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. (more…)


Summer Drought Marathon starts tomorrow!

A lot of people have asked us lately when we're going to do more videos of games.  For many of you, that's how you found our blog.   We love trying…

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E3 2011: Sony’s Conference, thoughts and Liveblogging

We were pleasantly surprised to see that Sony delivered a professional and mostly gimmick-free conference this year. Jack came out on stage as he usually does and gave statistics but this year they were wrapped in an apology. It went over well and even though Jack still can’t be taken seriously, it seems like Sony is at least ready to put their head down and move forward.

Nothing spectacular and jaw dropping came out of Sony, but what they did do was deliver continual bits of information on multiple games without getting too caught up in, as Graev says, smelling their own farts. They hyped the Move a little bit, but nothing on the circus level antics of Microsoft (we thought the Bioshock Infinte dev saying he used to hate Move but then liked it after he got paid off was funny; okay, he didn’t say that exactly). Starhawk and Dust 514 both got some attention as well. Dust 514 is a PS3 exclusive which neither of us had known before. Seems like it will function on the level that MAG does.

The big show for Sony was their new Vita handheld console (aka NGP). The big let down was that the 3g plan is with AT&T on top of a $299 price tag if you go the 3g model ($249 if you go Wifi only). The graphics on the games were all great looking from what we could see. The handheld Uncharted game and the Diablo clone (Ruin) looked nice and colorful with good controls.

Overall, no real solid complaints about Sony but nothing to memorable either.

Graev: It was really good. A lot better than Microsoft and the publisher conferences. Uncharted looks good. The new Sly game is cool. The Vita is something I do not understand. It’s a portable device that plays console games. I want a portable device that plays portable games and things unique to a portable from Sony. We saw a bunch of PS3 games that they are bringing over to the Vita, and that doesn’t interest me. I’d rather just play them on PS3. Unless you have a need to be mobile, why pay $249 (low end Wifi only or $299 + AT&T) for something you probably already own?

Keen: I was impressed by the balance they had in their presentation. Uncharted looked good, Resistance looked good, the Vita looked like it’s going to at least be a quality handheld, regardless of whether or not it’s one I would buy. I think the Move is still a joke. Some of the titles they showed like the Fantasy action game being on rails just once again prove the limitations and the gimmick of motion controls. By far it was better than Microsoft but not at the caliber I wanted from an E3 presentation. Maybe the most exciting thing for me was the cloud save from the Vita to the PS3. Would it take multiple copies of the game?

It’s also worth nothing that Sony is bundling at 24″ Playstation branded 3D TV, glasses, and something about Resistance for $499. The TV has some special technology that does split screen differently for coop so that the glasses show one person one thing and the other person sees a full screen of a different image. For the price and the bundle, it’s not a bad deal given the cost of 3D tv’s, but the size is still so small that it may not do us any good.

Original: It’s been a long day but the light is visible at the end of this tunnel.  Sony’s Conference begins in less than an hour and we’ll be Liveblogging once again.  We’ve been having quite a bit of fun making fun of how bad some of these have  been and drooling over exciting announcements.  We hope you’ll join us once again for what has turned out to be quite a successful day of liveblogging and interact with us while we bring you our immediate thoughts and impressions of what is sure to be an interesting conference from Sony.

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