Dean Takahashi doesn't know what the hell he's talking about

Dean Takahashi wrote an article about Space Marine and how it's ripping off Gears of War. You should probably go ahead and read it.
 
I've gone through his article (now updated, btw) and tried to pick out all his arguments. He claims that he's just talking about the video games themselves and the gameplay, not the actual universes. We'll see what valid arguments there are. Mind you, I'm not even a fan of Warhammer 40k, I've never played the tabletop game or bought a single sourcebook. I was always just a BattleTech fan. But even I can see this is retarded.

He says:

-Grunts in GoW are copied from the US Marine Corps, and Space Marine is copying GoW.
-Both games have oversized armor and body-builder physiques.
-Both games have a large target reticle, so Space Marine is copying GoW.
-Guns are huge and you can have a chainsaw blade, just like the chainsaw bayonet from GoW.
-Blood spatters are similar.
-Guns shoot in a similar fashion.
-Space Marine has a thunder hammer, just like the gravity hammer from Halo.

The first one is about how the characters in both games are derivative of marines in the US Marine Corps. Well, I'm not sure what this has to do with actual gaming. It seems like a story or lore element, doesn't it? Doesn't factor into the gameplay of either game. The Space Marines came much earlier, and they've always been portrayed as meatheaded hyperaggressive soldiers, so... yeah, no copying from GoW here.

The second argument is that visually, Space Marines have oversized armor and bodybuilder physiques, just like in GoW. Again, not really a factor of gameplay, it's purely an art aesthetic of the universe, created back in 1987. They've always looked like this.

Both games have large target reticules. Now, this is certainly in the realm of video games, there's nothing in the universe of WH40k that specifies a specific reticule size. I haven't seen any gameplay video of Space Marine that actually shows the HUD, so I guess I'll accept his word that the game has a large reticule. Large reticules in third person shooters apparently all come from the Gears of War games.

He also argues that both games are similar because they have large guns and a chainsaw-like melee weapon. Well, the large guns visually are just another aesthetic of the universe, so that doesn't have anything to do with the gameplay. The chainsaw-like melee weapon is a gameplay component however, so let's take a look at this. In GoW, you can rev up the bottom of the gun and chainsaw people with it, one at a time. The chainsword in Space Marine is a melee weapon that allows you to perform lots of fluid sword slashes to quickly slaughter multiple enemies. While the chainsaw bayonet is rather slow and only works one on one, being completely ineffective against an entire horde at once, the chainsword is shown to be quick enough to slice and dice between multiple targets in close succession. It feels like much more of a dedicated melee weapon, while the bayonet is more of an afterthought. Of course, it's also different in that it's a sword and not connected to any gun at all, which limits you to melee only. And it's been part of the lore and tabletop game since the very beginning. So... yeah, I don't think this is them copying GoW.

Blood spatters are similar in both games. Well, this is kinda vague. It's true, both games have blood spatter, and they seem similar. There's nothing in the WH40k universe that says much about blood spatter, except that it exists. We can chalk this up as a strong visual element of video games.

Guns shoot in a similar fashion in both games. I'm not even sure what this means, other then that both games have guns that shoot bullets towards the center of the screen? And there's recoil involved? You shoot the gun, and then feel some recoil from shooting the gun? Is that what he means by guns shoot in a similar fashion? Well, shooting is an important aspect of any third person shooter, so yeah, it's a video game argument. You also do shoot from a behind the shoulder perspective in both games, though GoW didn't come up with that, Resident Evil 4 did.

Finally, Space Marine's thunder hammer is a lot like the gravity hammer in Halo. Well, first of all, it should be noted that Halo is a first person shooter. Dean seemed to be comparing the similarities of Space Marine and GoW as third person shooters. First person shooters aren't generally known for their melee combat, so it seems hard to compare it with the third person melee-centric gameplay of Space Marine. The thunder hammer also came from the universe of WH40k, back before Halo was created. I think the existence of the hammer and its use as a melee weapon is due to the lore and universe, and not the copying of a gameplay element from Halo.

So... ultimately, the only real video game arguments he has are:

-Both games have a large target reticle, so Space Marine is copying GoW.
-Blood spatters are similar.
-Guns shoot in a similar fashion.

If Dean Takahashi is truly upset by Space Marine because of these three points, well... he needs to be criticizing a lot more development studios than just Relic.

14 Comments
15 Comments
Posted by Delta_Ass

Dean Takahashi wrote an article about Space Marine and how it's ripping off Gears of War. You should probably go ahead and read it.
 
I've gone through his article (now updated, btw) and tried to pick out all his arguments. He claims that he's just talking about the video games themselves and the gameplay, not the actual universes. We'll see what valid arguments there are. Mind you, I'm not even a fan of Warhammer 40k, I've never played the tabletop game or bought a single sourcebook. I was always just a BattleTech fan. But even I can see this is retarded.

He says:

-Grunts in GoW are copied from the US Marine Corps, and Space Marine is copying GoW.
-Both games have oversized armor and body-builder physiques.
-Both games have a large target reticle, so Space Marine is copying GoW.
-Guns are huge and you can have a chainsaw blade, just like the chainsaw bayonet from GoW.
-Blood spatters are similar.
-Guns shoot in a similar fashion.
-Space Marine has a thunder hammer, just like the gravity hammer from Halo.

The first one is about how the characters in both games are derivative of marines in the US Marine Corps. Well, I'm not sure what this has to do with actual gaming. It seems like a story or lore element, doesn't it? Doesn't factor into the gameplay of either game. The Space Marines came much earlier, and they've always been portrayed as meatheaded hyperaggressive soldiers, so... yeah, no copying from GoW here.

The second argument is that visually, Space Marines have oversized armor and bodybuilder physiques, just like in GoW. Again, not really a factor of gameplay, it's purely an art aesthetic of the universe, created back in 1987. They've always looked like this.

Both games have large target reticules. Now, this is certainly in the realm of video games, there's nothing in the universe of WH40k that specifies a specific reticule size. I haven't seen any gameplay video of Space Marine that actually shows the HUD, so I guess I'll accept his word that the game has a large reticule. Large reticules in third person shooters apparently all come from the Gears of War games.

He also argues that both games are similar because they have large guns and a chainsaw-like melee weapon. Well, the large guns visually are just another aesthetic of the universe, so that doesn't have anything to do with the gameplay. The chainsaw-like melee weapon is a gameplay component however, so let's take a look at this. In GoW, you can rev up the bottom of the gun and chainsaw people with it, one at a time. The chainsword in Space Marine is a melee weapon that allows you to perform lots of fluid sword slashes to quickly slaughter multiple enemies. While the chainsaw bayonet is rather slow and only works one on one, being completely ineffective against an entire horde at once, the chainsword is shown to be quick enough to slice and dice between multiple targets in close succession. It feels like much more of a dedicated melee weapon, while the bayonet is more of an afterthought. Of course, it's also different in that it's a sword and not connected to any gun at all, which limits you to melee only. And it's been part of the lore and tabletop game since the very beginning. So... yeah, I don't think this is them copying GoW.

Blood spatters are similar in both games. Well, this is kinda vague. It's true, both games have blood spatter, and they seem similar. There's nothing in the WH40k universe that says much about blood spatter, except that it exists. We can chalk this up as a strong visual element of video games.

Guns shoot in a similar fashion in both games. I'm not even sure what this means, other then that both games have guns that shoot bullets towards the center of the screen? And there's recoil involved? You shoot the gun, and then feel some recoil from shooting the gun? Is that what he means by guns shoot in a similar fashion? Well, shooting is an important aspect of any third person shooter, so yeah, it's a video game argument. You also do shoot from a behind the shoulder perspective in both games, though GoW didn't come up with that, Resident Evil 4 did.

Finally, Space Marine's thunder hammer is a lot like the gravity hammer in Halo. Well, first of all, it should be noted that Halo is a first person shooter. Dean seemed to be comparing the similarities of Space Marine and GoW as third person shooters. First person shooters aren't generally known for their melee combat, so it seems hard to compare it with the third person melee-centric gameplay of Space Marine. The thunder hammer also came from the universe of WH40k, back before Halo was created. I think the existence of the hammer and its use as a melee weapon is due to the lore and universe, and not the copying of a gameplay element from Halo.

So... ultimately, the only real video game arguments he has are:

-Both games have a large target reticle, so Space Marine is copying GoW.
-Blood spatters are similar.
-Guns shoot in a similar fashion.

If Dean Takahashi is truly upset by Space Marine because of these three points, well... he needs to be criticizing a lot more development studios than just Relic.

Posted by beej

I think we already had a thread on this actually.

Edited by Aetheldod

Well they are indeed very similar , specially to folks who may not be informed of the differences .... not everybody knows everything about everything ya know
 
Edit: But after thinking about it perhaps , he being a gaming critic ,  he should've researched about the Warhammer lore and art direction before making those claims , but as I said not everyone can be that informed all the time

Posted by Ghostin

I was going to post something on this just now, but may as well comment here... When his explanation/apology ends up longer than the article itself, I think he knows he was way off the mark. 

 
Up until I reached the update, I was genuinely thinking he was just taking the piss.
Posted by Daiphyer
@Aetheldod said:
Well they are indeed very similar , specially to folks who may not be informed of the differences .... not everybody knows everything about everything ya know  Edit: But after thinking about it perhaps , he being a gaming critic ,  he should've researched about the Warhammer lore and art direction before making those claims , but as I said not everyone can be that informed all the time
I have to disagree, yes they do look similar, visually, but Spacemarine plays alot different(Having played it in the Dubai Gaming Expo). It's very fast paced, there is no cover, and characters for the most part, don't feel like tanks. The melee combat is big too, hence there is no cover, you go from shooting a dude to hacking and slashing in matter of seconds, it's seamless. However, I do see your point. To a casual gamer who happens to be a fan of Warhammer 40K universe, they do indeed look similar. To them.
Posted by dudeglove

So, wait, he's complaining that one game about space marines is too similar to another game about space marines?

Posted by Vodun
@Aetheldod said:
Well they are indeed very similar , specially to folks who may not be informed of the differences .... not everybody knows everything about everything ya know  Edit: But after thinking about it perhaps , he being a gaming critic ,  he should've researched about the Warhammer lore and art direction before making those claims , but as I said not everyone can be that informed all the time
Dude's still wrong...
Posted by Borodin
@Ghostin said:
 When his explanation/apology ends up longer than the article itself, I think he knows he was way off the mark. 
I thought the same thing, I'm even slightly surprised he didn't just retract the whole thing. I hate reading that "I still stand by my original point" line that creeps into these things though - after you strip away all the ignorance and lapses in logic (acknowledging 40k predates GoW but then still pointing out specific items 40k is supposed to have copied from GoW?) - what is left in that article that is worth publishing online?   

Hey! Check me out! I noticed that there are certain tropes shared by games within similar genres!  
Edited by Mnemoidian

Actually, I think that a lot of this can be attributed to how poorly Games Workshop has stewarded their Warhammer 40,000 IP within this medium - beyond the Dawn of War games (which I remember getting similar criticism, but with Starcraft as the originall), there has not been very many good Warhammer 40,000 games (Final Liberation?)- which is why so few outside of the table-top crowd are aware of what Warhammer 40,000 is. 
 
I kind of understand where Mr. Takahashi is coming from - there's a cyclic dependency going on here,  Space Marine, the game, might not have been a thing if not for Gears of War, the game. But Gears of War, the setting (possibly more?), might not have been a thing without Warhammer 40,000, the setting.
 
While Space Marine is clearly... very inspired by Gears of War, it seems like a Gears of War-esque game is the obvious choice for a Space Marine game. 
And Dean Takahashi, while not someone I've heard of previously, is probably in a better position to comment on the likeness of the Gears of War and Space Marine games than most of us, as most of us have only seen trailers for Space Marine so far :)
 
I do wonder, though - does this article indicate that Space Marine is good enough to gripe about the similarities to Gears of War? Or is this article because that's all there is to say about it?

Posted by Dberg

The dude is just flat out ignorant. Even if Space Marine's setting wasn't from 1987, effectively ruining his entire argument, his comparison would still be worthless because:

GoW is a cover based shooter. You hide behind chest high walls and shoot people.

Space Marine is a shoot'em up / beat'em up adventure. Think Fable, but with fully automatic rocket launchers, chainswords and jet packs.

Posted by mazik765

Yeah the dudes a dick. You'd think you'd wan to do some research before publishing an article like this. Also, even if Space Marine did rip off Gear of War, who fucking cares? Darksiders ripped off a whole bunch of games and it was still awesome.

Posted by ryanwho

Warhammer being the pioneer of some lame shit doesn't make it less lame.

Posted by ArtelinaRose
@ryanwho said:
Warhammer being the pioneer of some lame shit doesn't make it less lame.
I don't think I've ever seen you post something that wasn't completely unnecessary or needlessly confrontational.
Posted by big_jon

@ryanwho said:

Warhammer being the pioneer of some lame shit doesn't make it less lame.

What a cock like thing to say.

Posted by Agent47

Maybe he is trolling?Or he's never played WH40K.Either way GOW and 40k do both have space marines and space marines are about as generic as they come I don't really see why you had to write a lenghty blog on this.I guess you just wanted to get your anger out in cyberspace.Of course I don't see what kind of response you would want.So I guess this is a more interesting one.
 
@ryanwho said:

Warhammer being the pioneer of some lame shit doesn't make it less lame.