Review: Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team

The Warhammer 40K universe is home to plenty of tangling spiderwebs of plot, though to look at Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team, you wouldn’t know it. In fact, from the look of things to an outsider sitting in on a playthrough it would seem as though you’re a space marine sent to clear out an enormous spaceship teeming with Orks by any means necessary. This is peace through superior firepower, and how. With the holiday season carrying in Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine on a wave of other new releases, it’s obvious that Kill Team was tossed together in an effort to hype up the main breadwinner. Obvious how? It channels the isometric Alien Breed: Evolution series and all of the other arcade releases basking in its glow to provide a hollow dual-stick shooter that’s satisfying, but only in short bursts…like machine gun fire.
You may choose between four different classes to get your Ork exterminating on: the Sternguard Veteran (typical soldier armed with a minigun), Librarian (melee damage-dealer), Techmarine (your go-to turret guy), and the Vanguard Veteran (focused on Psychic abilities). After failing miserably flying solo as a melee soldier, I finally caved and chose the Sternguard Veteran, savoring his “special ability,” which increases the minigun’s rate of fire so exponentially I actually welcomed the usually overwhelming mobs of Orks looking to have my head. And they fell down went boom.

There are no brain-twisting puzzles and there’s no over-arching narrative here. You simply need two thumbs and a thirst for blood as you traipse through your typical spaceship environments, cutting through enemy troops like a hot knife through butter. It’s good, mindless fun, just like another recent giant insect-exterminating adventure released quite recently, but its novelty begins to wear thin on the nerves the second or third time you lose your saved data.

Checkpoints are few and far between as it is, so when you’re ready to turn in for the night, then come back the next day to find you have to start from the very beginning of an area, it’s enough to make you want to delete the game from your console, never to return again. I put in a solid hour or two of play, passing through several checkpoints on my first time through, and upon returning the next day to continue for this review, my progress was gone. After several moments of rage, I chalked it up to my own error, perhaps quitting too early after a checkpoint. After another night of play performing the very same tasks, then checking immediately after a checkpoint, the very same thing occurred, leaving me to wonder how in the world you’re going to be able to finish this game without investing several consecutive hours. I’ve yet to hear any cases to the contrary — this could be an isolated incident for me, but nothing that gets me too excited about jumping right back in to waste even more time.

Luckily, everything about Kill Team screams “budget time-waster,” so if that’s what you’re looking for, the 800 MSP it’ll set you back is a decent price, but unless you’re prepared to marathon it, apparently, with a couch buddy (regretfully, there’s no online co-op play) you may be in for the long haul. In any case, decimating those poor Orks and exploring the ship can be satisfying. It’s just a shame they skimped on the rest of the game. I’d wait for a sale before plunking down those cold, hard points.

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