the screen, but my ears do a double take. “We do have this though,” says Relic man. With the press of a button he sends Ultramarine Captain Titus running straight through a low wall of cover like a wrecking ball, and begins hacking apart the orks on the other side with his chainsword. “Oh,” I hear myself say, mesmerised. “Right!”

There’s a very specific image of a Space Marine Relic are pursuing here, one distinct from the rules of the Warhammer 40K tabletop game or Relic’s own RTS. It’s the image of a Space Marine put forward by 40K’s fiction, which I’ll summarise.

Space Marines are given 19 extra internal organs to help them fight, including an extra heart and a bonus lung. Their bones are laced with a ceramic substance which also causes their rib cage to grow into a solid plate. Their Power Armour is inches thick, and the Marines interface with it through cybernetic fibres that grow into their chest. Plus, all Space Marines carry inside them the enhanced genetic material of the Primarchs, superhuman generals bred when humanity was at its zenith. Altogether a Space Marine weighs around a ton and is a legendary badass, said to be the match of 1,000 Orks.

Space Marine is a game of these terrifying men. You can leave any rules you know about Weapon Skill and saving throws at the door.

As such, Space Marine is the kind of over-the-top action game that I can’t remember seeing on the PC in a while. For most of the time you don’t need to worry about taking damage, just dealing it out, which is looking to be an enormously satisfying business. Your default Bolter rifle doesn’t just fire bullets, it fires rocket-propelled slugs designed to detonate inside the target. And aside from being absurd in and of themselves, your melee weapons (chainsword, power fist, storm hammer) are all backed up by your Marine’s mega-strength. And this is before we’ve gotten to the heavy weapons- one setpiece I saw involving a heavy bolter left behind a pile of ork corpses straight out of any piece of 40k artwork.

So, no, there’s no cover system, and that’s not just because it doesn’t fit the fiction. It’s also because Relic are trying to create a game that’s precisely half shooting and half melee combat, and apparently they found out that if you have cover then people just hunker down behind it. Hardly ideal when every single piece of Space Marine art in existence shows them standing up. Come to think of it, I’m not sure how far they can even bend their legs.

Something else Relic have jettisoned since production began is most of Space Marine’s RPG elements. When the game was first announced it was going to see you managing a squad and collecting all kinds of Wargear. All that’s left of that now is a system whereby you level up your weapons by killing things with them, thereby unlocking new modes of fire and modifications. This is very much a pure action game now, complete with co-op and some other kind of multiplayer that’s being kept under wraps.

Oh- and one final thing they’ve dropped is American voice acting for the Ultramarines. Turns out when people hear American voices, they think cowboy. So now all the marines are voiced by English actors.

“Hey,” you may be mumbling to yourself around now. “These screenshots show a lot of orcs. Do you just fight orcs? I hate orcs.”

Good point (although in 40K it’s orks, not orcs. And the 40k orcs are awesome, with their mad, tribal adoration of technology and zero regard for personal safety). Space Marine is actually set on a single planet- a Forge World, meaning a kind of factory planet controlled by humanity’s zealous machine priests, the Adeptus Mechanicus. This particular Forge World has been recently conquered by a massive Orc Waaagh, which the Warhammer 40K wiki helpfully describes as a cross between a Holy Crusade and a pub crawl. But this is a devastating development, because this lost Forge World manufactures Titans, the Imperium’s city-sized (and therefore largest) engines of war. With the rescue fleet still weeks away, you play part of the Ultramarine force dispatched to the planet to provide what help you can. Except things rapidly get complicated, as an Imperial Inquisitor gets in touch to tell you the Forge World is hiding some prototype weaponry, which absolutely, positively cannot fall into Ork hands.

It’s a plot which will have some twists and turmoil, I’m sure of that. Partially because the Relic man told me “It’s a plot with lots of twists and turmoil”, but also because when I asked whether you’d be fighting any other races he smirked and said they weren’t announcing any yet. Also, when I questioned whether we’d be seeing anything of the darker side of Space Marine lore, he began watching his words very carefully and said that Titus would have to make some difficult decisions.

