Back in 2012, developer Relic Entertainment reminded people that even though the galaxy was a grim and dark place to inhabit in the 41st millennium–possibly even grimdark–there was no cosmic threat that couldn’t be solved by a genetically engineered and cybernetically enhanced super-soldier wielding a chainsaw sword. Yes, you can tell your kids that this was the original Chainsaw Man.
More than a decade later, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine II picks up where the first game left off, introducing audiences to Captain Titus and his fellow Ultramarines. Here’s everything that we know so far about it, including its release date, platforms, and how its gameplay is shaping up.
Space Marine II Release date and platforms
There’s no concrete release date yet, but publisher Focus Interactive is aiming to launch Space Marine II on Xbox Series X|S, PS5, and PC in 2023.
Relic Entertainment developed the first Space Marine game back when publisher THQ was preparing to make a financial blunder with the WeDraw tablet, but for the sequel, Saber Interactive is handling development duties. The developer and publisher has launched a number of well-received games over the last couple of years, including World War Z: Aftermath and Evil Dead: The Game, but for Space Marine II, it knows that the pressure is on to deliver a great sequel to a beloved cult-classic.
“We didn’t want to create just any third-person shooter. We wanted to create a game that embodied the galactic warfare that you’ve come to know from this franchise,” said creative director Oliver Hollis-Leick in a deep dive video. “It is a passion piece for all of the people working at Saber. These are people who have read the novels through the years–who have played the games–and so nobody has higher expectations than us.”
There have only been two trailers released so far, but from the brief snippets of gameplay, it looks like Space Marine’s talent for inflicting ultraviolence on the enemies of humanity has been kept intact. The first Space Marine launched at what was arguably the height of cover-based shooters, tossed the idea of cowering behind conveniently placed barriers out of the airlock, and instead focused on diving headfirst into a mob of Orks and carving them apart. Aggression equaled victory in Space Marine, and for the sequel, Focus Interactive says that players will be able to unleash “deadly abilities and an arsenal of devastating weaponry” in their quest to save the Imperium of Man.
The trailers have also shown off some impressive destructible environments, and alongside the more detailed armies of enemies that you’ll be cutting through, this game looks to be using current-gen console and PC hardware to deliver plenty of action on a larger scale. If Saber Interactive is looking to the first game for inspiration, expect a gung-ho rush into danger with some chunky ranged options for offense.
Space Marine actually had an enjoyable storyline that offered a few good reasons for why you were reducing the entire Ork populace to single-digit numbers, and mixed in some Chaos Space Marines alongside questions about blind devotion. In Space Marine II, the story is being kept under wraps, but what is known is that you’ll be tangling with the Tyranids, which are essentially Warhammer 40K’s take on Xenomorphs but somehow even more dangerous.
Ruthless and relentless hordes of creatures driven by an unrelenting survival instinct and possessing hive-mind intelligence, if left unchecked, Tyranids can devour entire solar systems and pose one of the biggest threats to the galaxy since Horus developed a chip on his shoulder.
Protagonist Titus is back, this time as a Lieutenant in the Ultramarines, but he won’t be voiced by Kingsman actor Mark Strong. Vikings actor Clive Standen is taking over the role, and will help bring the legendary Space Marine to life.
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