I am partial to a Warhammer game, I have to say. From my early days playing the Space Hulk board game, which was my first introduction to the Space Marines, to a variety of games that have been released featuring that familiar name, the narrative thread has always appealed. With the release of the Ultimate Edition of Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr from Neocore Games, the content has certainly been ramped up. So, let’s blast off into outer space and see what’s happening, shall we?
Now, as I touched on in the opening paragraph, the overarching story that ties the entire Warhammer universe together is not only huge, but far too complicated to try and explain here. So, in the interests of brevity – and as we aren’t paid by the word – I’ll speak only about this one game for now.
We play an Inquisitor, an investigator of sorts, and when an ancient space ship reappears in normal space, we are sent to see what is going on. The ship is the titular Martyr, and it appears that the crew of this fortress monastery, as it is called, have decided to start worshipping Nurgle, a creature that would be called a demon in most normal games. Nurgle is strong with Chaos, and so his followers quite often become twisted and mutated, and generally wouldn’t make very good dinner guests. With our collection of heavy weaponry and armour, we are sent to explain the error of their ways. Imagine a door knocker in a suit of power armour and you’re not too far off.
I’m going to leave the story there, as there is a lot to discover and I don’t want to spoil it, but I will instead turn instead to the presentation of the game, which again is another strong point. The way the graphics are designed bring all the strong points of the history of the Warhammer universe to life, and building your character to be how you want them to be is pretty rewarding. The power armour gleams, there are more explosions than you can shake a blaster at, and the various minions of Nurgle that you have to dispatch are disgusting.
So, every box so far has a tick in it for visuals, and the sound work is equally good. The cutscenes and exposition are all fully voice acted, and the acting is pretty good as well, with a believable amount of emphasis given to the lines delivered. In all, Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr Ultimate Edition looks and sounds the part, so the last thing to check out is the actual gameplay, isn’t it?
Well, there is a bit of a diversion here from the usual kind of Warhammer fare. Most of the Warhammer games I have played have been turn-based, almost strategic RPGs, where you move in a grid and perform actions costing AP and so on. Inquisitor – Martyr is an entirely different beast. It may help to know that Neocore Games’ last release on the Xbox was a trilogy of action RPGs featuring Van Helsing, remember those? Well, that’s what this game is. Think Diablo 3 in space and you’re not a million miles away. It is a top-down sort of three quarter view action RPG, where your tooled up Inquisitor stomps about a variety of small levels (relatively speaking) and must shoot, stab, blow up and otherwise dispose of all enemies. It is an action RPG with the emphasis very much on the action!
As I mentioned earlier, building your character to play your way is a big part of the game, and there are a number of different archetypes of character to use, each of which has a different set of weapons and skills that can be used. These range from the Crusader, which focuses on heavy weapons and blowing stuff up, through the Psyker and the Assassin, right up to a new entry in this Ultimate Edition; the Tech Adept. Obviously, each character plays differently, with the Psyker dealing AoE damage while the crusader has a much more “direct” approach, walking up and shooting enemies in the face. As you go through the story, unlocking new skills and weapons, as well as bits and bobs to add to your outfit allows you to constantly evolve, keeping you competitive with the enemies as they increase in number and size.
The actual combat loop is very enjoyable, reminding of Diablo quite strongly. Wander about the place, performing various actions as you go, such as deactivating jamming fields and so on, and as you blast various nasties to kingdom come, they will drop lots of loot. We all know that finding loot is the key to these games. It is very easy to fill your inventory in just a few levels, so recycling or selling gear you won’t need is vital. The combat fun is also helped by a multiplayer system, either local or via the Xbox network, and this system works very well. The netcode is well and truly up to the job, and I’ve had no issues playing with various people from the depths of the internet.
So, what is included in this Ultimate Edition over the standard version, I hear you ask? Well, I’m glad you asked! There is a whole new campaign, called Prophecy, which features new equipment and the Tech Adept class. But that’s not all, as there is now a Ranked game mode; if you think you are the greatest, there are a grand total of twelve new missions, five pets (who doesn’t want to explore the galaxy without little fluffy, eh?) and some new cosmetic items as well. That’s pretty ultimate, right?
So, a conclusion then and Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr Ultimate Edition is a lot of fun, and the new content certainly adds to the base game. The story is compelling, and the action in the levels is pretty non stop, forcing you to play tactically if you want to survive; taking cover and blowing up items in the environment will see you right. The multiplayer works very well, both locally and online, and there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of players. If you don’t get the whole ARPG thing, it may not convert you, but if you like action, Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr Ultimate Edition will deliver.
Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr Ultimate Edition is on the Xbox Store