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Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team review

Kill, kill, and kill some more

Pros

  • Quick
  • violent twin-stick combat
  • Classes with unique special attacks and play styles
  • Customization lends much-needed variety to the action

Cons

  • Repetition
  • repetition
  • repetition
  • Extremely brief length
  • Constant handholding awkwardly stops the action

What's in a name? For Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team, pretty much everything. Serving as the digital herald for the equally straight-to-the-point Warhammer 40k: Space Marine, Kill Team's all about one thing: raising the ever-loving shit out of Nintendogs. Yeah, no. Try killing. Typically with one hulking, armor-clad friend, which we suppose puts you in the bare minimum range for a team. And in the opposite corner? A billion enraged ant hill's worth of shotgun-toting, sword-slinging Orks. We know, we know. It's not fair. For them.


Above: To answer the question “Well then, what do you bring to a gunfight?” That. All of that

We have to imagine Kill Team was born after a random, torrid night of passion between Diablo and Geometry Wars, which ended on a rather sour note when Alien Swarm burst out of one of their chests. At its heart, Kill Team's a twin-stick shooter, but multiple character classes, a near-constant stream of upgrades, and a bloody bodycount that could blot out the sun make it a new, decidedly satisfying beast.

Make no mistake, however: this isn't a complicated game. You pick from four classes – with Sternguard Veteran and Techmarine going in guns-a-blazing while Vanguard Veteran and Librarian hack and slash more than they shoot – and move through a series of linear levels. Between you and your largely inconsequential objectives? Orks, Tyranids, and not-much-else, oh my! Honestly, though, bears aren't necessary (or, for that matter, relevant) here, as a healthy number of enemy types will hurl themselves in front of your unending torrent of bullets like someone told them there was free candy on the other side.


Above: Whoa there. Down, boy! Now where's your owner, you big goof?

In the wrong hands, such a formula could grow stale in seconds, but Kill Team turns that particular devil into a smoking crater (and then kills the smoke for good measure) with details. Foremost, weapons and movement simply feel good. Even with the camera pulled way out, your space marine is a lumbering, Ork-ragdolling colossus, and the game goes to great lengths to make sure you never forget. Variety also comes in the form of plentiful power-ups, which include everything from rapid fire to multi-shot to temporary invulnerability.

Classes, meanwhile, are nicely differentiated via universe-obliterating special attacks and customizable upgrade slots. While fairly basic in nature, these things lend a surprising amount of depth to each class. For instance, it's tempting to send the Librarian charging in – sword raised and brain probably in some other dimension – but you won't last long. Mastering the sword-swinging psychic's range, however, yields results. Pepper enemies with your pistol to build up your special meter, go into murder blender mode when enemies get too close, and then unleash a psychic blast to wipe out the survivors. Also, we have to make special mention of the Techmarine's turret, because damn.


Above: Orks ams gud at the speeling

Kill Team's a pleasant surprise, sure, but it does manage to trip over its gigantic mechanical feet in a couple key areas. For one, levels frequently toe the line between functional and downright repetitive – sometimes repeating sequences until your deja vu gets deja vu. Also, the game's clearly designed with multiplayer in mind, rendering a couple sections nearly impossible to solo if you're playing a melee-focused class. And then there's your commander, who constantly halts the action via unnecessary almost-cutscenes to tell you what to do next. That'd be understandable if this were some sort of upside-down staircase MC Escher nightmare dungeon, but it's not. Kill Team's linear almost to a fault, and the commander will have you making up a name for him and then cursing it as a result.

On top of all that, there's the issue of length. Kill Team's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it affair, clocking in at around four hours. Granted, it's a $10 downloadable title, so we can't really give it too much flack for that. Kill Team, then, is definitely worth a look if you're hoping to kill a little time. It may not blow your mind, but you'll be too busy blasting everything that moves to care.

Jul 15, 2011

More Info

Description

Kill Team is a definitely worth a look if you're hoping to kill a little time. It may not blow your mind, but you'll be too busy blasting everything that moves to care.

Franchise nameWarhammer
UK franchise nameWarhammer
PlatformXbox 360, PS3
US censor ratingTeen
UK censor ratingRating Pending
Release date13 July 2011 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
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