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File:Space Marine Cover Resized 5376.jpg

My craft is death.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is a Third-Person Shooter published by THQ and developed by the creators of the Dawn of War, Company of Heroes and Homeworld series, Relic Entertainment. While the aforementioned games are Real Time Strategy games, the company has created a Third-Person Shooter before, The Outfit, set in World War 2, which received mixed reviews.

Being Exactly What It Says on the Tin, the game is set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe where you play as one of the Adeptus Astartes, the Angels of Death - or more colloquially, the Space Marines. Space Marines are eight-feet tall genetically-engineered, power armoured Super Soldiers where one in one-hundred neophytes who are trained as Space Marines survive (to say nothing of the pre-adolescent aspirants who were considered for induction and who they fought before hand...), split into unique "Chapters", and are devoted to the defense of humanity, the brutal, totalitarian and completely necessary Imperium of Man uniting them, and its now-on-life-support founder, who also developed the engineering process behind their creation, the God-Emperor of Mankind. Further elaboration on the 40K Space Marines in general can be found in the Warhammer 40,000 character page under "Imperial Factions".

The protagonist is Captain Titus of the generalist Ultramarines chapter. An Ork horde, a species of green, inhumanly strong Blood Knights, led by Warboss Grimskull, is launching a massive attack on an Imperial Forge World named Graia in an attempt to steal Warlord-class Battle Titans. Titus and a small contingent of Ultramarines have been sent to slow them down while allied forces ready themselves for a counterattack. Later on in the game, a Chaos Warband called the Chosen of Nemeroth, including the traitorous and corrupted Chaos Space Marines, attack Graia as well. More general information on the enemy forces is available within the Warhammer 40,000 character page, under "Xenos Races" and "Forces of Chaos" respectively.

Unlike other Third Person Shooters where a Take Cover system is the norm, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine intentionally does not use one to encourage aggressive tactics - while the player is capable of Walking It Off for their shields in single-player (both health and shields in co-operative play and multiplayer), getting to an enemy and performing a melee 'execution' is the only way to restore health, quickly and entertainingly. The player may quickly switch between melee weapons and ranged weapons to bring death upon the enemies of the Imperium in various forms. The game uses a 'Fury' system, where after dealing enough damage, Captain Titus can go into Bullet Time with ranged weapons to Boom! Headshot! some suckers, regenerates health automatically, deals more close-combat damage and regenerates health with each melee attack while active.

The game has a single-player campaign focused on the efforts of Captain Titus to protect Forge World Graia, a competitive multi-player between the Cosmetically Different Sides of the Emperor's Space Marines and the Chaos Space Marines, and a 4-player co-operative mode called "Exterminatus", a free DLC that involves a team of Space Marines slaughtering wave after wave of Ork troops.

Being a Warhammer 40,000 game, many of the universe's tropes apply to the game.

The game was released September 6 in North America, and three days later in Europe. There is a demo available on Steam, X-Box Live and PSN. It has also recently been released for free for PS Plus subscribers.

For the Emperor, brothers!