Interesting, no? Personally I’m just praying for any action sequence at all involving a Titan. The demo I saw already featured a couple of great sequences involving a fleet of Imperial transport ships being torn out of the sky by rocket-wearing Storm Boyz, and Titus trying to stop a massive train the Orks were using to smash open the door of the Titan facility. I was also promised that Titus would get some time in with the jump pack of an Assault Marine.

It is very difficult to imagine anything more awesome than playing Space Marine co-op, all of you with Jump Packs, all of you with chainswords, leaping as one and ripping apart whole crowds of Orks. I’m sure in no time there’ll be footage of Space Marine doing the rounds on the Internet and you’ll be able to see for yourself. Until then, take my word for it. Space Marine is the game of this:

And what could be more desirable than that?


  1. Gassalasca says:

    An orgasm before I go to bed. How fitting.

  2. Simon says:


    • Dhatz says:

      and there’s ultramarine movie in the making. it has a very obvious web adress.

  3. juv3nal says:

    “Space Marine is the game of this”

    Tyranids confirmed, then? ;P

  4. jeremypeel says:

    Hahaaa, this will do nicely. 40K fiction is still deserving of much better games.

    And you’re right, dear Quin Quin – Space Marines are supposed to be f-ing gods, something even the rulesets and the choice-of-Space-Marines-as-everyone’s-default-army disregards. This isn’t the definitive 40K game I’m still wanting, but it looks like it might be the definitive Space Marine game.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      With the fiction behind them, I always figured Space Marines should be basically a collection of hero units running around blowing enemies to bits. It never made sense that their biggest thing was that they had a 3+ save.

    • Cymril says:

      GW actually published an alternate set of rules in White Dwarf to bring Space Marines more into line with the lore. These ‘cinematic’ rules basically boiled down to a single squad of 6 Tactical Marines being the equivalent of a 1000 point army. It also had crazy weapon rules, Bolters were something like Range 60″ Assault 4 AP 3.

    • Archonsod says:

      The fiction doesn’t portray them to be badass at all; the point of the Space Marines is that they’re absolute pinnacle of human fighting capability, and yet they can only equal the raw power of humanities enemies. Part of it is the tendency to escalate the power of the subject race in each codex (so you get stupidity like Codex Space Marines saying power armour is impregnable to anything less than weapons designed to take out tanks, and then this becoming the standard for showing how strong a race is by having it tear apart power armour with it’s bare hands) and part of it is the tendency for the writers to interpret “All Eldar have some form of psychic capability” as “All Eldar can melt your brain with a simple thought even if they’re on the other side of the galaxy and asleep”. Particularly when they’re trying to sell models.

      course, the fluff went downhill once Jervis and Chambers left.

  5. Spoon says:

    Secret technology buried in a forge world? I’m going to guess Necrons will make an appearance, then.

    • Tacroy says:

      No! It’s obviously going to be orkish technology. Some frakking Adeptus Mechanicus is going to go off his rocker and decide he totally needs to understand Secrets of the Gretchin, and damn everything else!

    • Archonsod says:

      Nah, it’ll be forbidden technology. So probably an Ikea toaster knowing the Imperium.

  6. danarchist says:

    What is the release date?!?! if your reply is anything other than “Tomarrow” im going to have to figure out how to put myself in a comma.

    And I like the fact that its not a “Hide behind a wall and try to snipe with a pistol” clone game. Space marines only take cover to reload.

    • Saul says:

      Fit yourself inside a comma? Well that would be interesting secret technology.

    • jalf says:

      Fit yourself inside a comma? Well that would be interesting secret technology

      Better than fitting yourself inside a colon, I guess…

    • MartinNr5 says:

      @jalf: Well played, good sir! Well played indeed!

    • Vague-rant says:

      Better than finding yourself in the middle of a period.

      (I shall assume a majority of male readership)

    • Sir Derpicus says:

      Grammar pun levels reaching critical mass.
      Stop, you’re all putting this entire conversation asterisk.

    • tome says:

      I love you guys so, so much.

    • tstapp1026 says:


  7. gryffinp says:

    This may be the only game I have preordered in the last five years.

  8. Wooly says:

    Oh goodness, yes.

