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THQ doing Warhammer 40K shooter?

Gory game footage drives speculation.

The watchful internet has spotted what appears to be in-game footage of a new third-person shooter set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, to which THQ holds the exclusive licence.

Subtitled Space Marine, the action is dark, splattered with gore, and based on the idea of "intimate brutality", according to (apparently) developer commentary during the video. This means that ranged combat only really exists to narrow the gap before main-hand swords can be drawn.

Footage is captured from an Xbox 360 build, and begins in a dark and gothic-inspired interior, littered with runty baddies dispatched quickly and brutally by our chunky space marine hero.

Presentation is rather similar to Gears of War, both from the third-person viewpoint and slow-motion, cinematic melee deaths. There's no apparent cover mechanic, mind you.

Anyway, our marine eventually ends up outside in a futuristic cityscape, facing Chaos troops as large as himself and with melee weapons of their own.

Action culminates with a face-off against some kind of enemy leader, where action swaps to a first-person boxing-style mini-game, the loser of which has his head shot off and body tossed away.

The video "leak" comes just days after job adverts on THQ's Australian website (see Kotaku) pointed to the development of a "brutal", next-generation Warhammer 40,000 videogame.

THQ has been contacted for comment on all of the above.