Note to the moderators: I don't know if this is the right section since it deals with 40k videogames, but not any specific one.
Relic Entertainment started the trend of execution/finishing moves in melee combat way back in 2004 with Dawn of War 1. This has continued with Dawn of War 2 and Space Marine. Even non-Relic games in the 40k universe have had execution moves, such as the Space Hulk PC game series or the Eternal Crusade MMO.
How important has the inclusion of these moves been to your enjoyment of 40k video games? You can see an odd video below comparing the ones from Eternal Crusade to Space Marine by someone who clearly likes the latter more:
To me, the finishing moves help to set the "grimdark" atmosphere of the 40k universe, but with too many unique units and match-ups you end up with too much work for the overworked animators (later DoW games and expansions lacked those moves for several units, for instance). Most enemies in those games get killed by shooting attacks rather than melee attacks anyway.
Edit: You can even see execution moves in the 40k Chess spin-off, called Regicide.
Edited by Mazryonh, 23 September 2016 - 02:52 AM.