Corpse Party

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Thoughts on Space Marine: Multiplayer

Finally, after about one and a half years since my registration on the official Space Marine forum, the game got released. At least in most of Europe and a while ago in the US.
Sadly, UK people and others still need to wait til Friday.

I don't really need to say much, I think. The Game is GREAT.
It feels natural, the difficulty is still fun and rewarding, and the Multiplayer gets better and better the longer you play.

It's now 7:37am, release was at midnight, and I have 5+ hours on my record already.
Surprisingly, after 2 hours of the Singleplayer Campaign, I switched to Multiplayer.
Before I quit I had some very enjoyable rounds alongside and against Relic-employees, which made a nice event. Gaming with the Developers of the game you're adoring? Brilliant experience. Now I can claim that the guys at Relic are my Battle-Brothers for real!

The Multiplayer will frustrate most of you. A lot. Not kidding.
Even shortly after the game's release, gaps between player ranks were obvious. Granted, they weren't that large yet, but due to the Weapon Unlocks and Perks, you got your ass kicked pretty fast.

In comparison to the Singleplayer, where you regenerate Health by Executing enemies, in MP you regain Health when staying out of battle. Executions are not possible, which honestly is a good thing, since it would break the flow of the battle.

On Rank 1, you start with a simple Tactical Marine. Bolter, Boltpistol, Combat Knife, Frag Grenades, Teleport Homer.
While Tactical Marines are the backbone of the team and can be extremely flexible, they are not very effective in that initial built when facing Tacticals using Plasmaguns or the Stalker-Pattern Bolter, or Devastators using Lascannons.

Devastators get unlocked once you reach Rank 2, fulfilling a more defensive role. A control point needs to be held? Stand ready and fire your Heavy Bolter. The strong weapon comes with a price, though: Speed.

My favorite class currently is the Assault Marine, who gets unlocked on Rank 3 and closes the 3 available classes.
Assaults use their Jumppacks to quickly move to capture and ground pound to close in on enemies, killing them in close combat. Due to their role, they tend to die easily, and you'd better pick your fights wisely.

On Rank 4 you finally get access to the Customization menu. If you're lucky, you already fulfilled some Armor or Weapon Quests to unlock armor pieces and a bigger arsenal.
Granted, unlocking all these items will be a drag, but since you can use them to show off, it feels rewarding.

With every level you should get access to a new perk, weapon, loadout or whatever might be included in the game, and I tell you, there are a lot of things you might want to try.
Long term motivation is surely given!

Sadly, there are only 5 maps in the game at this point, and Coop is still not out (but planned as a Day 30 update). Relic has stated that they'd like to add content and maps, however, making this feel like a small range of maps will be enough to get used to the pace, gameplay and level up a bit.

One huge downside is the always active voice transmission. You cannot turn that off without basically disabling your microphone, and even then you'll need to manually mute every player in the current session to not hear them burp into their mics (really happened, and I don't think that guy was aware of us listening...) or crazy wives screaming at their husbands playing.
THIS needs to be improved on. Give us an option to not take part in voice madness at all, and it will be fine.

However, the voices were clear and the connections stable. I had no lag on my end, which surprised me, considering the P2P nature of the online mode.

The Settings did not get expanded, which I found quite odd in the beginning, but hell, its fine. Space Marine runs fantastic on my machine (reminder: 3.4GHz Quad AMD Phenom II, Radeon HD5750 1GB, 4GB RAM) without any hiccups. There could be slightly better textures, but it looks great enough the way it is.

Overall I am very, very pleased with Space Marine.
Relic has done a great job bringing 40k to life once again, proving that they're the right ones for the job of developing 40k Games.

While I'm not a huge Multiplayer fan myself, I couldn't help but enjoy Space Marine's Annihilation and Seize the Ground matches for hours already.
My impatience was well justified and the game did not disappoint in the slightest.

If you haven't grabbed the game yet, I suggest trying the Demo for starters and picking up the full game asap.

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