Monday 7 November 2022

Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood and Teeth Review (Switch)

There have been many games based on the Games Workshops dark vision of the future over the years, but as far as we can remember this is the first time we’ve had one in the form of a side scrolling shooter. It’s also one of the few times where the Space Marines aren’t the main focus of the game. Instead, this time you get to play as an Ork and unleash a much more visceral type of brutality on the Hive city of Luteus Prime.

The game has a fun and crazy tone to it which suits the Orks and a lovely hand drawn art style that puts across the 40K world in a way not really seen before. There are a few issues with the amounts of browns, reds and greens on display which make it a little difficult to see what’s happening when in handheld mode but overall, it works. The beautiful, animated cut scenes are also absolutely outstanding.

The action is full on and unrelenting and sits somewhere between Bro Force and Huntdown in terms of pace. There’s also a choice of different characters to pick from and a ton of different weapons to find and unlock in order to customise your Ork and commit the exact type of destruction you want. The weapons pack a real punch as well with some excellent sound work and visual feedback that makes them feel impactful and solid.

Initially we found the controls very mixed up in terms of layout but there is a customisation option so everyone should be able to find a set up that works for them. You can also play through the game in Co-op but this is unfortunately one of the areas that the Switch begins to struggle with. As you progress and it becomes more and more chaotic the frame rate really begins to take a dive.

Performance becomes very juddery and characters even teleport at times which is not great for a game based around fast paced blasting. We never got to the point where is completely stalled our progress, but the game did continually feel off and unstable to the point it stopped being fun in busy sections.

If you can put up with that though there are a ton of 40K main stays to blast and batter your way through. These include other Orks, Imperial Guard (including taking on both a Lemon Russ and a Baneblade), and if you delve deep enough into the Hive you’ll find a good old Genestealer cult awaiting you. All of which are drawn beautifully and behave differently enough to provide a good amount of variety.

Overall, Shootas, Blood and Teeth is a patch way from being an excellent side scrolling blaster. Everything about it works in terms of the feel and look but it is just continually stalled by poor performance. It seems the Switch version is the only one affected by these issues currently so unless you specifically want it handheld it may be worth looking to one of the other versions. That said, it’s never a complete disaster, so Switch gamers looking for a fun (if juddery), single player experience will find a lot to like here.

Overall 7/10

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