8 Unique Games You Probably Missed Last Gen

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Warhammer 40K Space Marine is a game that sounds too good to be true. A game that beautifully hybrids brawling mechanics with third person shooting that works great in single-player and multiplayer. Not only all this, but a game accurately representing the Warhammer 40K universe, and it was developed by a studio known only for strategy games before it's release. Yet somehow Relic pulled it off.

Despite being critically lauded, retaining an active fanbase, and some decent DLC expansion packs all seemed to be in the game's favor, most players I meet haven't even heard of the game or expected it to be "just another shooter". It is anything but ordinary.

You can transition from brutal melee kills to shooting off all manner of weaponry from Heavy Bolters to Laser Cannons with an ease and grace that contrasts perfectly with the otherwise grim and gritty science fiction setting. Warhammer 40K was one of the dark science fiction settings that existed long before Gears, and owns it's distinctive take on the setting with sincerity. This is a world of eternal war and insane scale as men in hulking suits do battle with thousands of space hill-billy like Orks and demons from nether regions of Hell.

The art direction is just like the miniatures from the role playing game, the voice acting is Hollywood grade, the characters all feel like they belong in this world, and the levels inspire awe in the scale of their designs and the game's many attempts to break the traditional "running down a corridor" shooter mold. There is a clear style and tone to the world that it just revels in it.

This is a game that loves it's universe and wants nothing more than to be the epic power fantasy of being an Ultramarine. This even transitions to the game's numerous multiplayer options, giving both Marine versus Marine combat and Marines versus Environment combat options for every fan. The multiplayer features three distinct classes with each filling a distinctive role and their own weapons to choose from. The game gives a huge leg up in accessibility by letting you copy any player's loadout, regardless of your level, if they kill you.

Once you've had enough fun beating on opposing teams of marines, you can take your friends into the game's dungeon crawler -inspired horde mode. Four marines enter, no Orks are left alive as you rely on team tactics and powers to hold back the unending waves of enemies across multiple linked maps that have different environmental bonuses and layouts. If you survive until the final map, the game ups the difficulty again and gives you bonus waves of Chaos Marines that will push you to the limit.

There is so much on offer in a single package, it's disappointing to realize that with THQ's closure, the planned sequels will never see the light of day. The one major negative as a result is that the game ends on a cliffhanger for the campaign's progatonist Captain Titus. The multiplayer has an unfortunate amount of progression padding as some levels don't even unlock new equipment for no reason. Regardless though, it is a worthwhile game and not something you want to overlook as a fan of either brawlers or shooters.

Published Apr. 24th 2014
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