Interview: Raw DLC vs Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine

Perhaps one of the greatest things about being the head honcho on a magazine is the access you get to uber-groovy content. You’ll be able to have a read of the Australian 360 Q&A with Raphael van Lierop, the game director of the upcoming Space Marine game next month. But in the meanest of meantimes, we had some leftover questions with answers that we couldn’t bear to see go to waste. I’m sure you won’t mind that we decided to share these remaining items with you all. So make the jump and have a look at what we’ve got for you.

For those unaware, Space Marine is a third-person action title set in the ever-rich fields of the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Interestingly, it’s being put together by Relic Entertainment – the same team that did the Dawn of War/Company of Heroes real-time strategy titles. Thankfully, Relic isn’t just a talented RTS development team, they’ve also had third-person experience with the Xbox 360 exclusive, The Outfit.

Read on to be enlightened.

Will we be fighting more than just Orks?

The focus of the single-player campaign is to purge a vital Forge World of a million-strong Ork army, intent on getting its hands on a devastating war machine know as a Titan. That much firepower in the hands of the chaotic Orks would spell certain doom for the humanity; however, that’s not all that’s at play in this grim tale of the future. Other dark forces are at work and you’ll need to bring your formidable fighting skills to bear on the situation if the Ultramarines are to have any chance of winning the day.

Compared to the Warhammer RTS titles, how deep is the unit/squad customisation?

Space Marine is a third-person action blockbuster game, delivering an up-close combat experience. Other than sharing the rich Warhammer 40,000 science-fiction setting, the game has very little in common with our [Relic Entertainment] Dawn of War series. However, customisation has always been a big focus of our games, and you can expect various elements of customisation to feature in our progression system. We’ll be talking in more detail about that as we get closer to launch.

What sort of weapons, upgrades and kit can we expect to see?

One of the best things about creating a game in this rich sci-fi setting is the huge range of devastating weaponry we can put in the player’s hands, and you can be sure we’re taking full advantage of this in Space Marine.

Are there different Space Marine classes on offer? If so, what types?

In the single-player game, players can adopt the playing style that best suits them, and use progression elements to cater their weapon loadout and abilities to their individual preferences. Multiplayer and co-op roles will support a range of playing styles, and we’ll be getting into more details about these modes as we get closer to launch.

How did you go about finding a balance between a solid FPS experience and a rewarding RPG component?

Space Marine is all about delivering blockbuster action in this epic sci-fi setting from the third-person perspective, giving the players the melee and ranged weaponry to dominate the battlefield. Our progression systems let the players evolve their weapons and abilities to suit their specific playing style. It’s an approach that keeps things focussed on the combat, and avoids endless screens of options and tons of stats tuning, which really distract players from the heart of what makes the game entertaining.

How much variety does a player have in approaching a mission?

Space Marine is a straight-up linear action shooter. That being said, our environments tend to be expansive which often provides for multiple approaches to given encounters. We also give the player other tools for overcoming physical obstacles in the world, so they can use these to find alternate ways to navigate the space. But the focus of Space Marine is on intense, forward-moving combat – the game delivers a tremendous sense of momentum in both the way combat is paced and tuned, and in how the Space Marine moves through the world. This is not at all a game about cowering behind cover and popping up to take a couple of shots at the two or three enemies hiding behind their own cover. This is not a game where you sneak around in darkness trying to get a leg up on a single enemy, worrying about setting the alarms off and then having to run away or be killed. This is a straight-up intense action shooter that offers relentless and satisfying combat. That’s what we’re delivering with Space Marine, and we’re giving it to you pure and unadulterated. This game’s been a labour of love for us. We’re super excited about how Space Marine plays and we can’t wait to get it into gamers’ hands!

Space Marine is due for release towards the end of 2011.

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