  9. Kast says:

    Reminds me of when my mate got me the novelisation of Fire Warrior for my birthday. Fantastic read, action packed and with sweet action-hero vistas in prose like the Space Marine captain arriving at the feet of a Chaos-controlled titan to find the hero La’Kais stood apparently waiting for him before assaulting the abomination. Then La’Kais presses a button and the Titan just explodes, great cathedral-sized arms falling with glacial slowness to the city below.

    Then I got the game and found it was a bland, ugly, turgid piece of dross. I’m sure Space Marine won’t be anything like that though/

    • jeremypeel says:

      Dawn of War novelisations were surprisingly good too.

    • Matthew says:

      The third Dawn of War novelization was reasonable, but I didn’t really enjoy the first two at all.

  10. CoyoteTheClever says:

    Here in the states, Warhammer and 40k unfortunately isn’t as big a deal as it is over in Great Britain. I personally love it though, so I’m really stoked about this. I was kinda disappointed in Dawn of War 2 as it wasn’t as great as Dawn of War 1, so I’m really hoping this is excellent (and sells well, because I really do like Relic as a company). I’m already loving the screenshots.

    • Dhatz says:

      it’s fairly old and for it’s popularity it’s the most underadapted franchise known to me. My cousins older by 20 years had sets of 40K figures.

  11. Inigo says:

    “Actually, the team has an internal line about that. We say, ‘Cover is for Pussies.’”

    I feel a stirring in my pants.

    • subedii says:

      Perhaps someone should tell him about Relics other games set in the Warhammer universe?

    • Damien Stark says:

      I was just amazed that a game seems to have actually gotten my interest by taking Gears of War (an irritatingly over-the-top blob of manliness and violence) and declaring it insufficiently manly and violent.

      I would never have guessed, but somehow this worked. I almost spoke “Oh hell yes” out loud at work.

      Well played Relic, well played.

  12. rebb says:

    Why does this marine look like Jason Statham ?

    • danarchist says:

      Jason Statham is his Primarch obviously

    • Dajaki says:

      That was one of the funniest responses I’ve seen in a long time. Well played, sir. Well played indeed.

    • Davie says:

      That marine does not look like Jason Statham. Jason Statham looks like that marine.

      Seriously, shaved head, manly stubble, deep-set eyes, grim expression–Statham looks like every Space Marine ever.

  13. Freud says:

    Sounds excellent. Glad to see a company realizing how boring popamole is.

  14. Seymour says:

    This is exactly the sort of writing that I love from this site. I’m definatly more of a lurker than a commenter, and aside from a breif affair with the first Dawn of War, I have no real interest in 40k, but damn do I want to play this game. I don’t even like shooters…
    Some may say bias, I say passionate.
    : )

  15. YogSo says:

    “Come to think of it, I’m not sure how far they can even bend their legs.”

    I’m pretty sure the Ultramarines could adopt a kneeling position in the old Chaos Gate videogame; not very dissimilar to that picture you posted three paragraphs above that comment.

  16. Zwebbie says:

    I fail to see what everyone’s so excited about. Gears of War but without cover and with more melee? I’ve heard of more exciting concepts. Sure, you might like the IP, but did that ever make an iota of difference?

    • Seymour says:

      I may be wrong, but I think that the attraction comes from the sheer bad-assery that is implyed here. I know that it’s not a particularly revolutionary concept, but when done right, what red blooded male can resist it?

    • Bowlby says:

      I think it’s a subtle but important change. A lot of games now have become cover-oriented, and it kind of holds back the flow of the action. Because of that, I’m looking forward to a balls-to-walls shooter; it’s a nice change of pace.

    • Daniel Rivas says:

      Well, he also got to see the game. I gather it looked quite good.

    • JuJuCam says:

      Also Relic is a very trustworthy company, with a strong history of post-release support and good expansions. I’m not a rabid fan of their games but they’ve done good work and it’s interesting to see them branching out from RTS.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      It’s not at all like Gears of War.

      First off, you’re two feet taller, you’re a space fascist, it’s fun to yell the battlecries (as opposed to WHERES MAH WIFE), and your armor isn’t made out of marshmellows and wishes when you’re being shot at. Your weapons are huge because you’re a superhuman rather than just possessing super luck. And it has BLUE. On the guys. They don’t even try to hide.

