July 14, 2011 by brennon
If you haven’t seen this check out the trailer above.
Kill Team is of course the ”green room” before the eventual release of Space Marine in just over a months time and its one hell of a starter for the epic saga that is about to unfold. Kill Team puts you in the ceramite boots of one of four marines, each with their own special skills and abilities and charges you to board and destroy a Ork Kill Kroozer storming through space and laden with green skins just aching to butcher your small kill team and send their body parts out of the nearest air lock!
Graphically the game is pretty fantastic for an Arcade game. With the interior of a Kill Kroozer to play with the developers really went to town – filling it with all the gubbins and knick nacks you would expect from one of the Ork’s crazy crafts. Lights blare and blink, things bubble and plop and you have the glow of Gork n’ Mork flowing around the entire of your surroundings. The Marines themselves are also very well rendered with little to no difference between the level of detail we saw in Dawn of War II on the PC. And, being Blood Ravens the team has plenty of practise with the chapter and it shows, with smooth animations and the little bits and pieces that give each Space Marine both its feeling of being part of a Chapter, and being an individual. Orks too are very well done, with impressive character and attention to detail – again looking just as good as their PC counterparts.
Now let’s get down into the dirt and grit of what makes this game – and thats of course the powerful and frantic gameplay. Instead of going for a ‘realistic’ top down ‘dungeon crawler’ the developers have taken the over the top nature of the 40k Universe and added it to this game. It plays much like an arcade game of ye oldy days, with power ups and lots of strafing and sprinting for cover as Ork upon Ork tries to prise that power armour off your body. It felt odd to start with, dipping into this arcade style of play but soon enough I was enjoying it and seeing what a genius idea this was. Rather than stress you out with screens and complicated combos the game actually just lets you have what all gamers want – a bit of fun!
Playing is easy as ever. The A button unleashes your melee attack, while the right stick sprays bolter fire (be it pistol or heavy) down the narrow passageways to kill Ork. The Left Bumper sends out a massive special attack – for example with the Librarian it is a warp push attack which decimates enemies. The Right Bumper then sends amazingly brutal fragmentation grenades spilling out which can turn the tide of battle considerably. With this easy control scheme it follows the very same path as the philosophy behind the overall feeling – just.have.fun. In terms of some depth the game also has a pretty good on the fly upgrade system which can be accessed through pylons set up throughout the levels. These can boost your health, armour, ranged/melee damage and of course other things like boosting the time that power ups last. This adds a nice layer of strategy to the mix and can allow you to make your own little take on a Marine your friends may have tooled up.
Oh, and let’s not forget the awesome slow-motion kills that pop up once you clear an area – a lavish scene of gore and destruction as you send Orks reeling from bolter rounds, psychic powers and power sword slashes. And the best thing is, they don’t take you out of the action and get you killed!
Something we can’t ignore of course is the sound in the game. The marines sounds just as you would imagine Marines would – their harsh gravely voices barking orders at you and letting you know what to do and even sending those Emperor laden quotes flying as they butcher xenos. Orks too sound great, with the familiar roars and wails complete with insults and funny one liners. The ambient sound too is great, with a focus on making the things that should be good, great. Bolters rattle off pounding rounds and the power sword hums as it slashes through enemies – the Kill Kroozer itself is also alive with the sound of battle, the clanks and whirs, the hisses and the rumbles all adding to the feeling of making your way through the heart of a Ork infested space vessel.
The game then over all is a pretty great investment. If you love both the Warhammer 40,000 Universe and the feeling of an arcade shooter/slasher then this is the game for you. Game length of coure is what you pay for, and the added ability to go back and replay through chapters gives it a nice bit of replayability. Co-Op is also included with the game, and is also drop in/drop out so you can leap in to save your fellow gamers as they strive to beat back the Ork hordes. What they could have done, and something I don’t quite understand is why the game doesn’t have 4 player co-op? With 4 marines and enough space on the screen for all the marines to battle through it seems a bit lacking for there to only be 2 players allowed at once. But, as this review probably reveals – it is simply a minor niggle.