When I think Warhammer, I always think of the super-serious, dark gothic tones it normally gives off. Usually the mind immediately associates Warhammer 40K with the Space Marines, all grim and well spoken, forgetting there are so many other races. One of the biggest, and equally as long-term as the intergalactic Marines, is the Orks. Crass, brutal and all-round chaotic fun, the Orks have their time to shine in Shootas, Blood & Teef.
A side-scrolling platformer/twin-stick shoota (I’ll only do that once), Blood & Teef looks and plays like something out of the Newgrounds era. It’s bright, it’s colourful, and it makes me sad that the Flash player has gone, but overall: it’s fun. It pokes fun at the po-facedness of the 40K franchise, which is a nice little interlude before the long-awaited Space Marine 2 finally arrives.
So, is it a rip-roaring, humie-blasting time or is all shout and no teef? Grab your shoota and we’ll find out, in the Finga Gunz review (okay last time, I promise):
The Codex Astartes. Aeldari and Tau. Genestealers… there’s a lot to the grimdark world of 40K. Fortunately, none of that matters here. These no Chaos Demons messing with the wibbly-wobblies of space-time and all that. Save that for Captain Titus and chums. Nope, this is about an army of Orks after fuel on war-torn planet, with the player character’s Ork booted out of a Choppa (it’s what they’re called) because the boss fancied his headpiece. That is literally the introduction to the game.
From that, Shootas, Blood & Teef is a game that involves… well, a lot of exactly that. Leading the way across a variety of battlefields, you and up to three others will wreak havoc against human and Ork alike. Starting with one of several loadouts, players will get used to and upgrade their Ork of choice as the game progresses.
Gameplay largely consists of navigating 2D battle zones, from left to right and with a degree of verticality. Not loads, mind, it just means you can hop up and down between horizontal plains for progression and panic in a firefight. There are moments of wave-like action, in which players will have to kill a set number of attacking forces for the path to clear, but otherwise it’s pretty straightforward.
Waaaagh, What Is It Good For?
When I think twin-stick shooters, I think games like Gatling Gears, Nex Machina or Geometry Wars. To me, it means top-down (more or less), the left stick to move and the right thumbstick to shoot in any appropriate directions. Which is what you do in Shootas…, but in a side-on perspective. It took a while to get used to, personally, but to those accustomed to similar (Metal Slug, Fury Unleashed), it’ll become second nature.
The button mapping took a bit of fiddling to get used to, but it can be rearranged if needs be. But primarily, as above, shooting and platforming are the main tenets here. There are the occasional locked doors/flaming pipe moments that need to be opened or turned off, but it’s all pretty standard.
Boss fights happen, usually towards the end of each level. The first is against a different Warboss, the second being a Leman Russ tank, so there is variety. Of course, not much variation in how to take them down: shoot until they stop shooting back. But it’s nice to see it’s not just Orks that you’re taking out.
The other element of variety comes in the guise of what kind of Ork you want to be…
Mean, Green Fighting Machines
Like most single/squad shooters, Shootas, Blood & Teef has a selection of classes to choose from. Four, to be precise, but don’t expect normal names and classes like Soldier, Tank and the like. Instead, there’s the following: Beast Snagga, Stormboy, Flash Git and Weirdboy. It helps if you say these with a Cockney accent, as that’s what all the Orks have.
But much like the more “traditional” classes, these are all variations on a theme. I went for a Stormboy class which, among other things, let me leave a trail of fire when I dashed. Given the frenetic nature battles can be, I wanted that advantage.
But if you’re going for the Evolve tactic of covering your bases, let’s look at the other classes. The Flashboy has Molotov cocktails, as well as the random chance to not spend ammo on firing. The Beast Snagga turns their melee into an explosive throwing spear, coupled with an Squig bomb. Squig’s are tiny little monster things, by the way.
Lastly, and the more out-there of the four, is the Weirdboy. Nothing majorly special, but an Ork than channels the psychic powers of the Warhammer 40K world to manipulate foes with their melee attack. It’s one of those “sum of their parts” affair, with each one having strengths and weaknesses.
After dabbling with each, I stuck with the Stormboy, for reasons mentioned above. If I had friends, I would love to tell you what combinations work well or if at all. But my Nintendo friends group is smaller than my interest in online multiplayer, so the opportunity didn’t present itself. Ah well, I’m sure it’s fun.