The Emperor's Finest are examples of
  • Action Girl: Second Lieutenant Mira, leader of the remaining members of the 203rd Cadian regiment, at your service.
  • A Father to His Men: Captain Titus is nothing but respectful and protective of his subordinates. He does not condescend on the Imperial Guardsmen (which would be understandable enough for a Space Marine Captain, who is MUCH higher on the Imperial totem pole), instead commending them for their bravery and thanking them for their support as the mission goes along. Since this is 40K, they in turn practically worship the ground he walks on.
  • An Axe to Grind: Captain Titus can use a Power Axe, and they're available to Space Marines in multi-player as well. Chaos Marines use Chain Axes instead.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Warboss Grimskull. Nemeroth also sounds awesomely evil.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: You always revive with full health, even if you were beaten to a pulp before or during the autosave.
    • In the multiplayer, when you are killed by someone, you have to option to respawn using their gear and perks instead of your own. This gives low-level players a fighting chance against their higher-leveled killer(s).
    • If you empty a bolt weapon's magazine, you will reload automatically, but more slowly than if you reloaded manually before you ran out. When the magazine's about to run out, it makes a metallic, clinking sound, which lets you know so you can perform a quick reload without having to look at your ammo counter. This is EXTREMELY useful, since the game's chaotic pace makes a distraction as tiny as looking at your ammo count potentially fatal.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Appropriately for the universe the game is set in, many of the audio logs do not end well.
    • One of the logs that averts this turns out to be a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming. An Imperial Guardsmen heard a noise in a pipe and was about to throw a grenade in it - until he found that it was a group of surviving civilians. He then describes it as one of the happiest moments he's ever had.
  • Asking for It: Orks have a bad habit of shouting "It takes more than that to kill an Ork!" and "Go ahead! Shoot me again!" while you shoot them.
  • A Space Marine Is You: Do we even have to say it?
    • Surprisingly downplayed, at least with Titus' character. He does not resemble the codifiers (Gears of War, Halo, Doom, etc.) at all, being a well-spoken, experienced commander who leads the assault instead of bringing up the rear. The rest of The Squad vary in how well they fit the trope. However, every plot element of A Space Marine Is You is in full force and then some.
  • Attack Drone: The rarely-encountered Blight Drone, an unholy combination of UAV, larva, and carrion daemon.
  • Awesome Yet Practical: The Autocannon. It has a 400 round magazine, hits like a gorilla with a sledgehammer, and has a high rate of fire. They actually have to take it away from you so you don't break the game.[1]
    • The Storm Bolter. Its main drawbacks are inaccuracy and going through its ammo like a fat kid through popcorn when firing on full auto, but one quickly learns to use two-second bursts to compensate for both. Slightly less useful in single player (you don't get it until after all the Orks are gone, and it doesn't have the armor-piercing Kraken bonus of your regular Bolter), but an absolute Godsend in Exterminatus Co-op.
  • Axe Crazy: Chaos Space Marines wielding Chain Axes.
  • Badass: Captain Titus, of course. (Can't forget Sidonus and Leandros, though) His first response to his Thunderhawk being unable to land safely due to Ork gun batteries is to have his squad equip Jump Packs and descend down to the closest Ork ship. Soon after, Titus blows the ship up by turning one of its own guns at its bridge.
    • Badass Boast: Pretty much any time Titus says he'll do something, given how, at best, he only has Sidonus and Leandros backing him up.

Titus: "Leave the gun to us, Lieutenant. You will have your reinforcements."
Mira: "...I'll hold you to that, Captain."


"I am scientist and soldier both, Captain."

