Good introduction but missing something
KillTeam is an Xbox live arcade game published and released by THQ and the now disbanded THQ Warringon. KillTeam is based upon the highly popular table top Games Workshop game. Warhammer 40K was created by Rick Priestley and Andy Chambers in 1987. KillTeam is a duel stick shooting action game, if you have played the game Dead Nation on the PSN then you will know that the left analogue stick moves your space marine and the right one will shoot, I’ll get back to the controls later on in the review.
The story of the game is that you are an elite space marine who has been sent to incept an Orks Kroozer which is heading towards a forge world. If the Kroozer gets to the world then the loss of life would be drastic. The following game is based within the Kroozer over five different missions which include taking out the engines, destroy invasion ships and taking on waves upon waves of the Ork army.
Now with the 40K universe there is a mixture of different characters for the Space marines and the game caters for most people. You’ve got the Librarian which uses mele and gun however they are a force weapon Specialist, The techmarine is pretty much the same as the Librarian however it’s got the ablity to deploy tarantula gun turrets. These characters are used to work with a Strategic plan. So if you feel it would be easy to use the gun turrets to lead a swarm of Orks towards you then shoot them away while mopping up the survivors then you can do that.
However if you’re more of a mêlée or straight up shoot everything which moves person, then the final two classes are up your street. The Vangaurd Veteran is a pure mele specialist, featuring a chainsword and bolter pistol this guy’s main aim is to get into the middle of the action and cut and kill everything which moves. On the other side of the pure attacking option is the Stern guard veteran which has the use of a heavy weapon. Each of the classes will feature something for everyone in this game. Also if you are into your 40K then you can play as different chapters of the Space Marines, the different chapters are the Ultra Marines the Blood Angels, White scars, imperial fists, blood ravens and Salamanders.
Additional features to be featured in the game are two races from the expanded 40K universe Ork and Tyriands. By completing one of the missions of KillTeam you can unlock a special power sword which is then useable inTHQ’s full game Space Marine. Also if you are a new comer to the Games Worskshop world the game features a Codex system which explains the different classes a brief history of the different classes in the Space Marine ranks, different races of Ork and Tyriand. Also the Codex is narrated, however the important thing is that for fans of the table top games (and this is a general complement to the THQ team regardless if it’s an internal studio or Relic who did the dawn of war games) they seem to capture the essence of the battles and give gamers a chance to see what they could only imagine happen in front of their eyes.
Graphically the game does look rather good for an Xbox live arcade title, the Spacemarine looks great and the weapons regardless what you use look great. The Ork Kroozer look and feels what most game workshop gamers would imagine it to be on the inside. The lighting effects which comes off the gun looks impressive and when in a darkened room the flash from the gun crackles and sparks the room into light. Additionally the HUD is nice and clear the Special move bar at the bottom of the space marine keeps you informed in regards of when the bar is filled up.
Also there is a moment in the game where the action slows down in a Fallout 3 style VATS kill mode. It’s an interesting addition to the game however when you slow down only to see a small Tyraind it can seem a bit overkill. In a way it reminds me of the Execution camera shot in Hunted: The demons forge, which at times can be distracting to the core game play.
I mentioned about the controls of the game earlier on in the review and I think it’s important to note that the game plays just like (as I mentioned before) Dead Nation. However the game features a run button, mêlée button grenade and a special move which actives different aspects of the space marines different functions for example of you was a Vanguard veteran you would active your back pack and fly around hacking the enemies apart. While these are the most basic in function for a duel stick game and don’t get me wrong they do seem to suffer from being brilliant one moment then the following moment they become lack lustre. It seems to me that the duel stick genre game may have better controlling games in the genre.
The sound of the game is decent, while we know from past 40K games (mostly the Dawn of War games) the Orks have their normal battle cry of wraghhhh however they do have some nice one liners in the game like “Stop shooting at me” made me laugh, the Tyrianids have a swarming snapping animal like sounds and of course the weapons more so the heavy bolter sounds like it can cause serious and ever lasting damage.
However I think the main problems of the game is that it seems and feels really formulaic, the level design baring mission three seem to be the same all the way throughout the game Also the game does enjoy swamping you with enemies at the most worse times possible.
The best example of this is when you’re asked to shut down a forcefeild generator. The first part of the forcefield is ok however by the time you hit power cable two and three, the only way to describe it is your are swamped and surrounded by Orks, the sheer mass of characters on the screen at times can make the game default difficulty go from a fair challenge to very difficult and at times it made me wish I had someone alongside me to cover me.
There is two player mode however to the game, however the two player mode is only allowed on the person who owns a copy of KillTeam, also featured in the two player mode is a survival mode which basically is like Horde mode where you and a friend basically try to survive as long as possible. I would have mentioned the lack of other enemies in the game however due to the shortness of the game (five missions in toal) it would have been a nightmare bringing in other recognisable villains of the 40K universe like the Necrons, Dark Elder or even the Chaos Space Marines or the Deamons of Chaos.
In rapping up this review I think the fair thing to say about KillTeam is that it’s one of these great average games released on Xbox live arcade. I’ll be honest I am not a massive fan of these duel stick games. For myself there is something lost within the controls of the game, however saying that the DSS game genre seems to be catering for the fans of Smash TV and games of that style.
The game is pretty short however it’s good to know that Microsoft actually charged the game at the correct price (800 Gamer points which would roughly translate to £10ish real money), if the game was around 1200 then it would have been a rip off. THQ is making good of a catalogue of games based within the 40K universe and it’s good to see that they are cross marketing this game with the release of Space marine and giving people an extra weapon in a power sword.
Despite the balancing issues of difficulty and the lack of online multiplayer the game is good for what it is, a quick fun game which could be easily completed in two maybe three hours if you was good. The survival mode offers some sort of replay value as could be said about leaderboards.
If you are a massive fan of Games Workshop or even like the Dawn of war games then you may like or even love this game. However if you are a fan of the Duel Stick shooting genre then you’ll probably be able to find better examples of the genre.
Killteam will be released on PSN on August 6.