Time is a precious resource. You might not have all the time in the world to check out, buy, rent or even talk about video games. However, that's where I come in..... Allow me to do all the hard work and let me show you what I'm playing....ATT The Moment
The game is......
WARHAMMER 40,000: KILLTEAM
( XBOX 360 LIVE ARCADE)
If you like Space Marines, Orks and well............ all out destruction. Killteam might be for you.
I am going to break down the key areas of the game and see what needs to be said about this downloadable game...
AESTHETIC VS GRAPHICS
For starters allow me to define what this actually means. For the longest time a game's graphics would be confused with how "pretty" or "good-looking" the game is. However, in reality graphics are really only the technical aspect of the game. For instance, the number of bits, the amount of polygons, or even the quality of the shading/textures within the game are examples of graphics. This is where the aesthetics come in though, which are simply the art style of the game. Using the original Mario games as an example, on a graphical level are terrible. Having only 8 bits of graphical depth, was limiting on the type of game play available. However, the Mario art style (Aesthetic) is truly amazing being a classic amongst gamers(Me included). While not a powerful game technically, Mario's look is extremely nostalgic.
Using this concept when applied to Killteam I have this to say...The graphical quality of this game is what you would expect from a downloadable game from XBLA or PSN. Decent 3D graphics that are functional and appropriate. The aesthetic for this game is where they put all their work into. It feels and breathes the Warhammer 40k universe, and I felt pulled into this world. The game takes place on an Ork BattleKroozer, instantly you feel from the moment you get on the ship that it's huge and full of thousands of orks. With every type of ork boy to the lowly gretchin hordes swarming you, the immersion of being in a space marine killteam is there.
While I did like the variety and look of some levels, others felt almost identical and in a game that's only five missions long, is not a good thing. I enjoyed the customization of the space marines changing out their chapters and weapons. Unfortunately, you are limited in your options of designs and weapons so thats a bummer. After beating the game for the first time, I managed to get all the unlockable weapons, so it plays fairly straight forward.
DIVERGENT VS CONVENTIONAL
While the game is unique in the sense that it is one of the only Warhammer 40k games that involve you teaming up with a friend to kill orks on the xbox 360. Not much else about the game is truly original. The gameplay is similar in many ways to other games of it's arcade genre, namely Smash TV and Geomentry Wars. It borrows heavily from these types of games, but seems to be more narrative and story driven. During each mission you have a space marine captain tell you what your objective is, as it shows a cutscene describing the objective.
On a whole this game plays it fairly safe and gives you some space marine toys to play with as you kill tons of greenskin enemies. While each of the orks looks fairly different, they don't however, try to make them sound different. You will hear the same battle cry, over and over again. This didn't really bother me that much, since I have played games of Warhammer 40k and I expect that. But a new comer to the genre, might not feel the same way about it as I do.
CONTROLS VS LEVEL DESIGN
The game is strictly a linear affair, so do not go in expecting to play Grand Theft Auto Space Marine for instance. Each level has a series of checkpoints and invisible walls to keep you from going off track. While for the most part the check points are alright, I found at least two of them that could be spaced out better(Minefield level, second minelayer fight). The first three levels(keep in mind theres 5) have simliar goals, blow this up, kill some orks, repeat etc. The last two levels are by far the best, being a Tyranid themed level(Think giant killer bugs) and the Final boss fight(The Warboss). I really enjoyed all of the boss fights in this game, because none of them felt too similar and were fairly unique.
This game is what some would call a twin stick shooter. What that means is your left analog stick is used to move and the right stick is used to shoot. Tons of games have used this design and it works fairly well here; they even changed up the control a bit by adding a melee attack with the "A" button(On Xbox).
There is one huge complaint I have with this game though; that is the lack of online coop multiplayer. As it currently stands you can only play with friends locally, which means, unless your having buddies over for beers, have fun being alone during your killteam mission. There's no I in team right fellas? But there is in Killteam....Next, sometimes the camera will turn at weird angles and won't zoom into the fight. Making it rather difficult to see what your actually fighting in some instances; in others falling to your death, over and over again.
Lastly there is the issue of balance within the game that kind of bugs me as well. Some levels when your playing alone are just a pain, because you have to both: A)Destroy an objective and B)Kill the orks....AT THE SAME TIME! Also depending on the type of marine you've chosen, this can be easier or harder. I found that all the ranged classes, after a certain point became really overpowered and easier to use. On the flip side, in multiplayer the game almost becomes too easy, as you roundhouse kick yourself to victory.
ENJOYMENT VS FRUSTRATION
The moments of this game that I enjoyed the most, would have to be whenever the story and senseless killing would meet up and mean something. Theres nothing like mowing down hundreads of orks, to clear an objective or being chased by a Tyranid monster down a hallway. The fun of multiplayer is fantastic and should not be overlooked, if you have a friend over. Each of the space marines are unique; with truly remarkable special moves. The special effects from each of the space marine's weapons are also fantastic, and power ups are around almost every corner. Every time you kill orks, additional perks or abilities become available, allowing you to change certain stats and weapons.
What I really did not like from this game include:
-Game Controlled Camera
-Too Few Checkpoints
-Lack of Online Multiplayer
THE FINAL VERDICT..........
While it might seem that I am harping on this game, I really did enjoy the experience that it provded and it could only be made better with friends involved. At this moment in time though, this game does cost around 800 Microsoft points (Roughly $10 CAD), it really should be around 400pts for what you actually get. Also it is a bit of shameless plug for the new Space Marine game coming in September. You do get a free powersword in Space Marine though, so thats cool I guess...Not a full game by any means, but an interesting one for sure.
Anyone that likes duel stick shooters, should give it a try. Anyone who is interested in the Warhammer 40k universe, or even remotely interested in sci-fi.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR.....
If your one of those people who is not into games that involve completing the same task over and over again. Or your more into a realistic type of experience/simulator, then you might want to give this game a pass.