I shall herefore admit a personal sin.
I purchased "Space Marine" for the Xbox 360.
For £5, I can't say I regret the decision. Playing has given me a great point for explaining poor narrative, and underwelming gameplay.
Okay, I'll stand here and defend this game, because it's the best 40k we've had yet, and better than many other games.
As a start, i find it ridiculous that the only reason the Space Marines have even been deployed is becuase the planet in question produces Titans. Oh don't worry about all those other more numerous and higher demanded warmachines and engines, we have to ensure continued production of them Titans.
Well, the Titan is the largest and strongest element of the Imperial warmachine. Many places can build lasguns and such, but titans aren't so easily replaced. Also, they had a Warlord Titan; these things are beyond rare. Don't forget that they secured an entire planet for 1 titan, and an entire system for Titan parts in the Dawn of War series.
Why the Space Marines? The nearest fleet was taking too long. Ultramarines can react quickly as they're nearby, and when you need the best, you ask for the best. Also remember there was an Inquisitor hanging around with an experimental thingy and therefore, it was probably an amazing Forgeworld for him to go to it in the first place and it likely helped raise the profile of the planet as well.
They do say the delay in waiting for the incoming Liberation Fleet was too long to simply delay to rescue; they needed it saved now.
Then we have the ridiculous notion that to free this planet of Ork tyranny, only THREE Space Marines were sent.
OH, and one seems to be a fresh-in-Power-Armour Initiate. In all his dialogue, he seems to question the actions of his more experienced brethran, stating that what they're doing is against the Codex Astartes.
The second marine of our Trio, is some sort of Veteran Sergeant. Think the apothecary from the Ultramarines Movie, and you're thinking of this guy. He seems to act more like a Space Wolf in my mind (not helped by his own appearence, that only makes me think Ultramarine because of his damned armour heiraldry).
Final is you character. He is either a Captain, or some other Veteran Sergeant who apparently outranks the Vet Sergeant. Despite this, you still need to unlock additional modes of combat. This includes BEING ABLE TO ZOOM IN with Boltguns. Why the fuck does this supposedly decorated individual need a freakin' purity seal to enable him to fire more accurately? Where the hell is the logic in that.
He's a Captain, firstly. Why is he hanging around with a newly raised Tactical Marine? Wait, if he is a Tactical Marine, then he's already served as an Assault and a Devastator and a Scout; he's very much not "new" to being a Space Marine. It's also not unusual for a Space Marine Captain to have a favourite to personally mentor, not is it unusual for him to have a trusted Veteran to listen to. Perhaps they are of his Command Squad?
Also, there are not only 3 Space Marines. It's a full company present, but they are required to be everywhere at every time on this planet. Yes, you only see the actions of your three, but the others are also running around, holding breaches, sending out little kill teams and sabotage squads, holding rearguards, counter-attacking vital points, etc. Titus talks to them throughout the game on his radio, and at the end, you even see some of them watch the Inquisition take him away.
The reason we assume that all Space Marines hang around in the same square mile is because we play the board game which assumes so, but read your fluff; many times only a squad is needed (see Constantius the Liberator) to quell a planet; to put them all in a single area is to crush something, but even 100 Space Marines cannot stop an entire Ork army in a single engagement, so they spread out where they can turn a thousand little battles rather than a single massive war which the Orks would love.
In regards to characterisation, every Space Marine has to make decisions beyond the Codex sometimes. Even Calgar allows the Tyrannic War Veterans. So Leandros would have to struggle with a superior who is ignoring everything that Leandros has had drilled into him for many, many years.
Alternatively, we have a Veteran who is scarred and hateful, almost gleeful to kill Xenos. Isn't that ultimately the perfect Space Marine, a psychopath who finds pleasure in killing the enemies of the Emperor? I remember fluff which said they removed fear, and then made it so a Space Marine only finds pleasure fighting.
Also, he finds weapons as he goes, and he goes to more and more extreme levels of concentration; for a Space Marine in control of himself, anger is a useful tool which makes them better, stronger and faster. So all those upgrades represent him simply getting more focused, or picking up a new weapon as he found it.
Onto the gameplay mechanics.
Here is something I'm sure was ripped straight from L4D. Infinite Pistol Ammo. Why is this a gripe? BECAUSE AS FAR AS I KNOW, BOLT PISTOLS AND BOLTGUNS USE THE SAME AMMO!!! So why the heck is the Pistol = infinite Ammo, while the Boltgun & Stalker Boltgun limited to 330 & 40 shots respectively? What the hell THQ/Relic?
