Warhammer 40k: Firehammer

O’k I’m going to start this one from the beginning, I went down to my friendly neighborhood video store with high hopes of picking up one of many new releases. Unfortunatly everything was stacked against me.

You see it’s been snowing on and off here for months and it’s so cold and frigid that your bones hurt, Also for some unknown reason they have only put out 3 new games for PS/2 and 1 new game for Gamecube, and of course they were long gone.

So i searched thru the only games they had left and came upon Warhammer, it was of course at the end off the rack on the bottom in the corner, it had no cover box in front of it and i thought it was a copy of Wreckless:the yakuza missions (which they had 10 copies of) So i picked it up and read the back and it didn’t have any description just the store policies and junk. So to make a short story long I took it home.

I booted up the PS/2 slid the game in hit the close button and held my breath. After I couple seconds the company names came up and went away just as fast, What happened next made me let my breath back out. I was pleasantly surprised, there on my screen we’re some really sweet graphics of planets whizzing by me and a voice setting a brief backdrop to what’s going on in the universe, as you blast thru the milky way and come upon huge spaceships sitting over a strangely illuminated planet, moving slowly along those the voice ends dramatically as you come around to see smaller space ships very detailed and moving towards a planet.

At this point the game fades to the title screen and your Memory card is scanned NOTE: this game uses an auto save feature so make sure to complete the section your on and see your stats from that level. There are continue points on the levels as you play but there not save points, The Auto Save only saves at the end of the mission your on. So don’t shut game off till you see your stats screen of your performance on that mission

Started the Game on Easy I didn’t go thru the training, I was to ready to get playing, Enter the Game: quickly you are brought to the opening scene I say quickly because I was and still am Surprised by the fast load times of this game I kept swearing that I was playing it on Gamecube. Yes, we’re was I?

Oww yeah CG scene intro your on a planet and there are Aliens talking to each other the graphics are spot on and again are superb. The aliens are suddenly attacked and start getting gunned down as they all start running away. You here a garbled radio voice say “Leave no survivors” and the camera swivels to reveal a metal armor space suit wearing bad guys.

After this you are quickly taken to the beginning of the game play, a brief talking to and your ship lands on a planet and you get your mission thru your ear com. You are to infiltrate the dungeon and rescue the ethereal. The doors open on back of the ship you run down the ramp and there is laser and gun fire all around, you are instantly in the game and there’s no stopping and going home now.

Now this is we’re i got a little scared i am not the best person in the world at FPS’s (First Person Shooter’s) they hurt my eyes make me dizzy and i can’t stand that my gun is attached to my Cheek also i can’t see my arms body or anything it’s just unnatural to me I have Extremely good peripheral vision but FPS Games make me feel like I’m a pair of floating eye balls with tunnel vision. Fortunately the game so far had me going and ready to do some damage, so i quickly hid and figured out what buttons did what and Started off with my mission i played for about 15 minutes and i was turning and shooting to slow so i went to options and thankfully they had a speed up slow down control bar so i pushed it all the way up then went back to the game and it was just about perfect a Little bit faster would have helped for my style but they didn’t make the game just for me.

Getting familiar with the controls and functions took about another 15 minutes and by then I was 1/2 hour into the game. Now I really started concentrating on things like surroundings and the setting, character models and such, What I have deduced is that this Game has a near perfect balance in it’s levels Mostly through out the game your inside of a dungeon or a spaceship or a palace. The great thing is the lighting set off by the gritty atmosphere, I found the reason most FPS games hurt my eyes is that there to Bright or there’s way to much contrast and when you try to adjust the controls of your t.v. things tend to get to dark to see and the backrounds just become mush. Warhammer is Beautifully represented in all the stages Even on the space ships we’re it’s a sterile environment it is not sparkling Bright and blinding. Which I feel is more true to life most people’s cars aren’t in the most pristine condition and I feel that space travel must get pretty dirty and nasty from time to time and I’m sure they don’t have extra cleaning personal hanging about.

Onward there are 18 weapons in the game and of course you don’t start out with them all. You only start out with a plasma laser. But you quickly pick up another gun soon after, You can only carry 2 guns at the same time. Which seems limited but is only fair because in reality you couldn’t possible run around with 20 guns on your back. Also you are equipped with shields you have a circle meter which quickly depletes as you get hit and if it goes all the way down than you start loosing your back ups if they all go you die. there are usually enough shield boosts and ammo about to get you tightly thru the mission (remember I played game on easy). also later on you will get grenades which are handy against heavily armored foes.

Warhammer follow a very simple blunt story line throughout the game and in the beginning you start out with no information except your mission Because you are just a lowly officer, as the game progresses and your infamy grows you start to get more info on what’s going on and why, the story really takes shape at the middle thru the end of the game. There are 2O mid to large levels to play thru so telling you the hole story from the start would make the game pointless to play as this is a learn as you go and rise up in rank game. In real war they don’t explain what’s going on and why your doing what your doing you are a soldier on a need to know basis and as you rise in rank and missions get tougher you get more and more info on what and why.

To wrap up I Believe this was another really GOOD game that has been passed by and overlooked and underrated Simple because it’s not up to Halo standards. After playing Warhammer and being nothing but satisfied, I looked around on the web to see if somewhere I was left out of the loop and if there we’re others enjoying this game to my Unsuprise this game got horrible reviews by all the mags and to my delight it got exceptional reviews from the gamers and in the forums, so again I am not alone and for this again Warhammer has made me smile. Mostly all the negative reviews we’re because this game was being compared to other Warhammer games and I think that’s a shame that it couldn’t be left as a stand alone title I mean Starwars games are a dime a dozen and the stories in Starwars games are either way out there or are way to overdone I. Judged this game on it’s own merits not having played the other games and not having a biased opinion I thought this game was just and nothing more or less than Great.

There are also multiplayer options and online options but I didn’t use any of those so that will be up to others to let me know about. But do yourself a favor and when there’s nothing else to rent or you see this game in a bargain bin for $15 bucks I believe you will be more than satisfied with spending a couple of bucks to get 20 to 30 hours of Blastum up Gameplay with good voice overs and a slowly building story that’s worth more than $5 to $15 bucks.

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