Understanding Space Marine 2’s Newest Antagonists: The Thousand Sons
When Space Marine 2 was first announced, players anticipated facing the Tyranid horde as the primary enemy. However, the latest gameplay trailer revealed the introduction of a new antagonist – the Thousand Sons. Let’s delve into who these villains are and why they pose a threat to Titus and the Imperium of Man.
The Origins of the Thousand Sons
Over 10,000 years ago, the Emperor of Man created 20 Space Marine legions. However, chaos ensued, leading to two legions being purged from history. The remaining 18 legions were divided in a civil war known as the Horus Heresy. Half of the legions stood with humanity and the Emperor, while the other half, including the Thousand Sons, aligned themselves with the malevolent Chaos Gods.
Among the traitor legions, the Thousand Sons are regarded as one of the most tragic. Some fans even argue that their primarch, Magnus, did nothing wrong. However, it is important to acknowledge that Magnus committed numerous grave mistakes. Nevertheless, each legion, whether loyal or traitorous, possesses its own specialization. For instance, the Imperial Fists excel in fortification, the Raven Guard are stealth experts, and the Death Guard display near-invulnerability. In the case of the Thousand Sons, they boast powerful psykers alongside their Space Marines.
The Tragic Tale of Magnus the Red
During the time surrounding the Horus Heresy, Magnus the Red, one of the Emperor’s sons, dabbled extensively in the Warp. Unbeknownst to Magnus, the Warp was under the domain of the Chaos Gods. Tzeentch, one of these malevolent entities, reached out to Magnus and offered a solution to the Thousand Sons’ rampant mutation, known as the flesh change. In exchange, Magnus relinquished his eye.
This initial bargain set off a chain of events that eventually turned Magnus against his father and loyalist brethren. Furthermore, Magnus inadvertently disrupted his father’s grand plan for the future of humanity. To make matters worse, the flesh change resurfaced. Ahriman, Magnus’ favored son, took matters into his own hands and cast a spell called a rubric to cure the affliction. Unfortunately, this spell resulted in non-psyker Thousand Sons being trapped as dust within their armor.
The Thousand Sons’ Role in Space Marine 2
The Thousand Sons have long been adversaries of the Imperium, with Magnus himself appearing at the beginning of the current Era Indomitus to impede Roboute Guilliman, the Ultramarines primarch, from reaching Terra. Thus, their presence in Space Marine 2 signifies a grudge match. As Titus battles against Rubric Marines and Tzeentchian sorcerers, the rivalry between their respective fathers will inevitably come to mind.
It is worth noting that Tzeentch is a particularly challenging Chaos God to portray in video games due to the abstract nature of change, manipulation, and fate. Nonetheless, the inclusion of the Thousand Sons allows players to associate a recognizable face, or rather a helmet filled with dust, with Tzeentch and his intricate schemes. Hopefully, the game will delve into even stranger elements of this Chaos God, such as the presence of two-headed demons capable of foreseeing the past and future, but not the present.
Space Marine 2 is set to release this winter on PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X, although a specific launch date has yet to be announced.