HomeReviews3/5 ReviewWarhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef Review

Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef Review

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Warhammer is a cool franchise. The different settings, the characters and deep lore, even the tabletop game is cool. My problem is that I can’t paint. I don’t have a steady hand, and my patience doesn’t hold to git gud. I know there are many other ways to enjoy the game but for me the painting element is a core part of the hobby, and I can’t do it.

In the videogame sphere, it seems that Warhammer releases a game every quarter these days. This latest one – Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef, is quite a different beast from the other offerings from the artist formerly known as Games Workshop. This time we are presented with a 2D shooter, cartoony looks and tons of humour to sweeten the deal. 

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Playing as an Ork, you are betrayed? Not sure if betrayed is the right word here. Your boss decides he wants your ponytail and kicks you out the warship because, apparently, only he has fancy things. Anyway that should give you an idea of the tone this game’s story goes for throughout its campaign – honestly, it works really well for Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef.

Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef is an old style arcade shooting platformer set in the 40k universe of Warhammer. Orks fight against Space Marines and want control of the planet for its space oil. The story doesn’t get any more complicated than this, and it doesn’t need to. Decide to go solo, or team up with some friends and play online to command the Ork frontline invasion.

Choosing your starting Ork from a handful of clan names direct from its tabletop brethren and slapping on some style before picking a class is all done very easily and smoothly. Even for players who are fans of the franchise, Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef is an easy jumping on point that requires no background, lore reading or knowledge to enjoy.

Looking like a hand drawn cartoon, like something that The Behemoth (Castle Crashers) produced, Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef plays very much like Metal Slug. You go from left to right and shoot everything in your path along the way. The aiming is assigned to the right stick and during my playthrough of the game I constantly missed my target or couldn’t get the gun to aim where I wanted. Now this may be due to my skill level, but placing aiming on the right stick for a 2D platformer isn’t the most intuitive.

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That’s not to say the game doesn’t control well, Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef actually plays just fine. The screen does occasionally get to borderline bullet hell levels of insanity in later stages with all the gun fire, but it plays nicely. Progressively stronger enemies makes the gameplay challenging and keeps you on your toes throughout.

Progressing through each stage you’ll need to upgrade your weapons, and this can be done at one of the many shops posted throughout. Using currency collected on the way, newer and stronger weapon variants can be purchased, along with some cosmetic items to make your Ork look a little bit prettier. 

At the end of each stage, after fighting through those dastardly Space Marines, you will come face to face with a boss. Now, more often than not, that boss may be in a slightly bigger tank than last time, but these encounters are a load of fun. Balancing hitting the boss and surviving the environment, which they try to bring down on your head, is a classic palm sweat inducing time. There is huge love for some of the strategies via pattern recognition needed in order to defeat them and the challenge increases with each boss you encounter.

A major highlight is the battle set during an Ork metal concert. Yep, the band is in full swing behind you while you blast your way through the legions approaching. The music is very heavy metal/rock based and works great with the tone of the game. The fight at the concert was probably one of my favourite moments in the game.

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So we have a really nice and simple-to-play arcade shooter that reminds of Metal Slug. All good so far? Well, yes and no. While the game has everything in place, there are a few glitches and run ending hiccups that I encountered along the way.

Several times platforms would simply not exist as I fell through them. Yes, you can jump up and down levels but when standing still, falling through the floor is not a good thing to happen. Especially when the platform is hanging above a pit of doom, leading to a level restart. It’s a shame that this cropped up frequently as besides this issue, the levels – be it laboratory or battlefield – are all really charmingly designed.

On other occasions I encountered freezing and stuttering whilst coming up against the bosses. Usually forgivable but I hardly think my Series X is being tested with the graphics in Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef. And lastly, loading screens. Loading screens are absolutely everywhere here and for me they bang the final nail in the coffin for the game.

A 2D platforming game played on an Xbox Series X? I would not expect a ton of loading screens. Not while in the level anyway. Oh, yeah, I didn’t mean after the level for the next stage, I didn’t even mean loading into the actual level. These loading screens can pop up as you walk through a door. Even if you can see the next room, a loading screen could pop up taking you right out of the action.

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For all its charm and humour throughout, and even with its solid mechanics when the stage holds together, I can’t get past the loading screens mid-level. It’s a true shame that these crop up so frequently for them to become an annoyance, and often for an area that hasn’t even got any enemies in it! 

I really wanted to love Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef. But, between falling through levels to pits of doom and load screens stopping action elsewhere, I simply can’t walk away with a smile. Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef should have been the one I shouted about, telling all to come and play, but instead we have a game that has a ton of potential that it just doesn’t fulfil.

Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef is on the Xbox Store

Alister Kennedy
Alister Kennedy
A gaming writer for TheXboxHub, Ali loves the finer things in life, like Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Gaming since the '80s on multiple platforms. Podcast host and video editor.
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