  • Badass Army: The Ultramarines, of course. The Imperial Guardsmen get major brownie points for sheer dedication to the cause.
    • The Chaos Space Marines count too, and WILL tear you limb from limb if you're not careful. One of the Aspiring Champions can handily stand up to Titus blow for blow, too.
  • BFS: Bloodletters wield mighty hellblades that can cause massive amounts of damage.
  • BFG: The Heavy Bolter, Lascannon and Plasma Cannon, to name a few. This is also the purview of the Devastator Marine/Havoc multi-player class, wielding them to mow down opponents from a distance.
    • Also, the giant gun fortress preventing Imperial ships from landing (the shells are about the size of a bus), and the crane-suspended Volcano cannon (meant to be mounted on a Titan) used by orks to break down a massive gate.
  • Big Bad: Warboss Grimskull, leader of the Ork Hordes. Until the Chaos Sorcerer Nemeroth (in Terminator armor, no less) shows up.
  • Big No: Titus gets one when Sidonus gets killed by Nemeroth.
  • Bigger Is Better: One of your many enemies are the Nobz (Orks bigger than even the Space Marines). Justified by Ork physiology and culture.
  • Big Damn Heroes: You and your squad. The Guardsmen all view you as this when you come charging out of nowhere to help them fend off huge Ork and Chaos assaults.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Over the course of the game, Titus brings an Ork Waaagh! grinding to a halt, stops a Chaos invasion in its tracks and beats a Daemon Prince to death with his bare hands while in free fall from a Space Elevator... only to be taken away by the Inquisition while being flanked by Black Templars because Leandros, his own battle brother, accused him of heresy due to suspicions that arose over the events of the game.
    • The thing that keeps this from being closer to a Downer Ending lies with Inquisitor Thrax. He clearly doesn't take Leandros seriously, and is simply going through the motions that he's officially required to. If he actually thought Captain Titus was a heretic, he would have had Mira and Leandros detained as well, wouldn't have let Titus deliver his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Leandros, and certainly would have had him disarmed before letting him on board the transport considering the sheer amount of destruction he was just responsible for.
  • Blood Knight: Orks
  • Blood Splattered Warrior: If you go melee on a horde of Orks, Titus will be absolutely covered in blood by the time you're done.
  • Boom! Headshot!: Enemy heads can explode. Pretty Little Headshots averted nicely.
    • Also how Titus kills Grimskull, with a Plasma Pistol shot.
  • Boring but Practical: In the campaign, the standard Bolter is reliable, holds a lot of ammo, and deals a fair amount of damage. Once it's upgraded to a Kraken Bolter, even moreso.
    • The Bolter combined with the Kraken Bolts perk is frequently seen online, for more or less the same reasons as in the campaign. Combined with the Bolter Aiming System, however, it goes into Awesome Yet Practical territory, with incredible accuracy that never wears off when aiming down the sights. It practically makes it a full-auto sniper rifle.
  • Canon Foreigner: A non-character example in the form of the Vengeance Launcher: An experimental remote-detonation Grenade Launcher developed by Graia's Techpriests for use by the Space Marines, and not yet cleared for use off-world.
  • Chainsaw Good: Your main melee weapon is the Chainsword.
  • Character Customization: The player may customize their Marine's armour with different pieces and colours, and choose specific options within the Tactical Marine/Chaos Marine, Devastator Marine/Havoc and Assault Marine/Raptor classes in lieu of weaponry, perks and equipment. The customization system is said to have over 1.8 billion combinations.
  • Chekhov's Gun: You see the Titan Invictus parked in the Manufactorum very early in the game. At the very end of the game, you find yourself in need of a Titan-sized gun.
  • Continuity Nod: The Imperial relief force which is deployed behind the Ultramarines includes Black Templars and Blood Ravens among its number.

Titus: "Unleash the fury that you showed during the Aurelian Crusade, and we shall be glad to have even a few Blood Ravens with us."

Blood Raven Sergeant: "None shall find us wanting, Ultramarine."

    • A minor one, Imperial Guardsmen can grudgingly repair their own vehicles. This ability was introduced in Dawn of War II: Retribution.

"The Omnissiah won't like this."

  • Critical Existence Failure: Low health causes the screen to redden and pulse, but you seem no less capable at fighting. Justified since the Space Marines tend to be Badass enough to resist pain and fight on until incapacitation due to extreme genetic modification and engineering, as well as years of training and conditioning.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sergeant Sidonus; his "been there, done that, no problem" attitude and dry sense of humor makes him one of these.
  • Dead All Along: Inquisitor Drogan.
  • Death From Above: The Jump Pack, which allows you to effortlessly kill or stun large groups of enemies by what is essentially a rocket assisted air jump... aimed at the ground.
    • In the multiplayer and Exterminatus modes killing an opponent in this manner is referenced by the trope name and rewarded with an XP bonus.
    • One of the perks of the Assault/Raptor class uses the trope name and increases the effectiveness of such an attack.
  • Death Ray: Melta Guns, heat-based weapons utilizing sub-atomic agitation of the air, typically used for taking out tanks at close range, appears as a shotgun substitute (likely because the normal 40K Combat Shotguns would be insufficient against the enemies in the game and only the Scouts are allowed to use them in a Space Marine chapter).
    • The Lascannon also qualifies
  • Demonic Possession: Inquisitor Drogan's corpse is possessed by a servant of Nemeroth.
    • Any Chaos Space Marine.
  • Determinator: The Space Marines, obviously, but that goes without saying in this franchise. 2nd Lt. Mira is perhaps a more unusual example. Her forces are outnumbered, cut off from support, dwindling quickly, facing down foes several times stronger than her and her soldiers, all while she bears a command burden well above her modest rank. Yet, she is never shown faltering, doubting, or even considering giving up the fight. She instantly mobilizes assets to assist the Ultramarines with whatever they need, is shown actively encouraging her soldiers not to despair, and they claim that she is responsible for why they have been able to hold out as long as they have.
  • Discontinuity Nod: Much of the conflict in the story is driven by a Plot Device which functions as a power source by drawing energy directly from the Warp. Similar devices were described in early editions of the setting, but the knowledge of their construction was the exclusive domain of the Squats.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Played with. Shooting on the move doesn't impair your aim too much, making tactics like hammering an opponent with your pistol before closing in for the melee killing blow viable. There is one exception: the Heavy Bolter is normally slow-firing and inaccurate at longer ranges, but if the Devastator/Havoc player pushes the reload button, he'll steady himself, preventing movement but drastically increasing the accuracy and fire rate of his weapon.
  • Downloadable Content: A considerable amount. It mostly consists of new multiplayer Space Marine veteran or Chaos champion skins, from various Chapters or Legions, but there's also the "Chaos Invasion" addon which allows Chaos Marines for coop play, and "The Dreadnought", which introduces a new gametype with three maps where the top player on a team gets to control a mighty Dreadnought.
  • Drop the Hammer: The player may use Thunder Hammers at some points in the single-player campaign, and it is also available in multi-player. In single-player you can only use your Pistol or Bolter if you have one(and in multiplayer only the Pistol unless you have a perk that allows a Bolter), but since it's the strongest melee weapon, it's well worth it. Even more so when you have a Jump Pack, which restricts you to the same weapons anyway.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Averted rather hard, particularly with the Imperial Guardsmen. They were hard pressed against the Ork Waaagh! and almost certainly doomed before your arrival; and after you (quite literally if you so choose) hack your way through a huge mob of Orks closing in to push through their lines, most of the Guardsmen are very much in awe of Titus and his comrades. Some of the casualties in the bunker thank the God-Emperor that they were able to see a Space Marine before the end, and utter a prayer on your behalf. They also tend to kneel before you and address you as "My lord".
    • It's also averted from the Space Marines towards the Imperial guard. Titus shows nothing but respect and admiration for troops so willing to lay their life on the line to protect their planet. This attitude instantly wins Lieutenant Mira over.
  • Elite Mooks: Nobz and other larger varieties of Orks. Chaos Space Marines become this once Nemeroth appears, as due to them being Space Marines as well they are not only tough to kill, but also pack powerful weapons.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Par for the course. The Imperial Guard are brave and dedicated, to be sure, but the Space Marines are badassery personified.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Did anyone not see Leandros betraying you to the Inquisition coming a mile away?
  • Expy: The Power Source the game revolves around might as well be called a Zero Point Module. It even looks similar.
  • Finishing Move: Stunned enemies may be executed. Aside from obviously looking frakkin' awesome, it is the only way to restore health in the single-player outside of activating Fury (which requires causing a lot of damage to charge it up).
  • Finishing Stomp: A Finishing Move Captain Titus may use. When the Orks try it on him, however, he'll just roll away.
  • Flash Step: Bloodletters are capable of short-range teleportation, allowing them to dodge gunfire, close quickly with Titus, and attack from unexpected angles.
  • Free-Fall Fight: The final battle with Nemeroth.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Swing away with that chainsword all you want, you'll only be hurting the enemy.
    • It can be averted in private multiplayer, however, as the host can enable friendly fire.
  • Foreshadowing: Leandros' establishing moments at the beginning of the game are questioning Captain Titus' combat strategies, as they are contradictory to those established in the Codex Astartes. He also shows absolutely no tolerance for anything involving the Warp. This is what eventually leads to Leandros reporting Titus to the Inquisition for supposed Warp taint.
  • Game Breaking Bug: Due to clipping issues, Orks in Exterminatus mode sometimes fall out of the level, making it impossible for the Marines to kill them. Since every Ork in an attack wave has to die before the level progresses, this effectively renders the level Unwinnable.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: Almost everyone. Even some Guardsmen are invincible as long as they have at least one line of scripted dialogue.
  • Genius Bruiser: Grimskull. While he possesses many of the typical Ork traits, he's quite strategically intelligent, as recognized by the protagonists. His Ork horde is quite organized and he even ordered his Orks to take control of the planetary defense weapons to hold off incoming Imperial reinforcements.[2]
  • Gorn: In the grim darkness of Warhammer 40000: Space Marine's combat, there is only blood.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: One execution animation is to start to rip off a Nob's jaw. His entire head explodes, rather than actually ripping the jaw off. (Yes, this is the sort of game where showing someone's head exploding counts as a Gory Discretion Shot!) Otherwise averted.
  • Grandfather Clause: By now, Real Is Brown, A Space Marine Is You, and so many of the other tropes in this game are openly derided Undead Horse Tropes. Given that the setting has been playing these tropes straight since before the NES and helped codify some of them, it gets a pass.
  • Groin Attack: The execution for Ork Nobz, if you have a Thunder Hammer, involves smashing them in the crotch, then vaporizing their head with a baseball swing.
    • Actually, you smash them in the stomach. Since Orks reproduce through spores, they don't have anything down there.
  • Healing Potion: Averted... almost. There are only two methods of regenerating health in single player, and the easier method is executing something that can kill you right back (the other method is Fury... which also involves killing someone. Lots of someones). Even the regular Orks have to be stunned before they can be executed, not to mention that you can't move or dodge while Titus does all his fancy Chainsword-waving. But 'tis a Grimdark universe when a mob of Gretchin (knee-high green scavenger psychopaths) or Renegade Militia (trained soldiers turned to worshiping the Chaos Gods) can be considered as walking Healing Potions due to the ease and speed they can be executed.
  • Homage: The battle between Titus and the partially Daemonized Nemeroth during free-fall seems to pay homage from the scene in the Ultramarines movie where a Daemon Prince plunges both itself and Captain Severus off a cliff. Unlike the movie, we get to see what happened, and unlike Severus, who lost and gets his body possessed by the Daemon Prince, Titus actually succeeds.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Orks seek to loot Warlord-class Battle Titans being housed on the Forge World. One named "Invictus" is seen early on, it's later used to great effect to sever the Orbital Spire, Nemeroth's stronghold. Evidence of other Titans can be found, such as the volcano cannon suspended on a crane that gets dropped onto a mass of Orks.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The execution for Ork Weirdboyz involves grabbing their staff, then impaling them through the abdomen with it.
    • Also how Sidonus is killed.
  • It's Raining Men: Right from the game's start - Ork guns are shooting down Imperial ships and there's no way Titus' Thunderhawk could survive trying to land him... So Titus has his squad equip Jump Packs and flies down to the closest troublesome Ork ship and destroys it.
  • Jaw Breaker: This is one possible execution animation for Ork Nobz; pin their foot with your Power Axe and then break their jaw for the Emperor!
  • Knight Templar: Surprisingly subverted, given the setting. Inquisitor Thrax is actually a fairly nice guy, and appears reluctant to charge Titus with heresy. He also agrees to only "investigate" Titus and let his unit go, which is pretty much the opposite of what a typical Inquisitor would do.
    • Granted, he noticed that Titus's wounds were inflicted by Chaos and asked Leandros if he was sure about the charge. It could just be that he didn't think that Titus was a heretic and Leandros was just over-reacting, so there was no need to get aggressive with a charge that he was positive wouldn't end badly.
  • Lampshade Hanging: One Guardsman, whilst trying to fix a Basilisk, complains that they're on a Forge World, but there are no Tech-Priests to be found. This is true, because there's not even one encounter with a Tech-Priest or any member of the Adeptus Mechanicus in the game (despite the Mechanicus having a large presence on Forge Worlds).

Guardsman: "Pass me the field manual! We're stuck on a bloody Forge World, and not a Tech-Priest in sight."

  • Lightning Bruiser: Assault Marines/Raptors use Jump Packs to quickly close in with a Ground Pound, stun enemies near the impact zone and then tear them apart with their close-quarter weapons.
  • Limit Break: The 'Fury' system in the single-player has a bar that fills up as you fight, allowing you to unleash a devastating Herd-Hitting Attack on surrounding enemies in a melee, temporarily go into Bullet Time with ranged weaponry, regenerates your health, and allows you to perform executions at any time.
  • Megaton Punch: The execution animation for Gretchin and Renegade Militia. Titus punches them so hard that they explode.
  • Melee a Trois: Towards the end of the game, the battle for Graia becomes Space Marines/Imperial Guard versus Orks versus The Forces of Chaos.
  • Mercy Kill: One of the audio logs features a medic doing this to her patients when it's clear that the Orks are going to break through.
  • Mini-Mecha: The eponymous Dreadnoughts in the Dreadnought Assault DLC. As with anything in the 40K universe, the term "Mini" is stretched quite far; the Dreads stand about 20 feet tall with equally wide shoulders and two BFGs for arms. Heck, they're bigger than many pieces of level architecture!
  • Multi Melee Master: There's a lot of melee weapons to choose from in the game. The Assault Marine/Raptor class uses them to great effect.
  • Multi Ranged Master: There's lots of guns to choose from too. Used by Devastator Marines/Havocs and Tactical Marines/Chaos Marines in the multiplayer with a multitude of different guns to use - Tactical Marines/Chaos Marines even have a perk that allows them to carry another!
  • Mythology Gag: The maximum character level in multiplayer is 41, and in Annihilation mode, the first team to score 41 kills wins. Initially, it seems like a odd number to pick, but it makes a lot of funny sense when you realize that the 41st millennium is the setting of Warhammer 40,000.
  • Names to Run Away From: Warboss Grimskull.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: This trailer was pretty early in development, but neither that Orbital Bombardment nor that Ultramarines team ever appear in the game.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Captain Titus winds up being manipulated into causing a Chaos invasion by Inquisitor Drogan, whose body was possessed by a servant of Nemeroth's.
  • No Body Left Behind: Bloodletters and Chaos Space Marines dissolve in a flash of warpfire when killed, leaving only a discolored scorch mark behind, if anything.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia: Played straight with most weapons, but averted with the Plasma Pistol and Kraken Bolter, which permanently replace your Bolt Pistol and Boltgun in cutscenes if picked up.
    • Also extends to the Quick Time Event-laden final boss, whom you will always fight with a chainsword in your hand no matter what melee weapon you were holding beforehand.
  • One-Man Army: Do you think that the protagonists of earlier shooters were One Man Armies? You won't after playing this game.
    • Captain Titus blows an Ork ship up by landing on it with Jump Packs and turning one of its own guns at its bridge... and that's all before the title splash. By the way, he did all that with only a Bolt Pistol and a Combat Knife (granted, the Bolt Pistol is .75 caliber and the "knife" is more like a short sword).
    • He then tops that by single-handedly assaulting Nemeroth's stronghold, fighting his way through all of Nemeroth's servants, and then proceeding to punch Nemeroth to death, who is in the middle of turning into a Daemon Prince, while in freefall. He finishes Nemeroth off by crushing his head, then destroys the Power Source, causing a huge explosion. And Titus survives it without a scratch.
      • The last bit does make the Inquisition curious.
  • Overheating: Heavy Bolters and Autocannons have tons of ammo, but they also overheat after about ten seconds of continuous fire. All plasma weapons can also suffer from overheating, though thankfully they don't explode and damage you like in the tabletop game.
    • In multiplayer the plasma cannon can explode and kill you if you charge it too long.
  • Overly-Long Fighting Animation: The main problem with executions, which is also the reason why regular Regenerating Health is used for multi-player and the co-op "Exterminatus" mode. Enemies will still attack you while you're doing them, negating at least some of the health you gain from it. It takes even longer against elite enemies like the Nobs and the Chaos Space Marines, requiring some button-mashing (unless you're using a Thunder Hammer or are in Fury mode) to actually kill them, though you do get more health from it and will stun all the nearby Mooks.
  • Powered Armor: As any 40K fan would expect for the Space Marines. It provides a regenerating armor layer, which can be boosted with the Iron Halo (a plot-mandated upgrade in single-player, and a perk in multi-player).
  • Power Weapon: Power Axes and Power Swords, the latter of which is multiplayer-exclusive. Both work by sheathing the blade in an energy field, allowing it to cut through armor with ease. The Power Sword, which is simply a reskinned Chainsword so that it doesn't provide an unfair advantage, is unlocked by playing the twin stick shooter Warhammer 40000 Kill Team on consoles or if you had pre-ordered the Special Edition.
    • Not exactly an unfair advantage, but since the power sword doesn't make the same trademark growl as the chainsword, it's a bit stealthier (if less satisfying) in multiplayer, since you can hear a chainsword from across the map.
  • Press X to Not Die: Stun an Ork Nob or a Chaos Marine. See that big tempting "Execute" icon floating over him? If you try to execute them without having 'Fury' mode on or without a Thunder Hammer, you'll have to rapidly mash the shoot button to overpower them. Otherwise they'll pick you up, slam you to the ground, and attempt a Finishing Stomp (Chaos Marines just knock you to the ground), which drains up to half your health.
  • Ranged Emergency Weapon: The Pistols have infinite ammunition in single-player, and are always available in multi-player.
  • Rated "M" for Manly: Just look at the page image. You play as an seven and a half foot tall Super Soldier encased in Powered Armor that only enhances their size and wield exotic weaponry to match their defenses. Take Cover is intentionally averted to encourage getting into your opponents' face, which you will soon find to be full of blood. You will likely kill scores of Orks throughout the game, with whatever methods you choose.
    • Late in the game, Captain Titus' Valkyrie is taken down by a Stormboy's body clogging up an engine. Titus' response is to effortlessly jump from the crashing transport and roll as he lands.
    • Just to reiterate, the only way to heal yourself is either brutally execute a stunned foe or to kill enough enemies to fly into a berserk rage. Either way, you're going to be covered in blood from head to toe.
  • Real Is Brown: Played with. The developers made it clear they wanted the game to be bright and colorful, and they pretty much pulled it off as far as combat and character designs are concerned (the Ultramarines wear bright blue and gold armor, for example). The environments, however, tend to be brown or grey, and the regular Imperials tend to wear rather drab uniforms.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Titus delivers a short one to Leandros at the end, telling him that his blind adherence to the letter of the Codex Astartes is a failing on his part.
  • Removable Turret Gun: Autocannons, Heavy Bolters, and Plasma Cannons can all be taken from their tripods and carried around; you can't run or do a dodge roll while carrying them, but the amount of firepower you get in exchange is well worth it.
  • RPG Elements: Multi-player includes a level and challenge system like Rainbow Six Vegas and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (and every other main entry in the series thereafter) to unlock more perks, weapons and armour pieces. Classes are customizable, but are limited to three classes of degrees of ranged and close-combat effectiveness - Devastator Marines/Havocs for the former, Assault Marines/Raptors for the latter, and Tactical Marines/Chaos Marines in the middle.
  • Rule of Cool: In the finest tradition of Warhammer 40,000, of course!
    • The execution animations unabashedly follow this.
  • Scenery Porn: The inside of Manufactorum Ajakis is beautiful, even more so when you catch a glimpse of the Titan Invictus. Also overlaps with:
    • Scenery Gorn: Graia is very torn up by the time you get there, though it does make for some pretty awesome vistas, such as when you first touch down and walk through the wreckage, eventually coming to a long avenue with an enormous and miraculously still intact statue depicting a cloaked figure with a spiked ring around their head at the far end.
  • Sequel Hook: The game ends with Titus willingly allowing himself to be taken away by the Inquisition, with Titus promising he will get to the bottom of his ability to resist the Warp.
    • However, it's been announced that there won't be a sequel, as there's 'no room' for it with the upcoming MMO, Dark Millennium.
      • Which isn't a bad thing, given that the ending did give closure enough (see the YMMV page or Bittersweet Ending, above).
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: In multiplayer, Tactical Marines/Chaos Marines can get a perk that upgrades their regular Combat Knives to these. They deal additional damage.
  • Shockwave Stomp: A defensive ability available to Devastators/Havocs in Multiplayer, useful for stunning and disorienting enemies. Perks can increase the speed of the animation, and/or the range and damage.
  • Shoulders of Doom: Used with other adaptations of 40K's Space Marines, and this one is no different. The shoulders, however, are surprisingly articulate, and Titus and the other Space Marines seem to have a full range of arm movement.
  • Shown Their Work: Bolts don't explode until a split second after they make impact.
    • The Adeptus Mechanicus iconography is exact.
    • Oaths of moment are visible on the armor of the Space Marines.
  • Slashed Throat: The execution for Bloodletters, if you have a Chainsword, involves grabbing the Bloodletter from behind, and slitting its throat with the Chainsword. Sidonus demonstrates in a cutscene, and is killed by Nemeroth right afterwards.
