My oldest 40K-game is the intense first-person shooter Fire Warrior.
Just to get one thing straight from the very beginning: Starting up this game for the first time in 2010 will probably have you staring in disbelief at the 7 years long time-travel in graphical technology that it represents. 7 years backwards in time, that is. To put it short, the graphics LOOK old because they ARE old. But who cares?! You are controlling a Tau Fire Warrior that is able to wield pretty much any Tau and Imperial hand-held weaponry in existence, what more could a fan of Warhammer 40K want? Well, an authentic story and environment, lots of action and brutal violence should also be compulsory ingredients in a good 40K-game. Fire Warrior delivers all of this; The story is well-told and true to Games Workshop’s universe, and the areas you visit in the game are varied and, from time to time, quite impressive in both scale and detail. Still, there are games from 2003 that tend to look a lot “newer” both graphics- and physics-wise. Movement tends to look very mechanical, and some of the textures are a bit simple.
But, as I’ve stated earlier, you shouldn’t let the graphics distract you too much. The game is intense enough that you’ll be spending most of your time consentrating on the enemy. If you have read some of my earlier posts you’ll know that I support the Imperium, so killing Guardsmen and even Space Marines is not my favourite aspect of the game. Which makes it even more fun when Chaos enters the fray, and becomes the new enemy.
This, however, brings me to the main flaw of the game as I see it: You are ONE Fire Warrior killing DOZENS of Astartes, Chaos Marines, Raptors and even Daemons. ALONE. On your FIRST mission EVER! For an outsider this might seem okay, but 40K-fans all know that a Fire Warrior needs some luck to take down even one Space Marine. I guess you can simply turn up the difficulty, but that doesn’t change the goal of the game! I generally like the weapons design, but a few of them are still either underpowered or functions in a weird way. The boltgun, for example, has a very low firing rate. This is fine for when you use it yourself, considering the weight and recoil, but the Astartes should be able to fire it on full auto. Besides, the bolt rounds act like slow-moving missiles, so I suppose THQ either wanted to make a sort of “machine rocket-launcher”, or they made them slow so you would have a chance to dodge. I guess the game would be too difficult otherwise, realisticly difficult.
Even if the goal might not completely justify the means, in the sense that some Warhammer 40K-authencity has been sacrificed, the game is nonetheless extremely fun to play. Maybe if the fighting was less individual, if your allies actually followed you around instead of staying put, or, you know, DYING so friggin’ easily, then the expected accomplishment would have simply been more realistic. Or at lest somewhere a little closer, we wouldn’t want to lose the genre’s over-the-top charm, now would we? I would’t bother to review this game from a regular gamer’s point of view, so all that I’ll say is that if you’re both a 40K-fan and likes action games, this is something worth checking out. If you haven’t already, that is. We don’t have THAT much to choose from…
Comments in both English and Norwegian are appreciated!