      This murder simulator shall be glorious.

    • megalomania says:

      Yeah it’s mostly the IP. Warhammer 40k is pure nerd porn. I’d play Diner Dash if they gave it a Space Marine-themed skin.

    • Dhatz says:

      If there was a way to make singleplayer out of the TF2 40K mod , I’ d definitely think about DLing that.

  17. Bowlby says:

    “Actually, the team has an internal line about that. We say, ‘Cover is for Pussies.'”

    I like your thinkin’, mister! :D

  18. mcnostril says:

    What I’m hoping for is melee as solid as Ninja Gaiden and some awesome shooty bits as solid as… er… some awesome shooty bits in some other game.

    I’m quite curious to see if Relic can pull this off. Every time they decide to shake things up, things turn out pretty great, but while they’ve been rather original with every new game, they’ve never veered off course this much before.
    There better be some Terminator armor bits.

    • subedii says:

      I’m not sure we should really be expecting Ninja Gaiden here in terms of gameplay mechanics. The melee’s going to be in-depth, but from the description it sounds like it’s going to be more of a shooter.

      At the leats, it’s probably going to be half-and-half, so I’m not sure the melee system would go quite that in-depth.

      Gamespot has a video preview up. Looking at the new footage it looks more rough-and-tumble than smoothly transitioning slashes and combos:

      link to au.gamespot.com

  19. Barman1942 says:

    A space marine is nothing compared to an army of flashlights.

  20. Fenring says:

    Yeah, whatever. Call me when we get to play a Chaos Space Marine. So much more interesting in visuals and personality.

    Actually, rather more interested in this than I was at the start of the article. Well done.

  21. Down Rodeo says:

    I think it’s a testament to Quinns’ writing that he can provoke this level of excitement in a comments thread (I’m not trying to raise myself above it though, this sounds AWESOME in a way I did not think I’d ever get).

    Having just been playing the DoW 2 campaign in co-op, this sounds great. I really trust Relic now, so long as they ditch the disaster that is GfWL.

    I feel like a teenager again.

  22. Bigglesb says:

    I don’t really remember/know all that much 40k backstory, but I did once read a short summary of the story behind the Horus heresy and always thought that would make an awesome setting for a game like this. Even playing as a supporting cast member in a story of primarchs and emperors, chaos and betrayal could be amazing, culminating in a massive invasion of earth and a duel between horus and the head of the blood angels (who actually seemed to have these massive angel wings and a burning sword)

    I’m sure they’ll make something like that one day, though the IP is so ready for exploitation… I can see this being the first of loads of great games. That is, if they make it half decent itself…

  23. pupsikaso says:

    English voice actors? Good! It will give the game the proper British flavour that all other WH and WH40K games have been missing.

    • pupsikaso says:

      Not sure how much I trust Relic to make a good FPS, though.

    • Azradesh says:

      Well that’s ok because it’s not a FPS. :P

    • pupsikaso says:

      Oh d’oh. Figured if it’s on a PC it’s an FPS, silly me. I really hope they don’t have that wanking player-model-to-the-side view that is beloved of TPS.

    • D says:

      I’m not even sure a Space Marine can wank. But yes it looks like the camera is off to the side. I don’t see a problem with it.

    • anon says:


      in the gamespot video, 1/3 of the time a good quarter of the screen (bottom left) was entirely covered by the marine character model.

      If I’m supposed to be 1. aiming and shooting while 2. protecting my in-game body from damage, it isn’t helpful for 2 t-rexes, a herd of elephants, and a panzer tank to be able to hide behind my body on the side corner of the screen.

      They should at least give us the option to position the camera centered above, to, the right, or to the left (think of the LEFTIES for goodness sake)

    • Dhatz says:

      americans are overused and british are unusable, what about australians?

    • RedFred says:

      @ Dhatz: Christ! That’s asking for trouble.

  24. zakkmiester says:


  25. jalf says:

    I don’t know, is extreme badassery and a high entertainment value among those criteria? In that case, I think Lem might need to come up with a better (and shorter) definition.

