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Sunday Time Waster: Space Marine and Freeware

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I finished the campaign in Space Marine Friday night and even took the plunge and jumped into a random multiplayer game for about an hour and a half, playing a game with random dudes, not acting particularly, Space Marine -like. Multiplayer, as it stands now in Space Marine, is a missed opportunity, and instead plays like almost every other MP game at the moment — you earn levels, earn more “stuff” and I found it generally yawn inducing. There’s no asymmetry at all except for the gear people use because they are a higher rank/level. No Orks. No personality. Jump packs are fun.

The co-op mode drops in October but it’s not a campaign co-op — it’s just a couple of maps. That holds very little interest to me either. Playing the campaign cooperatively…that’s what I want. I’m going to write my review tonight — I’m leaning “B” and it’s that high only because of the awesome job Relic did in capturing the look, feel, and style of Warhammer 40K. This game lives off its license.

I don’t think this is spoiler territory, but the final “battle” in the game is atrocious. It was lazy, unsatisfying, and silly. I wish I had finished it before we recorded the podcast because the ending would have made the list of bad endings alongside Fallout 3, Dead Space and Batman Arkham Asylum (which I somehow forgot to mention on the show).

I also said last week that I wanted to play Space Hulk with those pretty graphics. It’s true, I do. I think that game if designed properly would be incredible. A few readers emailed me about the Space Hulk card game from FFG (which I own). It’s a neat game for what it is. I like that you can play it solo. Obviously it’s no replacement to the boardgame, which is balls out great. Of course the card game doesn’t run you over $100, either…

But one reader pointed me to something I didn’t know existed: a freeware game called Alien Assault. Apparently, the game was made with full-on Space Hulk in mind and was pitched to THQ who rejected it so the guys who made it stripped out all of the Warhammer stuff but kept the basic design — which is pure Space Hulk. I assume Games Workshop doesn’t know it exists or they’d try to take it down. That’s a very GW thing to do.

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And yes, it’s free. Not “sorta free” but 100% free although if you play it as much as I have the past few days you should kick in some cash to the developers. It’s low on production values (it’s free, people) but I have had a blast.

You can grab the game here. https://www.teardown.se/alienassault.html

Just look at this screenshot — that’s Space Hulk.

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There’s a hefty manual which was hosted (oddly) on Rapidshare but I grabbed it and placed it locally. Grab it here:

Alien_Assault_MANUAL_v1_7.pdf

So, if you are looking for a true Sunday Time Waster that doesn’t involve 10-hours of NFL action?

Trust me — I just made your day.

Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

4 thoughts to “Sunday Time Waster: Space Marine and Freeware”

  1. I told you about Alien Assault years ago Bill!

    It used to be _called_ Space Hulk, because it 100% _is_ Space Hulk. But GW got litigious as they are wont to do…

    I’m leaning B on Space Marine as well. Slightly better than Average shooter saved by great licensure. The part with the Valkyries was freaking awesome…except that it was another damn turret sequence- lazy design.

    It strikes me much like tha tabletop game…the game itself isn’t all that great, but it’s setting and imaginative visuals are.

  2. Did you finish it yet?

    If so, we should talk about the end. The final “fight” and that last cut scene.

    The folks at Relic read the Realms of Chaos books…

  3. I didn’t think the endings to Batman or Dead Space were particularly bad. Maybe a little unimaginative?

    Of course, I’m not the most imaginative dude. My Isaac Clarke went from space engineer to full blown space marine by the end of the game so I just let loose with my pulse rifle until the uber necrmorph stopped moving.

    Even if it’s not very imaginative, I’m looking forward to rocking through Space Marine though!

  4. No, still working on it. I have a strange relationship with the game. I _do_ like it, but 12 chapters in and it’s kind of a slog. The repetition is pretty wearisome at this point- the environments, the fights, the constant “Space Marine!” cries.

    The problem is that the game just isn’t very dynamic. The combat system is great- awesome even- but other than picking up a new weapon here and there it doesn’t feel like it develops at all.

    It really, really reminds me of last year’s Transformers game. But with a way better setting and much cooler visuals.

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