Infinite Pistol ammo, seen in many games of this generation forever since they don't want you to run out, but don't want to give you a gun so amazing why would you ever use anything else?
And with the millions and millions of Forgeworld, and 10,000 years of technological backwards and secrecy even among the Mechanicus, you think that every Boltgun ever and every Bolt Pistol ever uses the same ammunition? I know for a fact you have different shaped magazines even in the models (free and hanging, sickle shaped, side-attached box, normal rectangle...)
And a Stalker Bolter is a rare weapon, with probably rare-ish ammo. Or, would you rather they limit the machinegun-rocket launcher and bolt pistol to 40 shots as well?
And finally, it's a game, and they have to balance the weapons. If you're seriously worked up over the ammo limits of guns in a game, I'd suggest perspective.
At the start you also have a combat Knife. Cool enough. For a "dagger" its about the size of a decent Longsword, or maye a Broadsword. Fair enough, could probably go the whole game using it for its simplicity. Yet early on, you're given a Chainsword. With just two hits, you're dicing practcally everything except Nobz, and you've been one-hit killing Grotz from game-start.
Dicing everything? You're saying a man, genetically engineered to have as much force as a small car, trained for over 200 years to be the most efficient killer possible, backed up with the muscles fibres in a powered armoured suit, using a sword which is simultaneously whirring a thousand little mono-molecular swords, can easily kill things the size of children and probably everything else?
And the only thing which can stand up to it is a half-tree, genetically engineered, beserk creature which has fought every day for it's life for fun and feels no pain and doesn't die to anything except damage beyond imagining and 8 feet tall BEFORE it stands straight? I imagine so.
then there is this weird Therite proximity grenade launcher. Never heard of it? Well don't worry, it seems to be the least effective weapon in the game and seems to have been pulled out of the game-devs arse just to fill the fourth weapon slot. Yes, in game its explained as experimental, but I'd rather have had a Plasma rifle. Something we all know and love, and can use strategically. Those Frakkin' Nobz would be much easier to handle with a Plasma weapon, because that chansword does near bugger all to them.
You do get Plasma guns. And a Plasma Pistol. And I'm fairly sure you get a Plasma Cannon at some point too, but not to keep.
And they don't exist? Space Marines now have weapons which use GRAVITY to kill you, but a grenade launcher we already have in 2000AD is beyond the ENTIRE Imperium of Man, inspired by a techno-dragon who loves technology? And all those Scout Launchers don't exist either, so I wonder where they got the idea for a grenade launcher from anyway? Hardly that pulled from ass.
Personally, I'd like Plasma Guns and Pistols to hurt you using them, but at least the Plasma Cannon can screw you over.
Oh, and lets start talking about these Greenskins.
The Orks and Grotz are easy. couple shots, a swipe with the chainsword, and they're paste. However, the Nobz are ridiculously OP. I'm playing on Easy (as I do with most new games) and its incredibly dificult to beat one 1-on-1. Despite this, you're quickly expected to kill one , amongst a near endless horde of Orks, along with...
You mean like every single piece of 40k fiction ever, where the one Space Marine wades into hell, picks out the leader, kills everything in his way in single swipes, before having a duel with the leader? And if Nobs are bothering you, just Righteous Fury them. 3 swipes later, they're dead and you're the Marine who got pissed off for the Emperor and wiped him out. Like in the fluff.
Bomb Squigs. Ooh, by the emperors' throne, I hate these. I have died more to these little fuckers than any number of Nobz. It wouldn't be so bad if they weren't mixed into the horde of 20-30 boyz charging at me like lemmings.
Grenade Launchers help. Spraying with Bolter. Personally, I like using the Stalker to snipe them, or Bolt Pistol to one-shot them and feel cool. If you don't charge in, they don't get you. Also, when they walk next to you, roll out of the way before they explode. They make a kind of noise which, if you're like me, you learn to dread.
All in all the game is pretty crap. However, I've only seen the first three out of sixteen "Chapters" so maybe the "Story" gets better? At least it has some semblance of a story, compared to most CoD/Battlefield/FPS games out there.
Yeah, the story gets better, but do remember it's no Gaunt's Ghosts or anything. It's a story about Space Marines, which only got interesting in the Horus Heresy because they stopped writing Space Marines and wrote brave, psychopathic humans instead.
If you were complaining about multi-player, I'd be right behind you regarding some weapons being overpowered and the Veterans being able to destroy the newbies and match-making and some of the maps, but ultimately, I loved the game. It felt like it had heart, made by those who actually like 40k rather than pumping out a crappy, knock-off sci fi movie like Ultramarines.