  26. Rick says:

    I remember an exchange of “primary threat spotted”-“…moving into position”-“neutralising”-*bang* *ping* *splat* -“TAKE COVERRRRRR!” in the Dawn of War 2 intro. Maybe its just the Blood Ravens who cower behind rocks and sandbags with a vague sense of self-preservation, whereas these Ultramarines just like to get into the thick of it.

    Either way, looks awesome. Definitely watching this one.

    • noerartnoe says:

      I seem to remember that at the time a crashing Landspeeder was heading towards their heads…

  27. Spacewalk says:

    No cover, levelling up your weapons by shooting them off, English voice acting and ultra violence; this game floats my boat like an airship would.

  28. Sian says:

    So… Do we get to use terminator armour? That’d be kind of nea…. a whole other level of badassery, if done right.

    Also, @kobzon: Tropes are not bad and WH40k runs on the rule of cool.

  29. CreepingDeath says:

    I love that the RPS guys are such fans of 40k that it allows them to cover games like this with a bit more insight than other such websites :P

    As for this game, I am absolutely stoked for it. Have been since it was first announced years ago. And I like to think my constant bitching to relic by email about why this game was (once upon a time) a console exclusive is the reason why we now get it ^^

    As for english accents for the marines, that’s how it should be! Now I just hope one of them is cockney…

  30. luphisto says:

    Burn the heretic! Kill the mutant! Purge the unclean!
    cant wait for this game

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      Aye. Equally, I love the fact they seem to be towing the fluff, usually I prefer a little variation when it comes to IP translations, but the original 40k canon is just utterly awe-inspiring. And I love that they clearly have a copy of the Index Astartes. Here’s hoping for a moraly dubious plot.

      You carry the Emperor’s will as your torch, with it destroy the shadows.

  31. bleeters says:

    But how can it not have cover? Cover systems are all the rage these days. Games that lack them are locked in gallows and humiliated in the streets.

    I want this, I want it now. Though it would be great if just once I played something other than Space Marines.

  32. CMP5 says:

    I feel as if people are missing the fact that the Marines you play as look to be Ultramarines Honour Guard, ie the badassiest of the badasses.

  33. Cooper says:

    Never, ever been a 40k fan, but this does appeal.

    Actually, just the main one thing appeals. That smashing through knee high cover. It’s exactly the kind of response to an already painfully engrained piece of game design I like to see.

    • Dhatz says:

      I thnik all fans of this game(count me in) are 100% same in this. now let me make game where I often destroy enemies by smashing their cover.

  34. negativedge says:

    You’ll forgive me for not being interested in a game literally called “Space Marine” staring bros with “19 extra internal organs.”

    • Nick says:

      No we won’t!

    • negativedge says:


    • Okami says:

      I guess you can be forgiven for having had a horrible childhood and the wrong friends during your teenage years.

      But still…

      How anybody can not feel excitement about playing a genetically enhanced, 7 ft tall, brainwashed, fascist warrior monk with a chainsaw sword is totally beyond me…

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      19 extra internal organs and – if you dig into the fluff – implications of them having their genitalia removed. PSYCHOPATHIC SPACE EUNUCHS.


    • AndrewC says:

      Teeheeheee ‘digging into the fluff’ to find their genetalia teeheehee! I like to think that extreme pretension, 40k nerdery and amazingly childish senses of humour define RPS.

    • GHudston says:

      The three things that define RPS are their extreme pretension, 40k geekery, amazingly childish senses of humour and nice red uniforms… I’ll come in again.

    • jalf says:

      if you dig into the fluff – implications of them having their genitalia removed. PSYCHOPATHIC SPACE EUNUCHS.

      That’d be to make room for the 19 extra organs?

    • BrutalSlayingIsAJoy says:

      @”How anybody can not feel excitement about playing a genetically enhanced, 7 ft tall, brainwashed, fascist warrior monk with a chainsaw sword is totally beyond me…”

      By having seen the ORIGINAL game footage of Space Marine before that was scrapped and the whole thing turned over to Relic.

      Talk about chainsaw action there in the original :D
      (Yes, still talking about link to games.tiscali.cz)

  35. pupsikaso says:

    It’s “bad sci-fi” because WH40K /defines/ sci-fi. All others rip it off or rip off those that rip it off.
    If you’ve never read any WH40K fiction you are seriously missing out on well-thunked sci-fi.

