E3 2011: Warhammer 40K: Kill Team Hands-On Preview

We check out a demo version of THQ's recently announced downloadable sci-fi shooter on the E3 show floor.

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Announced just last week, Warhammer 40K: Kill Team is a shooter set in Games Workshop's Warhammer 40K sci-fi universe. In it, you'll assume the role of a space marine (from one of a number of selectable chapters) tasked with taking down an ork spaceship from the inside, and while you'll certainly be massively outnumbered, the good news is that you don't have to go up against the ork horde alone.

Kill Team won't support online play, but you and a friend will be able to play together locally. There are four different classes of space marine to choose from, each with access to some unique abilities and weapons. These names won't mean much to you unless you're a fan Warhammer 40K, but you can play as a librarian, a sternguard, a vanguard, or a tech marine. Each class can choose from four different weapons, including power swords, lightning claws, heavy bolters, rocket launchers, and pistols.

Played mostly from an isometric perspective, Kill Team is a dual-stick shooter at its heart; you move around with the left stick and shoot with the right. There's a lot more to the game than that, though; you can perform melee attacks with the A button (or X, on the PS3), throw grenades with the right shoulder button, and launch special attacks with the left shoulder button. Special attacks vary considerably depending on which class you're playing as and which weapon you're using. As the sternguard veteran armed with a heavy bolter, for example, we were able to significantly increase our rate of fire for a short time, while as the vanguard veteran wielding lightning claws (with a pistol in the other hand), our special saw us rushing into crowds of enemies and knocking them to the ground before performing an area-of-effect attack.

We're told that around 80 to 90 percent of Kill Team's gameplay will pit you against orks, and greenskins accounted for 100 percent of the enemies that we faced in the demo. They came in plenty of different shapes and sizes, but ultimately none of them demanded a different approach, so the combat felt a little repetitive. There were a couple of set pieces that required us to hit switches or defend positions from multiple waves of enemies, but while space marines should certainly feel incredibly powerful in the WH40K universe, in Kill Team it's possible that they might be a little too powerful. (It's also possible that the demo was tuned to make it easier for E3 attendees.)

Numerous power-ups were scattered liberally throughout the level that we played through. Most made our weapons more powerful or shielded us from damage for a period of time, but health pickups were also in plentiful enough supply that we never felt like we were in any real danger. Hopefully this won't always be the case. A lack of challenge and some minor camera issues aside (it didn't always do a great job of keeping both players in the shot), we really enjoyed our time with Warhammer 40K: Kill Team. The lack of online cooperative play is disappointing, but we're still very much looking forward to bringing you more coverage on the game just as soon as we can get our hands on it again.

Discussion

23 comments
riftrunner
riftrunner

If you DIDN'T think it was a lead in for Space Marine, shame on you. It's an appetizer people.. get you ready for the main meal! And secondly... thank GOD for no multiplayer. Im tired of everrything being geard for MP and slacking off on single player goodness.

Krinnium
Krinnium

@protoroc you are a genius, my friend. if any game needs a ressurection its that one

Crazyholic
Crazyholic

meh, I don't mind. I'd rather do multiplayer with my inner circle then to play with a bunch of faceless players I don't know in person and . . . no foul mouthed 5 graders to contend with which is a definite win in my book

protoroc
protoroc

If they plan on making a small downloadable game why not just resurrect Space Hulk.

Krinnium
Krinnium

i dont really mind the no-online thing, cause me and my friends are gonna smash it locally anyway x] however, it is definitely an interesting decision. actually i think its the first coop oriented game this generation that isnt online. i would like to hear their reasoning just out of curiosity.

kasra5004
kasra5004

well, the more i look at it , the more i understand that this game has a good potential for mods. If they release a fairly complete editor along with it, it`ll be so popular among mod designers!

taidalwave
taidalwave

for me having offline play is more important than having online play

baltim123
baltim123

@lavalampbamboo i think it's a tyrranid also when you look at the background you can see a smaller tyrranid and a tyrranid hive.

djinyoung
djinyoung

wtf. no online play. that just killed it for me :(

abbasreza
abbasreza

Is their any story or is it just a mini game sort of thing :S?

RazorBat
RazorBat

Wait...no online multiplayer?! BAD MOVE THQ. Perhaps you should fix this, make the game online multiplayer before launch, NOT tick off millions of 40k fans worldwide, and perhaps make a lot more money then you would releasing a non-multiplayer online flop.

RazorBat
RazorBat

It's a downlaodable Live Arcade game. Can't wait!

CEmarine88
CEmarine88

Is it going to come in a case and be on shelves or just be downloadable??????

Ranthus
Ranthus

@chyng85 Learn your games history. W40k came long before Starcraft.

NemaLive
NemaLive

Finally the consoles getting some 40K love :)

ram82
ram82

Are you serious? No Online play??? This game screams funky co-op fun! I can't believe they decided to omit online play. I was so incredibly psyched to play this game with my friends. Now Im not so sure if I will pick it up. It looks like incredible fun, but I suspect it wont be that deep or lengthly. The only thing I looked forward to was gearing up with some buds for some mindless fun. Unless they decide to include it last minute, I will just wait out until Space Marine hits the streets. For shame, this could of been an arcade smash hit...

chyng85
chyng85

Looks like Starcraft~

Witchsight
Witchsight

A pretty, gory 40k inspired twin stick shooter? Yup, i would buy that. I have 4 controllers that say my friends would love it too.

lavalampbamboo
lavalampbamboo

I'm not an expert, but I'm fairly sure that's not an orc on the top picture. D'ya think we'll be seeing some other races?

Elann2008
Elann2008

Bad move with NO ONLINE PLAY. I would rather they delay so they could implement online play into it.

Ryozo
Ryozo

That's a very good question - but I'm sure - based on that first screenshot and the developers' comment about just how much of the gameplay pits you against the orks - that 'Nids are a certainty. And there's also the possibility of additional content - I'd rather they take their time and make it awesome than try to shoehorn it all in. Jacks of all trades master none, after all.

Drakkengoth
Drakkengoth

Sounds and looks like DoW2's campaign with an arcade twist, I'd like to see more. My only concern is why always the Greenskins? Why not toss in some 'Nids or Tau or even Necrons, mix it up man