A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.