  36. Kirian says:

    Cover doesn’t really work for Space Marines any way. They’re so damn scary to any enemy not insane or an Ork (just insane then) that cover is a waste of good fear. And honour. Can’t forget that. Hence the bright armour.

    On that note, I was rather hoping Titus would be a helmeted Marine. I’m all for taking his helmet off (characters do too) but it always seemed silly to wear all that power armour and then leave your head exposed.

    Relic get bonus points if at some point in the game, or in an additional mode, you get to play as Calgar. HEAR ME RELIC?

    • Kirian says:

      That should read anyway. Darn.

    • Dhatz says:

      there’s only way to solve this, forcefield around the head (and that’s what I’d use anywhere in such space games)

    • Archonsod says:

      Problem with such forcefields in 40K is they have a tendency to blow up, get you executed by the inquisition, or blow up, get you executed by the inquisition and get your corpse possessed by demons.

    • Tacroy says:

      That’s not saying much, though – going out for a nice walk has a tendency to cause all those things in WH40k.

  37. Tetragrammaton says:

    This will do nicely.

  38. DJ Phantoon says:

    “Come to think of it, I’m not sure how far they can even bend their legs.”

    The Space Marine’s only weakness:

    Things on the ground that shouldn’t be killed.

    • RedFred says:

      What about the classic head stomp? Surely they get into some head stomping. That requires bendage of legs.

  39. Cael says:

    A moment of doubt leads to a lifetime of heresy.

    Never forgive.
    Never forget.

  40. Avex says:

    Meh, why can’t we play as a Black Templar instead. I guess is not as bad as playing Blood Raven. Article failed to mentioned which company this Titus chap from.

    “While other lesser chapter wear’s the Emperor’s Aquila symbol on their chest we don’t. We are his symbol!”

    -Grimaldus, High Chaplain of Black Templar.

    • bleeters says:

      @ Avex

      It does in fact mention what chapter you belong to.

      With the rescue fleet still weeks away, you play part of the Ultramarine force dispatched to the planet to provide what help you can.

    • Malagate says:

      He said Company, not Chapter, as in he already knew it was the Ultramarines chapter, hence why he mentioned wanting Black Templars instead. Although I would question a man’s 40K lore if he couldn’t tell the difference between Ultramarine companies from the shoulder trim alone, which is shown in the screenshots ;-)

      Personally I would want the chapter of SPACE SHARKS instead. For obvious reasons.

    • bleeters says:

      @ Malagate

      Urgh, so he did. I shouldn’t make posts at five in the morning :(

    • ErikM says:

      Blood Angels please! :(

      Either way, it makes me all giddy inside!

  41. noobnob says:

    Killa Kans as minibosses pleaaaase

  42. the_fanciest_of_pants says:


    Do hope there’s an option to PUT A FUCKING HELMET ON.

    Always hated Marines’ tendency to take off the coolest looking part of their armor. Oh well, I bet in Co-op you play as more generic marines, and I can have my precious helmet.

    Also Orks in multiplayer please!

  43. Pijama says:

    2010: Year of the Space Marine.

    Mass Effect 2, Starcraft II, and now this.

    Then Valve releases a Half-Life – Combine Marine and there we go!

    • Pijama says:

      Also would like to say that EPIC GREGORIAN CHANT + EPIC GUNNING + EPIC VICTORY + EPIC POSE + EPIC CHAINSWORDING are obviously required.

    • RedFred says:

      Is there some logical reason they are called marines? Marine’s were traditionally an amphibious force. There is no water is space.

    • jalf says:

      Is there some logical reason they are called marines? Marine’s were traditionally an amphibious force. There is no water is space.

      Well, if a ship carries marines, you’d expect a spaceship to carry space marines, no?

      Also, their role is pretty much the same, isn’t it? Traditional marines are amphibious, they operate on the sea and on land. Space marines operate in space and on land. I don’t think we have a word for that like “amphibious” yet, but in a setting where space travel is common, I think it’s pretty clear to see that space marines have taken over the role that “plain” marines used to play.

      Of course, you could argue that they’re badly named… But then I suppose you’ll have to deal with the modern army’s use of names like “cavalry” units as well. Isn’t it pretty common that when a new technology replaces an old one, it often takes on the old one’s name?

