by Preston Dozsa
previewed on PC
From the creators of Van Helsing
I’ll admit, I greatly enjoy the universe of Warhammer 40,000. Its insanity, its factions and its battles all appeal to me. Of course, in recent years and continuing into the future, we’re seeing more and more games using that setting being released, with not all of them being particularly good. But few of those games are developed by NeocoreGames, a studio based in Budapest, who developed the successful The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing series.
They’re venturing into the grimdark future with Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr, an action role-playing game where you play as a member of the Inquisition, tasked with hunting down humanity’s enemies across a variety of worlds. For those who have played the Van Helsing or Diablo series, you’ll be right at home in Inquisitor.
Inquisition, their weapons and enemies
Each campaign gives you a wide choice of missions to choose from on different randomly generated worlds, with each mission affecting the events of the sector. That feature was not in my demo, but it is certainly promising, as it could dramatically increase Inquisitor’s replayability. Not that the game is lacking for things to kill – expect all of mankind’s enemies to be included in the game, including but not limited to Orkz, Eldar, Chaos and Tyranids. And when waiting between missions, each player will have a fully upgradeable fortress which they can use to assist their efforts to cleanse xenos and heretics.
In my demo I played as two of the three playable classes, the Crusader and the Assassin. The Crusader was heavily armoured and armed, wielding a plasma rifle and a bolter/chainsword combination which he could switch between at will, while the Assassin was more nimble and equipped with a sniper rifle and a deadly pair of blades. Each class has their own skill tree and playstyle, though apart from weapons and appearances I can’t say if anything else separates them.
In practice, it is the different weapons that you equip that matter the most, as the abilities that you can use at any given time change with your equipped weapon. Each of the four load-outs I tried were perfectly serviceable, though I personally preferred the Crusader’s bolter and chainsword as it provided a healthy mixture of ranged and melee attacks for the cultists I was killing. But no matter which weapon I chose, combat felt slow, lacking any sense of momentum or chaos. That is despite the destructible environments, which fall apart in a satisfying manner whether you riddle them with bullets or grenades.
Of course, you can always slay the enemies of the Emperor with your friends. Up to four players can play with each other in co-op, though you can just as easily betray them and raid their fortresses for supplies and loot. Inquisitors, after all, don’t necessarily have to be nice to each other.
Potential is there, but...
Inquisitor was in an early alpha stage when I played it at E3, and it showed. Numerous glitches and bugs were present in my time with the game, including one memorable moment when my character’s hair became stuck in a rock and slowly extended its length as I marched across the level. It did, eventually, fix itself, but it is important to note that the game is still far from release.
Putting aside the fact that Inquisitor is still in development, my biggest concern is whether the game has enough going for it to differentiate it from other similar titles. Apart from the setting, Inquisitor felt like any other action RPG, which is both comforting and worrying at the same time. It’s the additional features that I did not see in the demo, including the ability to raid other players’ fortresses and the changing nature of the sector as you complete missions, that have me intrigued. If those features turn out to be as good as I hope they will, Inquisitor will make for an engaging game when it releases in 2017.