By now you've probably read our WH40k: Space Marine preview. Ok, maybe you skimmed it. Quite possibly you just looked at the pictures. Did you see the one of me with the Chainsword? I'm not going to police your reading habits, but it was pretty boss. While I was up at THQ playing WH40k: Space Marine I got the chance to sit down with Morten Haugaard. That's his real name! How Viking is that? Answer: Very. Morten is the Global Brand Manager on all Warhammer 40k titles at THQ. This includes Space Marine, Dawn of War, and Kill Team. He was gracious enough to answer our* questions. WARNING: Thar be SPOILERS.
CO: 40k is all about customization. While we've seen that Space Marine will feature different appearances and load-outs, will players be able to receive bonuses if they affiliate themselves with one of the iconic Space Marine chapters? For instance, if you look like a Blood Angel, would you have different bonuses than if you appeared as one of the Ultramarines? Or is the appearance of your armor/chapter purely cosmetic?
MH: In single player you play as Capt. Titus of the Ultramarines, so there's no customization there, beyond what you would expect with being able to change weapons. In multiplayer you can customize your appearance, but for balance reasons -obviously adding in different chapter specific powers, you run into issues like, “What if I have the armor colors of the Blood Ravens, but I’m using the insignia of the Black Templars, and then I’ve got the shoulder pauldron of the space wolves?” Once you get into all of those, because we’re letting people customize, we can’t really force them down one particular chapter route. We’ve got tons of customization, but they’re all visual, stylistic, customization options. It’s purely cosmetic until you’re killed by someone who’s wearing purple and pink armor, and then it’s an insult.
Which gave me an idea...
CO: In multiplayer, players will also have the ability to kit themselves out as a Chaos Marine. Will players have powers that correspond to the four gods of chaos? For instance, will players who have Khorne armor have better melee abilities? Will followers of Nurgle have plague powers? Are there mutations?
MH: You’ll be able to play as Chaos (Marines), but you’re not going to get the Chaos gods’ specific powers. Again, it’s a matter of balancing. So how would you go about dealing with someone who’s wearing the colors of the Death Guard, but has a Tzeentch insignia on their shoulder because they like that insignia a bit more than the Death Guard? We want people to be free to customize their character, but maybe after launch we can release additional content in terms of supporting different Chaos powers.
CO: Explain the co-op campaign. How many players will be able to play the campaign together, and will the difficulty ramp up accordingly?
MH: No comment.
CO: How will XP play a role in multiplayer?
MH: As you progress though multiplayer you’re going to get experience points and unlock new perks which will increase your customization options. One of the perks for the Bolter is Kraken Ammo, allowing you to do more damage. Another perk you might unlock is True Grit, so for the Assault Marine this let’s them wield a Bolter as opposed to a Bolt Pistol or a Plasma Pistol in their off hand. So you get the great range combat that a Bolter would give you, along with the awesome melee weapons like a Power Sword or a Power Axe. You’ll be able to customize your Marine, you’ll get new perks which unlock enhanced ability upgrades as you progress through multiplayer.