Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team preview: Dakka dakka dakka

Despite Warhammer 40K: Kill Team's dubious lot in life to be a digitally distributed tie-in for the upcoming Warhammer 40K: Space Marine release, the game actually stands on its own as a competent twin-stick shooter. It feels like a game that could be much more if THQ wanted it to be.

My hands-on E3 demo of the game began by selecting my space marine and clan. The options included ranged fighters like the Sternguard Veteran and Techmarine, while the melee classes included the Vanguard Veteran and Librarian. You'll be able to swap out weapons and equip your soldier with classic 40K items of death like the chainsword and power sword -- speaking of which, to obtain the power sword in Space Marine, the game needs to see you've completed one level of Kill Team.
Kill Team loosely ties into the Space Marine story with the Ork Kroozer spaceship you'll be blasting through in Kill Team showing up in the beginning of Space Marine. Your two man couch co-op only mission is to take out the ship's Warboss.

Playing as a Vanguard Veteran, I hardly used the shooting mechanic, preferring to use my chainsword to slice through wave after wave of Ork -- there are also tyranids later on. After killing enough enemies, you can activate an ultimate move, for the Vanguard it was dashing over to a group of enemies and exploding.

Kill Team is expected to take four to five hours to get through the first time, but the game isn't pulling any punches, so it may take a little bit longer. The producer and I died several times during the game. It wasn't the frustrating type of dying, but the "we could do better" type.

The title isn't the most fully realized twin-stick shooter, but as a transmedia property to support a larger game, the team actually did a solid job with the sets, character models and gameplay. It's the type of game that you won't mind buying on a whim and playing with a couch companion.

With the surprising work that went into the game, it's no wonder that Kill Team may be the first step to something bigger.

"We're hoping for good sales and we have plans on how to develop this further if there's positive feedback," THQ's Senior Global Operations Manager Ian Sedensky said. "So, we're already looking at how to expand kill team." Kill Team will be available in July for $10 (800 MSP).

This article was originally published on Joystiq.