Whether you like the series or not, almost every gamer is aware of the Warhammer franchise and its impact on the industry. Space marines fighting against Orks has continually proven to be just as entertaining as shooting a rambling zombie or Nazi in the head. The gameplay in Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team is different than the methodical real-time strategy action found in previous series entries like Dawn of War and instead focuses on being a stripped down twin-stick arcade shooter.
The game’s concept still remains the same though: kill every Ork you see and wear cool armor while doing it. Those used to arcade titles downloaded off of PSN and XBOX Live being short on content will easily feel underappreciated as usual here. Kill Team‘s campaign is literally only a handful of missions long and, aside from a sad excuse for a survival mode, has little to no replay value.
The one thing this game does not have going for it is in the features department. Stripped is a kind way of describing how bare bones Kill Team is and no online co-op is the most painful victim when it comes to the overlooked ideas that could have been available.
The game’s story is typical for an arcade shooter of this nature, which means it barely exists. Space marines infiltrate an Ork kroozer which houses an army of the green villains, with each level consisting of fighting through a different section of the ship. It’s a novel idea for a plot to consist solely of two marines causing mayhem and destruction while being contained in one giant setting. In fact, it’s almost an excuse to grind mindless amounts of dumb Orks into paste.
The gameplay works just like all twin-stick shooters released before it, with a sense of ease and smooth control. It’s responsive and together with a small amount of buttons to remember. Playing Kill Team is a blast early on. With six different classes of marines to choose from with varied weapons to upgrade, unique special attacks and unlockable perks, mowing down goblins is like riding a bike down a newly paved road.
The big problem is the road itself, which stays the same all the way down. Kill Team’s design is so straight arrow in what’s offered to the player: hacking and shooting Orks apart until your fingers begin to turn numb. After the first level nothing new comes up to change the style of play, the same buttons are used along with the same strategy. Grinding doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling of repetition when the only incentive of replay value is getting more points to upgrade weapons. This is ultimately what cripples these type of shooters and unless there’s a special hook that adds a dynamic experience to the game, it makes titles like Kill Team too forgettable to recommend.
Visually, the dated graphics and basic textures don’t do the game justice either. Not to mention that every level looks the same and has decieveing sections where it’s tough to discern the areas that are available for interactivity and the hazards that can harm you. The camera for the most part is fine but sometimes it doesn’t swing around which can lead to cheap off screen deaths from plunges into fire pits or empty chasms. The best graphical detail is the space marines themselves, as they look quite stellar. The slow-mo zoomed in killshots shown after finishing off a wave of advancing Orks, can be very satisfying.
It’s hard to stress how short and uninspired Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team is as a downloadable title and as an arcade twin-stick shooter. Simple additions like online co-op or extra modes, instead of the tacked on survival one, would have made a drastic difference. Those who love Warhammer look elsewhere; this game is so shallow it lowers the interest aspect of anything that has to do with the series. If this game is going to appeal to anyone it’s the ADD group of gamers – the ones who are okay with mindless gameplay and grinding to unlock all of a game’s trophies or achievements. Paying ten bucks for a brief amount of fun just isn’t worth it these days.
Unfortunately, the game is brief and quite repetitive, featuring a lot of grinding to unlock new items. I honestly can't say I had much fun with this one and I'd advise staying away from it.