Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine

Common Sense Media says

Very violent sci-fi shooter deals in gory, bloody combat.





What parents need to know

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

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.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Privacy concerns: This game supports open online chat, which may subject players to coarse language and inappropriate conversations.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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.

Families can talk 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

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Available online?Not available online
Release date:September 6, 2011
Genre:Third-person shooter
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 15 years old Written bySaad1Khan November 22, 2014

Good enough

This game contains gore but not lots of.This game is violent but not very.CSM you should rate it 15 are you pplz gone nuts plz don't behave like esrb.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old July 25, 2014


so much blood and gore but no bad words not like call of duty black opps but the blood and gore is so much more then call of duty.
What other families should know
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written bySithLordBeast July 4, 2013


Pretty good game but doesn't have a ton of depth combat-wise. It's kinda just hack, slash and shoot your way through hoards of enemies, which can be really fun. It's very bloody and gorey but also very cartoony looking. Take Gears of War and make it look cartoony, but keep the blood and gore and this is what you have. The space marines also say d-mn sometimes but that isn't a concern at all. It's all right for 12-13 and older, but make sure it's cheap when you buy it, or try the demo out first.
What other families should know
Too much violence


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