I really can’t quite believe that there was a time that I wasn’t a fan of Warhammer games, whether of the Warhammer Fantasy Battle type of Warhammer 40K. I certainly wasn’t a big fan of how much the miniatures cost when I was a kid, or the pencil and paper role-playing sourcebooks either as I got older.
But everything changed the very first time I got my hands on and played the first Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War game. Since that time, I’ve had to endure trying out many other Warhammer 40K games—everything from hex-based strategy games, to first and third person shooters. I’ve even had the displeasure of playing the two abysmal sequels to Dawn of War itself (okay, DOW 2 wasn’t nearly as atrocious as DOW 3).
Throughout these trials and tribulations, I’ve realized that there was one unifying factor (besides horrible gameplay mechanics) which singled out a bad Warhammer 40K game: Not adhering to the lore. In fact, other than the first couple of Dawn of War games, none besides the recent first-person shooter, Space Hulk: Deathwing, has captured the atmosphere of the 40K universe. Until now…
In NeoCore Games’ new Action RPG, Inquisitor: Martyr, players take on the role of the title’s namesake, a mighty Inquisitor of the Empire of Man. You can choose from one of three classes; a Crusader (tanky), a Psyker (powerful but fragile spellcaster), or an Assassin (quick and tricky). However, in an apparent bid to offer additional depth to the game, you can also pick from three sub-classes. These sub-classes let you specialize in ranged combat, melee, or defense.
Layered nicely on top of all of that are a wide array of skills, all arranged conveniently enough throughout a huge, branching skill tree. But that’s not all (why does that sound like something a used car salesman would say?) when you factor in the equally expansive choice of weapons and armors that you can equip your character with. All of this leads to having a pretty in-depth customization system to play around with. These factors will definitely appeal to the more patient role-playing types out there who like to meticulously build up their characters over the long run.
Inquisitor: Martyr plays a lot like Diablo 2 (which it has aptly been compared to). You explore procedurally generated “dungeons” in search of mission objectives and take on legions of evil baddies. You can play all by your lonesome or with a group of online friends or strangers.
You can either choose to play the game’s main campaign, which has you tracking down the mysterious space hulk called (guess…) the Martyr, or you can embark on any of the numerous alternative side missions. There are also what are called Priority Assignments which are story-driven missions that aren’t related to the main campaign.
Like Spacehulk: Deathwing, Inquisitor: Martyr really conveys the sense that you’re a futuristic badass traveling around the universe on secret missions, and of course kicking major tail. There is a sublime sense of power that you feel as you cleave and shoot your way through large gaggles of enemies and go up against gigantic bosses.
There are some pretty advanced gameplay systems at play within Inquisitor: Martyr, including lots of gore and environmental destruction. Shoot at a baddie’s head and watch it blow right off; hack at their limbs and you’ll see them likewise disconnected from their main host body. Watch bullet patterns form on the walls of chambers that you battle through them, and watch the destruction that you can wreak on many of the environmental objects you’ll encounter. All of these factors lend themselves to the game’s immersive nature within the Warhammer 40K universe in a big way.
If you want to try something new, you could always opt in for any of the numerous Global Events that pop up from time to time. For instance, there’s one happening as I type this review called the Unholy Incursion where you can travel to the troublesome Lacaon System to investigate some foul happenings as quoted on the game’s Steam page:
“Something has stirred up the flames of unrest in the system again. There has been a terrifying surge in cultist activity on almost every world in the region, slowly assuming apocalyptic proportions. To make matters worse, Inquisitorial assets report the presence of various Chaos Marine Legions as well – these abominations are working in unison again, wreaking havoc on the planets crippled by the recent civil wars.”
Inquisitor: Martyr is an excellent ARPG that has a lot going for it—plenty of customization, interesting loot, lots and lots of missions and side-missions, massive destruction, and faithfulness to the Warhammer 40K lore.
Inquisitor: Martyr features outstanding graphics that make its survival ARPG gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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