      The cavalry units of today’s armies are so named because they fulfill the roles that used to be fulfilled by the horse-riding soldiers.

      And the space marines of the future are so named because they fulfill the role that marines fill today: that of not being stuck on land, basically.

    • Archonsod says:

      40K falls into the standard route of having the space forces named after naval ranks. Despite the fact all current space programs tend to follow air force conventions.

  44. jvempire says:

    There’s no time to be lost.

  45. drewski says:

    This sounds awesome, but I’m a touch disappointed that, out of all the lore the 40K universe contains, they went with the boringest, vanilla-est and plainest of the chapters.

    The Blood Angel’s Death Company – now *that* is a story to sink your teeth into.

    • Nick says:

      wouldn’t end well!

    • Dhatz says:

      lemme envision: it’s a series! you gotta get the generations too young to know WTF is 40K something to start with.

  46. Vinraith says:

    Purely on the strength of potentially being 40K done well, this has promise. Still, I wish they’d let me play something other than a space marine in one of these games. Nothing wrong with SM’s, really, but they’re so much less interesting (and so much more overdone) than many of the other options. Give me a game where I can play an Ork or an Eldar or for that matter an Imperial Guardsman. Anything else, really, would be more likely to get my attention. Why does it always have to be space marines?

    • DiamondDog says:

      It has to be space marines because look at the reaction in these comments. Plenty of people scoff at something like Gears of War for being a big dumb console game with macho men, then froth at the mouth when a similar type of game is sold to them wrapped in the lore of 40k. I’m with you though, the 40k universe is big enough to find an interesting story to tell, but then we know space marines sell well.

      Personally I think it could be fun, but then I also enjoyed Gears of War. It’s just funny seeing the reaction it gets. What if they’d made a Modern Warfare clone based on Catachan Jungle Fighters or the Imperial Guard. I bet it’d get a free pass.

      Did that sound a little bitter?

    • Kirian says:

      I think the difference is that Gears of War thinks it’s something special and tries to be emotive, clever and other things it doesn’t have a fraction of the intelligence for.

      40k, on the other hand, knows it has a lot of really interesting lore but is, essentially, stupid. Case in point: Orks in GoW wouldn’t be a comedy army that’s also a serious threat.

      Maybe I’m bitter that they didn’t embrace an out-there concept in Gears of War like a gay main character or two when it fits so well. Nope, they went with more dudebrodudebroMADDEN stuff.

    • Nick says:

      Playinga guardsman would be rather more like playing a normal shooter though. I agree Eldar could be interesting however, depending on if you were an aspect warrior or a ranger or something.

    • Arathain says:

      @Vinraith: while I agree with you that a good Imperial Guard game must be done, I think the value here is that a Space Marine game has never really been done right. If they want to get that out of the way, more power to them.

    • Damien Stark says:


      The thought hadn’t escaped me either, but I’m coming at it with far less 40K nostalgia and it still worked on me. I haven’t completely figured out why yet, but I think it goes something like this:

      If the whole appeal of your character is what a badass he is, don’t put him up against opponents who are equally (or worse, more) powerful than him. There’s been a run of “power fantasy” games in the past couple years (like Force Unleashed and Prototype) and their greatest sin seems to be attempting to provide you with a typically balanced game difficulty. I know I felt downright feeble and puny in Force Unleashed, and it made the game irritating.

      The thought of a “powerful” character who is actually powerful has great appeal to me…

  47. Seamus says:

    Relic, I love you guys. So much.

  48. Tei says:

    Finnaly!.. this seems the W40K game made for *me*. I absolutely adore the lore on the books and rulebooks. I want what is described in this article.

  49. Allandaros says:

    40K’s not supposed to be good SF. It’s supposed to be Orks in Spaaaaaace! and Judge Dredd and Nemesis the Warlock, (admittedly with a splash of Dune to, ahem, spice things up). If you are coming to 40k thinking it will be “good SF,” then you have Missed The Point. Admittedly, some writers (Dan Abnett) have turned it into good SF somehow, but they are they exceptions. 40K was one of the original gonzo kitchensink settings, and it ought to show.

  50. pipman300 says: