Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team Review

Warhammer 40k: Kill Team (released Wednesday) is a third-person arcade twin-stick shooter game for the Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network.  It’s also the first game that we played through a scheduled live event on our streaming channel with the intent to review.  There’s a bit of drama coinciding with the launch of this game.  Unfortunately, THQ closed down the devs that worked on the game the exact day it launched.  Not exactly the best way to launch a game, let alone the fact that THQ did practically zero marketing.  Is Kill Team worth the $10 to get you through the summer drought?

The game is fairly straight forward.  You can play one of four classes in the campaign: Tech Marine, Vanguard Veteran, Librarian, and Sternguard Veteran.  Each class is either a ranged or melee focus with one special ability such as a turret to place down or a nasty aoe.  There’s limited customization via a weapon upgrade that comes easily and some choice of upgrades to damage or health.  Kill Team is definitely about the killing and less about the progression or unlocks.

Gameplay is fun.  The levels have tons of Orks and Tyranids to slaughter.  Boss fights range from ‘run away from the danger’ to ‘wait until it’s vulnerable to kite and attack’.   We have no complaints on the boss fights at all.  However, they were not the challenging part of the game.  Occasionally the players are presented with quick ‘run now or die’ scenarios that come at you without warning.  After being sent back to your last checkpoint, you’ll know it’s coming the next time.  There’s never a dull moment or a wait for any kind of action.  The weapons are fun, the score keeps you competitive, and the sight of carnage is addicting.

There are only a handful of missions to play through and each takes about 25-30 minutes.  This is, without a doubt, the biggest downside to the game.  In all, the game comes in around 2 hours 30 minutes of campaign play with Surival mode adding a couple more hours tops.  In Survival mode you have to survive the waves of enemies for as long as you can in a fairly cramped area.  Around the five minute mark it, in our experience, it became a real challenge.

We only encountered a few bugs during our play-through.  Occasionally you can miss a trigger and advance ahead only to realize something isn’t right.  Backtracking until the event continues should fix it for you without any problems and you can continue on.  When it happens during a major chase scene, it’s definitely a little confusing.   Sometimes the camera gets a little wonky during the random bullet time events and the models spaz out and look elastic.

Kill Team is short but sweet.  We had a blast while playing and when we realized it was over we felt disappointed.  As a precursor to the upcoming Space Marine game, and as an XBLA/PSN title it’s not like we expected a full blown game, but for the $10 it’s just a little hard to swallow.  There’s also no online coop (couch only). We both agree that maybe $5 would have been a better deal.

Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team earns a 3.5 on our review scale.  Good game, but we want more.  We highly recommend you find a way to play this couch-coop to get the most out the game. Watch our full play-through after the jump.

Part 1 (starts at 14:32)

Part 2

  • The lack of customization kind of sucks since there is a rather large collection of weapons and abilities to choose from in the 40k universe. That said it was rather fun playing it with my 12 yr old nephew.

  • I may download the demo and try it. I don’t have a great desire to play it, but I’ll try it.

    Trenched has me hooked beyond hooked.