In the last couple days I've started playing the old Xbox Space Marine game again. (If you ask me something like "the first one or second one?" it's probably the first, 'cuz I'm not aware that there was more than one.)
This is a really cool game, though the game play isn't the best. The marine you control can't jump or climb anything — your path is pretty much 2D, walking only where they want you to. The targeting isn't the best as, even in sniper mode, nudging the stick generally makes a big jump and it's hard to be precise. So I'm not going to say it's the game ever.
But the visuals and very cool and the of it is fantastic. It really captures the feel of the 41st millennium. The marine armor is great, very detailed, looks like a model come to life. But my favorite part is the bolters. They aren't spraying light machinegun fire; they're launching mini-RPGs like a bolter should! And at a high rate of speed!
The challenge level is kind of weird. It seems like you walk through large areas with no resistance, and most of the time the killing is pretty open and low-threat, but then you'll hit certain boss-type combats that are just murder to get through! That's when I quit playing years ago, when I hit that wall over and over again and couldn't get past it. Orks and gretchen and squigbombs in waves, and those damn squigs get right up on you and blow up. And again, targeting isn't that easy, so you shoot the hell out of a bunch of gretchen that couldn't hurt you if they had plasma pistols in each hand, but you miss the squigs that blow your legs off. And then when you finally make it past the squigbombs and take them all out before they get you, this big mutha of an ork comes in and beats the hell out of you!
FINALLY this morning I got past that part, first try of the day. Then, eventually, I came to a really cool ork dropship that reminds me very much of a Reaver boat in Firefly. You have to plasma cannon the thing while it's shooting you with some megashoota type double-barrelled machinegun and the best shot in all of orkdom is manning the thing! And THEN, if that crackshot doesn't gun you down, they drop orks to engage you while you're trying your damnedest to shoot down the ship with an overheated plasma cannon.
It's hard. But it's fun!
I know this is all old news to most anyone who will read this, but since I buy mostly old games on the cheap and never quite get around to playing them (got two on clearance last Xmas that I haven't even opened yet), I'm pleasantly surprised right now to come back to the year 40,000!
(This post, btw, is simul-cast on my new blog too, BrinksChaosTheory.com.)