  • Sniper Rifle: The closest weapon you'd expect for this is the Stalker-pattern Bolter, which thanks to its scope acts quite like the Marksman Gun on the list of Standard FPS Guns. The Lascannon, normally an anti-tank or anti-giant-alien weapon, is the gun that's really treated this way in gameplay (it's a stripped down version).
  • Space Elevator: The orbital spire.
  • Space Marine: ...well, obviously.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Most (if not all) Chaos Marines tend to have these, especially Nemeroth.
    • In the multiplayer armor customizer, one set of armor is literally called "spiked".
    • The main way to distinguish Havoc Marines from Tactical Chaos Marines is that Havocs have a great deal more.
  • Standard FPS Guns: The only ones not present are the flame thrower (the melta gun is more of a shotgun stand in, though, it perhaps counts as both) and the rocket launcher.
    • Rocket launchers aren't available to the player character or in multiplayer; they are available to orks.
  • Sword and Gun: Used by Captain Titus in single-player and the Assault Marine/Raptor class in the multiplayer, when holding a Bolt or Plasma Pistol. Wearing a Jump Pack or wielding a Thunder Hammer in single-player and the True Grit perk in multi-player allows them to wield a rifle-size Bolter in place of their Pistol, one-handed!
  • Super Soldier: You are a Warhammer 40000 Space Marine, so, natch.
  • Take Cover: Averted, for the extra cool of getting in your enemies' faces and killing the frak out of them instead. You still might do so occasionally, but it's actually healthier to charge.
  • Taking You with Me: The Final Vengeance upgrade for Jump Packs in multiplayer. It consists of the Jump Pack itself exploding.
  • Take That: A wallpaper [dead link]. The caption might as well say "Marcus Fenix is a weakling", and for bonus points the Guardsmen in the picture all take poses that clearly ape the characters in Gears of War.
    • In their defense, while the Gears are classified as Space Marines in their universe, they're a lot closer to the Imperial Guard than they are to the 40K Space Marines.
  • The Captain: Titus.
  • The Musketeer: The game is intended to allow quick swapping and viability of both close-combat and ranged weapons alike. The intended use of the Tactical Marines/Chaos Marines within multi-player, skilled with both a ranged weapon and a Combat Knife.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Some trailers have shown us in-game footage that we were probably not supposed to see. Examples include Inquisitor Drogan casually walking past some Bloodletters, Nemeroth turning into a Daemon Prince and Captain Titus killing Warboss Grimskull.
    • Also, the presence of Chaos, which doesn't occur until Mission 11.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Leandros is one. He and many of his battle-brothers would have been killed if not for Titus killing Nemeroth, but he sends Titus to the mercy of the Inquisition anyway.
  • Walk It Off: Present - Justified by a Space Marine's physiology, with their Larraman's Organ causing non-fatal wounds to clot and scar quickly in addition to their lengthy and intense training allowing them to carry on long after ordinary humans would be incapacitated. The game is intended to largely subvert it in the single-player campaign, since performing a close-range execution will restore health, so if there's enemies, you don't have to wait! Get cleansing.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Volcano Cannon on the Warlord-class Titan Invictus which, with a timely power and range boost from the Power Source, is able to blast the Orbital Spire to floating chunks in the sky.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: One of the options that can be unlocked for Assault Marines/Chaos Raptors in multiplayer is causing damage with the jump pack's exhaust on takeoff.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: At the end, when Leandros defends his decision to accuse Titus of heresy by insisting that he was acting in accordance to the Codex Astartes, Titus tells him that that is indeed true, and that he is a good example of a "model" Imperial citizen... but then sharply tells him that he allowed the Codex to fully control his actions rather than use it as a rulebook or a set of guidelines, and thus fails as a Space Marine.
  • With This Herring: Titus starts the game by jumping off a dropship with a Jump Pack (which he disposes of once he lands), a Combat Knife and a Bolt Pistol. Considering the loadout available to an Ultramarine Captain, he might as well have jumped in naked. There's basically no reason for him not to bring a Thunder Hammer and a Storm Bolter right off the bat - except game balance, of course.
  • Wolverine Claws: Nemeroth has a pair of Lightning Claws, which he uses to kill Sidonus.
  • Zerg Rush: The Orks largely attack you with superior numbers and little tact. Averted for how the Chaos enemies act, with even their Mooks having more subtlety.
    • To elaborate; the Orks do nothing but offense. Chaos on the other hand, will force you to change up your tactics, as their units are more defensive and tend to stick to one spot.
    • However, this actually works for the Orks, as even as strong as the player character is, they can still be overwhelmed.
  1. Yes, the dev team respects you enough to take the game breaker away.
  2. Typical Ork behaviour would simply be to dismantle and loot the defenses, as pointed out by your squadmates.