Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine Game Poster Image
Popular with kids
Very violent sci-fi shooter deals in gory, bloody combat.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 15 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This game glorifies fantasy and sci-fi combat, with seemingly unstoppable heroes battling through countless evil alien adversaries. Honor and duty are touted frequently within the narrative, but always within the context of an imperial military system.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Our heroes are hardened space marines unafraid of battling enemy aliens to their dying breath to benefit their comrades and the human species. They are good people, though we never hear them talk about lives outside of combat. Their existence revolves around violence and is framed by unyielding military codes.

Ease of Play

Though at times quite challenging, this game will prove immediately familiar and accessible to fans of third-person shooters. The controls are highly intuitive and feel good, and simple, linear level design means it’s all but impossible to get lost while moving toward mission objectives. 


This game deals in gore, blood, and graphic violence. Players attack enemies from afar with a variety of powerful ranged weapons, then, once overcome by hordes of aliens, draw their chainswords and energy axes to carve up their inhuman foes at close range. Alien heads explode in showers of crimson, blood spatters both the ground and our heroes’ armor, and bodies litter the battlefield.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is an exceptionally violent third-person shooter that relishes in depicting bloody, gory combat. The player’s titular soldier takes down multiple green-skinned aliens with every swing of his chainsword, and is often covered from head to toe with the blood of his foes. The marines are fighting for a noble cause -- to save humanity -- but they clearly enjoy the violent acts they commit. Note that this game can be played online with other players and supports open online communication, a feature that Common Sense Media does not recommend for pre-teens.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byStephen H. January 14, 2017

Not really that bad

this game is for sure bloody, and I would know that for a fact. This game only has the words "damn and hell". Although this game has mild language it... Continue reading
Adult Written byJuggernaut93 September 23, 2011

Gory Third-Person goodness.

This game is just a barrel of fun. Though gory beyond all reason, the only thing you kill are mindless aliens. No human blood shed. (Unless you count Chaos, and... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old June 11, 2015

Great for warhammer fans

Violent, but you only kill orks, who have no place in the world of the emperor
Teen, 14 years old Written byDilet April 26, 2021


I'm getting into the universe and lore of Warhammer 40,000 and on the way I discovered this gem of a game. The controls are smooth and responsive, the comb... Continue reading

What's it about?

Based on the tabletop miniature war game that has been a part of modern gaming culture for nearly a quarter of a century, WARHAMMER 40,000: SPACE MARINE is a third-person shooter that lets players take on the role of a meaty, sci-fi super-soldier battling an army of lime-skinned, Cockney-accented aliens known as “orks.” Powerful ranged weapons make it easy to take on baddies from a distance, but eventually the enemy’s sheer numbers will force players to draw their chainswords and energy-infused axes to do battle at close range, sending multiple orks flying with each swing. Once players have worked through the campaign, competitive play awaits in a pair of online modes that allow players to level up their avatars and earn experience points, perks, and custom armor.

Is it any good?

There’s not much wrong with Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, but there’s also not a lot that’s fresh or original. Fans of other third-person sci-fi shooters, such as games in Gears of War series, will find Space Marine familiar, even though it eschews any sort of strategic covering system in favor of simple, head-on battles. Most levels are composed of simple, linear routes leading through wide corridors that give our hero plenty of room to get down and dirty with his chainsword. It’s fun for a while, but tedium eventually sets in.

It’s worth adding that Space Marine isn’t just a love letter to longtime fans who have always wanted to see the franchise’s action from a battlefield-level perspective, but also an accessible point of entry for players new to the dauntingly epic Warhammer universe. Still, it just doesn’t do much to innovate or stand out in the crowded third-person genre. It’s completely competent, but far from exceptional.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in games. How do you feel after playing violent games? Do you think they have any impact on how you think or act while engaged in activities in the real world? Do games with fantasy violence directed at non-humans have less of an impact on how you feel than those that depict gritty, realistic violence toward people?

  • Families can also discuss online play. How do you protect yourself from online predators? What would you do if you encountered someone suspicious while playing a game online?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love games that are fast and furious

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