Space Marine 2 confirms the return of PvP multiplayer, plus an all-new 3-player co-op mode

A new trailer revealed during today's Warhammer Skulls showcase has revealed that PvP multiplayer will indeed be returning to Space Marine 2, and not only that—the game will also feature an all-new "Operations Mode" for up to three players.

We already knew the Space Marine 2 will support co-op play in the campaign, but the Operations Mode is separate from all that, and narratively at least it sounds a bit like Mass Effect 3's multiplayer mode: Saber Interactive creative director Oliver Hollis-Leick told PCGamesN the mode gives players "other perspectives" on the war against Tyranids, as they undertake missions that will support the campaign being waged by Titus.

"You’ll hear one conversation in the campaign with Titus, and then you’ll actually get to play the other side of that radio conversation as those PvE Space Marines and see what hell was breaking loose in the background of that call," Hollis-Leick said. "It’s a really nice way to have a very replayable system of gameplay, but to fill in more of the picture of this ongoing war."

As previously leaked, Space Marine 2 will also bring back PvP multiplayer action from the first game, with squads of six squaring off in three separate modes: Annihilation, Seize Ground, and Capture and Control. Both PvP and PvE modes will enable players to choose from six different classes of space marine, and also to fully customize them "with a wide selection of colours, heraldry decals, pauldrons, gauntlets, and more." That sort of independent thought sounds a bit heretical to me, but admittedly I am not as up on the lore as some of my compatriots.

Space Marine 2 didn't knock our socks off in the months leading up to its planned release in winter 2023, and apparently that was not an uncommon feeling because in November of that year, published Focus Entertainment whacked it with a massive delay into the second half of 2024. That was eventually nailed down to September 9—just two months shy of a full year—and I have to say it's starting to look like the time was well spent. A trailer is just a trailer, but I like the looks of this one more than the one I saw in August 2023: To steal the words of associate editor Ted Litchfield, it's got some chew to it.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2 is available for pre-purchase now on Steam and the Epic Games Store.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.