Without the dark there can be no light: what would have happened in Space Marine 2 and 3
Space Marine is a wonderful game. The story was interesting, the characters were above average for an action title, and the feeling of cutting through ork after ork with your melee weapons was exceptional. If you’re interested in a bit of the ol’ ultraviolence and need to work out some aggression, it’s still worth picking up and playing. The game is one of my personal favorites.
The problem is that the game ended on something of a cliffhanger. The protagonist, Captain Titus, seemed immune to the forces of Chaos, allowing him to fight the enemies in a way that no other Space Marine could match. The game ends with Titus being arrested for heresy, and you can watch the video for yourself if you want to catch up.
Raphael van Lierop, the game's director, is now working on the successfully Kickstarted game The Long Dark, but while talking to him about his new project I had to ask, what would have happened to Titus? Where was the story headed?
Here we go
“I had some big plans for Titus,” van Lierop said. “The second part of his story was to focus on a ‘Titus Unleashed’ plot—basically there were forces arrayed against him that would see his loyalty to the Adeptus Astartes pushed to its limit, and his reaction would be to kind of ‘go rogue,’ and we'd see a different Titus, not quite as in control as we saw him in Space Marine. He would be kicked out as a consequence—exiled, which would basically be a death sentence for him.”
The first game showed us what it looked like when a Space Marine was fighting in a disciplined manner, and the second game would have opened the door for a slightly wilder version of the character. That’s not the end, though.
“He would survive, and come back even stronger in the third game, where other Space Marines still loyal to him would rally around him and he'd return to ‘clean house,’ but as the head of a brand new Chapter that we would build around him,” van Lierop continued.
So what kept this from happening?
“Sadly, THQ was already starting to fall apart by then and it became clear that Space Marine 2 wasn't going to happen. I was pretty heartbroken about that,” he said. “But that's the way the business works. In the end I'm glad things turned out the way they did, because I think if the end hadn't been so hard, I might not have sought out a better way. And Hinterland might not have ever happened.”
So there you go. I would have loved to have played those titles, but it's great to see one of the creative minds behind such a good game working on a new project. If you're a Space Marine fan, I hope this provides a bit of closure.