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Everything revealed so far about Space Marine 2 executions

Executions are the gory pinnacle of Space Marine 2’s combat system - here’s everything we know so far about how they’re going to work.

Upcoming third person action game Warhammer 40k Space Marine 2 is characterized by brutal melee combat and high velocity firepower, as Space Marine lieutenant Titus smashes into hordes of alien Tyranids. If constant combat is the game’s main beat, Space Marine 2 executions are guitar solos – a stylish flourish in the symphony of violence.

Wargamer is watching closely as Warhammer 40k: Space Marine 2 develops. We have a separate guide if you want to learn about the Space Marine 2 combat system, which makes a great accompaniment to this article, and you’ll find everything we know about the game so far in our Space Marine 2 walkthrough.

Lieutenant Titus prepares to snap the neck of a Tyranid hormagaunt in Warhammer 40k Space Marine 2

Here’s everything revealed so far about Space Marine 2 executions:

While every Space Marine 2 enemy that we’ve encountered in the game’s demo build can be killed with enough boltshells and chainsword cuts, executions allow the player to finish an enemy with a single, decisive blow. Not only do executions remove a dangerous enemy from the fight, they also recover some of your health and shields. There are three main ways to execute an enemy:

Space Marine 2 parry execution - Lieutenant Titus prepares to hurl a hormagaunt into the concrete

Space Marine 2 parry executions

When an enemy is about to make a heavy attack it will be highlighted by a blue aura. It’s possible to parry these attacks. Larger Space Marine 2 enemies will be lightly or seriously staggered by your parry, but small enemies – like hormagaunts – will be killed immediately. There’s something very satisfying about catching a leaping hormagaunt in mid-air and splatting it into the astrogranite.

Space Marine 2 melee execution - a Tyranid warrior flashing red, indicating it is susceptible to a melee execution

Space Marine 2 melee executions

It’s possible to seriously stagger enemies by parrying them, or dodging out of the way of un-parryable attacks. An enemy that is seriously staggered will flash red, and rock from side to side like the losing Mortal Kombat fighter waiting for a fatality… which is exactly what you’re going to deliver.

While close to a staggered enemy you can initiate a melee execution by pressing Right Stick / R3. In the demo build, it’s possible to press this button before you reach melee range and hold it; even if the enemy recovers from being staggered before you reach them, the execution attack will still fire off.

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Space Marine 2 pistol executions

Sometimes a parry or one of your own attacks will leave an enemy lightly staggered, indicated by a targeting symbol appearing above their head. While they won’t be susceptible to a melee execution, you can fire a pistol shot at them without switching from melee to ranged Space Marine 2 weapons by pressing Right Trigger / R2.

This shot automatically hits them in the head, and for smaller enemies like hormagaunts it’s always fatal. For larger foes, such as the Tyranid Warrior, whether this kills the target or not seems to depend on their remaining health. We expect that your choice of pistol will also have an impact, though the plasma pistol wasn’t available to test in the demo build.

Eagerly awaiting news of the Space Marine 2 release date? Us too. To tide you over with Warhammer 40k action, we suggest you check out Darktide, which has become one of the best Warhammer 40k games out there since patch number 13 overhauled the game’s progression system and introduced crossplay between Games for Windows, Steam, and XBox Series S|X. Speaking of multiplayer, here’s everything we know about Space Marine 2 co-op so far.