While Marcus Fenix et al might be pretty tough guys, the Space Marines from Games Workshop's insanely popular Warhammer 40K universe are nothing short of super-human. Genetically modified, put through psycho-chemical conditioning and dragged through years of rigorous training that would kill any of us mere mortals, these guys are hard of nails.
While we've seen them in plenty of strategy games, this is the first time gamers have been able to step directly into the boots of the Space Marines for action-based combat.
Set on an Imperial Forge World, these planets are covered with machinery whose sole purpose is to feed the war-machine of the Imperium forces. The world was guarded by the Imperial Guard who fell against a horde of Orks who are intent on capturing the planet for their own devices. With the Imperial Fleet three days away, it falls on a nearby battalion of Ultra Marines to act as shock troops to prepare the way for the Imperial Fleet. The player takes on the role of Captain Titus who leads a squad of marines onto the planet in order to secure it.
The game controls in a way that reflects the offence based tactics used by the space marines found in the WH40K universe. Charging in head long is the order of the day with over the top melee and ranged weapons being the tools at the players disposal.
So, never mind all those pretenders. It's time to take one of the original Space Marines out for a spin.
Saints Row The Third
Shooting a helicopter out of the sky as you try to airlift a safe from a bank is just one of the early scenes people will experience when they get their hands on Saints Row: The Third. The series has become the antithesis of other free roaming sandbox games, with developer Volition relishing in the idea that the player really just wants to 'play' in the world that it has created.
The game has players taking on the role of the leader of the 'Third Street Saints'. In the time since the previous game, the Saints have gone from being a street gang to being a household brand. While they might have their own line of trainers, however, their untroubled existance has not gone unnoticed. They've fallen under the eye of The Syndicate, an international criminal fraternity that's demanding tribute. The Saints aren't going to let this stand and they take the fight to The Syndicate.
This enables the player to do pretty much what they please within the fictional city of Steelport. There's everything from robbing a bank to flying a VTOL fighter jet that can pretty much blow anything up through to taking part in a gladiator-style TV show. Saints Row The Third really is about giving you the chance to have as much fun in its sandbox world as your squishy brain can comprehend. Whether you want to blow up a Mexican wrestling gang from space or fend off an elite military force with a sex toy, Saints Row has you covered.
Red Faction: Armageddon
When Red Faction: Armageddon begins it’s 2170 – that’s Fifty years on from the date that the Red Faction resistance movement successfully freed the colonists on planet Mars from the corrupt Earth Defense Force in Red Faction: Guerrilla, again from THQ.
The player returns to Mars this time to take on the character of Darius Mason, the grandson of revolution heroes Alec Mason and Samanya. Unfortunately Mason unknowingly unleashes an evil force hidden for many, many years. It’s only fair, therefore that it’s up to Darius and, as ever, the Red Faction itself to once again save Mars for the good of all.
Red Faction: Armageddon, unlike Red Faction: Guerrilla, does not focus its action on the use of competitive multi-player modes. The fully deformable environment familiar to old RF gamers is retained and in it the player must now first recapture and then defend fortifications against the Martian monsters called up from the ancient mines. Freeing the human prisoners from the cocoons of these creatures is the order of the day as the action switches from open world to a more controlled and narrative form of gameplay.
Developer Volition has also included the ability for gamers to hunt for alien artefacts with which to build hybrid weapons such as the Trembler and the Rhino Charge. Along with this weapons-building ability comes the return of the The Nano-Forge to reform destroyed items into new ones. The Hammer, the Singularity Bomb and the Plasma Beam all return. The first two are seen in the forms of the Maul and Singularity Cannon.
Finally, new to the game in is new co-operative Extermination mode, where up to four players can team up to fight against waves of increasingly challenging enemies.