I had a bit of an unusual relationship with Warhammer growing up. Growing up near a Games Workshop, it was inevitable that I’d get involved with the fantasy world of Warhammer as a child. It had a great premise for a toy: buy your sets, paint them yourself in order to customise them to your liking, and then take them into battle against other people via the tabletop game.
My antisocial tendencies meant that I never got to that final stage of the process – heck, I didn’t even know the names of them, let alone lore or how the game actually played. I just bought them because they looked badass.
With a multiplayer focused Warhammer game releasing, it’s only fitting then that I laugh in the face of playing with other people and tackle this one on my lonesome. Good thing it holds up pretty well in solo play… at least from a gameplay perspective.
Many thanks to PR Hound for the review code
The universe is at war. Or, more specifically, WAAAAAGH! – as the Orks describe it. The Orks are a savage race of dumb brutes, more concerned with shootas and dakka (that’s ‘ammo’ to Humids like you and I) than literally anything else. The Ork chieftain of your particular tribe is Ogruk Gutrekka, the baddest of the baddest, and he wants control of the Humid-controlled Looteus so they can basically use its vast quantity of resources to make more weapons…. sorry, ‘shootas’
All is well and good until Gutrekka goes one step too far and steals your hairpiece and leaves you for dead. Nobody takes your prized possession and gets away with it, so obviously you need to shoot literally everything until you find and kill Gutrekka himself.
Whilst the ridiculous setup may seem laughable to many, it also feels ‘right’ with the dumbness of the Orks and their affinity for war taking front and centre. Humans, or ‘humids’, also take a central role here and you’ll see plenty of the variants here that you know and love. Space Marines should be familiar to all, but I even recognise a few others from the 40K series. The humids are militaristic and also as pompous and self-aggrandising as you would expect. Characterisation on all fronts feels spot on, and the excellent voice acting caps everything off.
Fans of the series will no doubt appreciate many other little nods dotted around the place, showing just how much the developers are aware of the Warhammer world. Whilst I know little about it myself, I certainly recognised bits and pieces here and there and no doubt missed a whole lot more.
Playing as the Orks, you’d expect lots and lots of shooting, and you’d be right. As a run ‘n’ gun, expect to be traversing relatively straightforward maps while blasting everything in sight. You aim with the right stick and move with the left, making shooting stuff on the fly a breeze. Controls work well for the most part, despite some slight issues that caused varying degrees of annoyance. The default button mapping, for example, proved problematic initially – but thankfully you are able to remap as you please. Unfortunately, even after a bit of remapping, some functions just didn’t ever seem to work. Notably, I was only ever able to cycle weapons in one direction and not the other no matter how I mapped the buttons, which proved to be a major hassle when having to switch between stuff on the fly. Problems don’t stop there either, as you’re also only able to dash after a single jump and not a double jump, which felt counter-intuitive and was something I never got used to. The game’s handy auto-aim feature is also pretty useful for the most part, but causes issues when have to shoot a boss while there are lots of smaller foes present. Rather than snapping to your main target, it seems to prefer redirecting your shots to the infinitely spawning fodder instead.
All of these though aren’t a huge deal and only really cause a minor annoyance in the grand scheme of things. For the most part, controls are pretty solid and so is the gunplay. There’s a range of weapons at your disposal, with the ability to buy additional variants using the game’s currency. Whilst some weapons like the pistol have little use due to every main weapon having infinite ammo, there’s a fair amount here to help mix things up – especially as certain weapons are better for certain foes. To top things off, killing a lot of stuff allows you to enter a temporary rage mode that allows you to shoot faster and harder for a limited time.
More interestingly, you can choose one of a number of Ork classes to play as that offer their own unique skills, melee weapons, and grenade types. Whilst only seeming slightly different on the surface, their small differences can really offer huge advantages. One of the great bosses (of which there are many) caused me a fair bit of grief until I started using the dude that has explosive critter grenades. They provided the boss with enough of a distraction to get in some extra hits and finally take the bastard down!
Unfortunately, even though the game is pretty enjoyable, there is one huge fault with the game that stops me from being able to recommend it to anyone – and it’s a complaint that is becoming ever more common with Switch games: the performance. Shootas, Blood & Teef is a great looking game, but it’s also one that seems to tax the Switch quite a fair bit for some unknown reason. From the offset, even when enemy numbers are pretty minimal, you’ll notice the game chugging slightly and struggling to maintain a consistent framerate. It’s fine for the most part, if a bit annoying; however, as you approach the middle act of the game things start to go downhill fast. In these refinery levels, the game turns into such a slideshow that it started to make me feel nauseous. As someone accustomed to retro titles, framerate very rarely has this affect on me, but it is so bad here and so uneven that I had to stop playing. Killing everyone does help to a slight degree, but even with nobody on screen the game still performs abysmally. The game even performed so badly at one point that it forced the game to hard close, forcing me to sit through all the lengthy loading screens again. Things do ease up in the final portion of the game, but the game never runs smoothly.
And this is just in single player.
Shootas, Blood & Teef is a game designed for up to four players shooting together simultaneously, I tried things out with a few extra characters playing at the same time and there was a predictable dip in performance – even on the easiest difficulty setting. Locally performed bad, but online was even worse as it also throws people’s connections into the mix too. Whilst I admittedly didn’t play around too much with multiplayer, opting for solo play instead, what I did experience didn’t bode particularly well.
It’s a shame that Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef performs so badly on the Switch. The art style is charming, and the voice acting and worldbuilding is so good that I’m sure fans of the franchise will adore it. Perhaps things will be fixed in a future patch, but otherwise it may be worth getting your orkish delights elsewhere.
Should you wish to purchase a physical version of the game, it is available via ININ Games at the following places: