In the future, there is only war. And that's a very good thing in Relic's upcoming Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. The developer, best known as a creator of real-time strategy games and, in 40K circles, as the minds behind the two Dawn of War games, is stretching its development muscles with Space Marine, which will be an action role-playing game that aims to give players an immediate and action-soaked look at the Warhammer universe.
Today, behind closed doors, Relic developers showed a four-and-a-half-minute trailer of Space Marine. Although no concrete gameplay was shown, producers made a point of saying that all of the footage shown in the trailer came from in-engine action, which was impressive, considering the visual quality on display.
The high-level story of Space Marine will follow your character as he and his fellow power-suited badasses try to stem the tide of an invasion by the green-skinned Orks on a forge planet (the planetary factories where space marine weaponry is created). Beyond that overview, we don't know much else about the story in the game.
Combat will be one of the key factors in Space Marine, and though the specific control mechanics are still under wraps, Relic reps told us that they intend every button to be capable of a violent action. We're not quite certain if means that you'll be able to decapitate your foe with a press of the select button, but we get the point.
One thing we do know is that your space marine will have access to plenty of different weapons at hand, including energy swords, chain blades, and huge, electrical hammers that will be effective for dealing with swarming enemies. There will also be ranged weapons, of course; we saw one marine picking off Orks with a pistol, and another spraying bullets out of a belt-fed machine gun. Choosing which weapons you wield will be only part of the customization options in Space Marine; the footage also showed some leveling aspects, wherein the player will be able to upgrade attributes such as strength, attack, and defense.
So far, only space marines and Orks have been confirmed to be in the game but, given that the game is early in development, there's always the possibility that could change in the future. From the demo, the Orks look to be ferocious (and slightly stupid) enemies, perfectly in keeping with their "chop first, never ask questions" approach to battle. Relic is also being tight-lipped about online options in the game, but hinted that they look to do justice to the Warhammer universe's tradition as a shared experience.
We can't wait to see how Space Marine shapes up, particularly with regard to the customization elements of your space marine, which has always been a 40K hallmark. No release date has even been hinted at yet, but here's hoping the hard-hitting combat that 40K tabletop players have always envisioned in their mind's eye will be brought to life in the game. Stay tuned for more Space Marine coverage in the coming months.