The universe of Warhammer 40,000 is vast. She gathered around her a huge number of board game players, an unmeasured number of books and more than two dozen computer games, not counting add-ons, came out on it. Of course, the quality and content of most games, however, as well as books, leaves much to be desired.
But the fact remains. The only strange thing is that with such an abundance of different life forms in the universe of the 41st millennium, in most games of the setting, all attention is focused on the Imperium of mankind. Even if it was possible to control other races, most of the main campaigns were devoted specifically to people … well, superhumans. However, there were exceptions, one of which will be discussed today. I will tell you about the game Warhammer 40.000: Fire Warrior.
Already from the name it follows that we are dealing with the Tau Empire, and to be precise – with the warriors of the Fire caste. The villainously evil governor of the planet Delmar IV, Malloch Severus, sends troops to the outpost of Tau to quickly capture the Ethereal, and at the same time eliminate all witnesses. For those who are not in the subject, I will explain: Ethereal are, in a way, the “highest caste” in the Tau hierarchy. It is they who rule society for the glory of the Greater Good and instruct their fellows on the true path. But this is a lyrical digression…
The protagonist of the game is Shas’La’Kais, and for friends and superiors, just Case. He and the other Warriors of Fire are tasked with infiltrating the enemy’s camp and freeing the Ethereal. Here is such an unpretentious plot that meets us at the beginning. In general, the plot of Fire Warrior is more interesting to read on Wikipedia than to follow it in the game itself. The whole story somehow passes by, in the background.
Sometimes we are shown screensavers that are not bad for the time when the game was released, and only from them you can find out some pieces of the plot. In general, the plot could not have been bad, but its presentation in Fire Warrior just ruined everything. Heroes, of which there are almost none in the game, are gray and do not cause any interest. I don’t understand why Case was so inspired by the creators of Dawn of War that they decided to add him as a hero to the Tau army in Dark Crusade.
If we are used to taking on the role of a space marine from some vanilla order and crushing crowds of strangers, then Fire Warrior breaks this tradition and here, playing as an ordinary tau soldier, we are slaughtering the servants of the Emperor. Case will visit the Imperial prison, the Tau ship, the Empire cruiser, an abandoned city in the Delmarva desert – but all these locations will differ only in design. All of them are a series of narrow corridors with small dead-end branches and a rare interspersed with larger rooms in which you will not stay long.
The good news is that almost all 20 levels are not arranged like labyrinths and you will not be able to get lost in them. But their general uniformity does not stand up to scrutiny. Even the level where you fight while running across the hull of an Imperial ship doesn’t feel like you’re in outer space at all. I understand that the game came out in 2003, and to demand something unimaginable from it at that time is extremely stupid, but no attempts were made at all to somehow highlight this moment. Everything looks and feels exactly the same (that is, nothing).
Action at first seems just some kind of misunderstanding, but gradually you start to get used to it. Finding new weapons, facing new enemies, it may even seem like “hmm, but it’s not so bad,” but then there is a new factor. The game is stretched, and the effort with which the developers did it is felt almost physically. By the middle of the game, you want to give up everything,
it becomes so boring to clear the next corridor from foolish soldiers in colored uniforms like at a children’s matinee. The most comical here are the imperial officers, who will wave their saber like crazy and confidently stomp in the direction of our alter ego. Looks the most stupid. All the firefights are very sluggish, except that the mighty Space Marines can somehow shake you up: first the loyal Raptors, and then the chamosites from the Word Bearers Legion. However, if at first fights with them can make you tense up at least a little, then only later, even if they throw them at you in groups, you start to yawn and look at your watch.
Despite the fact that we play as a Tau warrior, the weapons of this race are represented in the game only by a pulse rifle and a carbine. In fact, they are almost the same. In addition to them, there is also a tau rail gun, which you still need to walk to and still not fall asleep. All other types of weapons, and there are quite a lot of them, by the way, are represented by imperial barrels, which get bored after a couple of minutes. I kept waiting for a Space Marine bolter to fall into my hands, and now I have it.
but for some reason it shoots like a grenade launcher, well, or there is a mini-rocket launcher, but not like a bolter. Every weapon has an alternate fire that I almost never used: on tau cannons, alternate mode is completely useless, on all other weapons I used it only occasionally from time to time, but, frankly, you can do without it. Even in the very first Aril, which came out 5 years before Fire Warrior, this alt-fire system was much more impressive.
In addition, Case carries as many as 8 grenades with him, which can be thrown both from the hands and released from the grenade launcher on the Tau impulse carbine and at the same time the grenade will fly out without delay and with greater accuracy. In general, grenades work here in a very strange way. To hit the enemy with them, you need to hit the body directly and the damage will only pass through this body, but it will not hit the area in any way. And finally.