Cartoon Violence Is Always Fun
As is my wont with reviewing, I always like to try and make comparisons to similar games. That way, it gives readers a sort of… benchmark to gauge it from. Well, Shootas, Blood & Teef looks so alike to quite a few games, it’ll be easier to make reference. If I said Shank, Castle Crashers or Alien Hominid, perhaps? However, the closest parallel I can draw is 2014’s Valiant Hearts.
Yet whilst that was a bleak look at the horrors of war, here the visuals are simple, bright and colourful. Orks are the greenest of greens, the visuals are as 2D as can be, whilst explosions and carnage all are big and blaring. It adds to the perspective of playing as an Ork, whose whole race is one of carnage and destruction.
What also helps the snazzy visuals is the admittedly limited customisation players can give their Ork(s). Weapons don’t change visually, but different pieces of headgear and banner poles can be bought and swapped out. Bandanas, horned helmets, even painted targets if you’re feeling saucy (they have no effect on gameplay, mind).
It adds to the flair, the vibrancy of the colour palette on display here. Against the background of broken buildings and war-torn landscapes, it’s nice to see bright green Orks with rockets attached to their backs livening things up.
Friend or Foe? Usually Both
In terms of extra content in here, don’t expect massive, Bioware-levels of Warhammer lore in here. As I say, this isn’t as polished as Space Marine or the upcoming Darktide, it’s purely an arcade shooter. Fortunately, it does have multiplayer to try and bolster its replayability.
There’s local co-op, or if you’re like me in a one-Switch household, there’s also online. On the odd occasion I tried, I did get matched up with a few players along the way. It doesn’t add anything different to the gameplay, just more on-screen carnage.
The other mode available is Versus which, funnily enough, is as it sounds. Players pick a landscape, a class of Ork, whatever loadout they fancy and just go nuts. Essentially, it’s a bit like Duck Game: big open spaces, you’re trying to kill each other. Again, I only dabbled, thoroughly getting my green ass handed to me each time.
Otherwise, there isn’t a great deal of extras in Shootas, Blood & Teef. Not that there needs to be, the campaign is long enough with varying levels and backdrops. Just… that’s it, essentially. You’re playing an arcade spin-off of a Warhammer game, what more do you expect?
Rough and Rowdy
When a game as over-the-top and deliberately arcade as this comes along, it’s hard to find criticisms that don’t sound like a whinge. But, sadly, there are a few niggles and whatnot that don’t quite make it the perfect experience. The Orks may be used to things being rough around the edges, but we’re not with our video games.
Whilst the visuals are nice and cartoon-y, they are a bit… basic. There could be a bit of spit and polish added rather than it look like, well, a flatter Alien Hominid. It also suffers a little bit of lag and delay when it gets a bit wild on screen, which is often in a game like this.
The biggest gripe I cannot ignore, however, is the loading times. In a game that is neither massive in size nor graphically complex, these are unacceptable. Especially in a game that can see you die quite easily in a horde-like moment or boss battle. It’s all well and good getting fired up for waaagh, only to wait impatiently at a loading screen.
Destroy All Humies!
In conclusion then, Warhammer 40K: Shootas, Blood & Teef is a generally fun blast. Players don’t have to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the Warhammer universe to enjoy it, but it wouldn’t hurt. I know the basics, but the introduction does a decent job of painting the Ork’s perspective. No Emperor’s backstory here.
It’s a joyful little arcade romp, with varying difficulty levels to suit any degree of challenge. If you can get a consistent group of friends (or online randoms) to charge through with, then more’s the better. As a solo experience, I didn’t think any less of it. I had fun, even if it would have been nicer for a bit of help on some of the more challenging bosses.
All in all, Shootas, Blood & Teef is a light-heartened slice of the Warhammer 40K universe that will settle a few hours with its arcade run-and-gun fun.
A vibrant and violent affair, Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef is a slice of arcade fun. It’s not aimed at Warhammer veterans, and rightfully so, more for those who like their run-and-gun to be over-the-top. A bit lacking in extra content and polish, but still enjoyable nonetheless. Highly recommend it with friends though.
Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef is available now on Nintendo Switch (reviewed on Switch Lite), PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One and Series S|X, and PC.
Physical editions of the game are available from ININ Games (Standard Edition) with a special Collector’s Edition also available from from Games Rocket.
Publisher: Rogueside / ININ Games
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.
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