It's Not a Perfect Game, But It's a Lot of Fun
Inquisitors, ominous mysterious agents relentless in their pursuit of Chaos, heresy, rebellion, betrayal, or any threat to the Imperium of Man. They are among the most powerful and feared figures in the entire galaxy. Take on the role of an Inquisitor tasked with uncovering the heretical mystery aboard the ancient monastery-fortress the Martyr.
Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor Martyr places you in the role of an Imperial Inquisitor tasked with investigating a strange message from the Marty, a long lost monastery-fortress. You’re on the trail of another Inquisitor who is searching for a mysterious heretical power. This quest will take you across the galaxy and lead you to question the truth of who you are and those around you. Like many many Inquisitors before you, the truth of your reality will be peeled away as you face Chaos and learn your true identity.
At its core, WH40K Inquisitor is an ARPG like Diablo 3, Grim Dawn, Victor Vran, and its predecessor The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing. Inquisitor shares a lot in common with those games but it’s also different in many ways. Where many ARPGs are fast paced in both leveling and map clear speed, Inquisitor is slower and more tactically focused. There is a heavy emphasis on cover, surprise, and positioning. There is a plethora of different weapons at your disposal with different variations of skills and effects to customize your battlefield tactics and strategy. Character progression also moves at a slightly, and refreshingly, slower pace affording you the opportunity enjoy practicing with new weapon unlocks and traits before moving on and adding new ones. Additionally, there are other activities like crafting, side missions, custom missions, and more.
40K is a dark gritty world buckling under the decay of Chaos and the festering corruption of the Imperium. Necore nails this with WH40K: Inquisitor Martyr. The textures, environments, and maps are detailed and evoke the feeling as if they have been there for ages.
The textures, music, and dialog all add to ambiance but Necore nailed the 40K experience far beyond visuals. They get Warhammer and the lore driving the universe. Inquisitor’s have been described as the secret police of the Imperium, and they are, but they’re so much more than simple expert operatives like James Bond. They’re a force built on a network of allies, followers, henchmen, disciples, and other inquisitors. They command great power and wealth and are chose as one out of billions to bear great burdens, wielding the power to save or destroy worlds.
Neocore hits that squarely on the head. At the start of the game, you’re fairly weak with no allies but a Rogue Trader and her ship that has been requisitioned to serve as transport for your investigation. As you complete missions along the campaign you will gain further allies and followers added to your network strengthening your position with the various systems and Caligari Conclave.
In practice these allies and followers serve as functionaries aboard your ship such as merchant, crafting panel, potion configurator, and mission interface among others. This cleverly mirrors the lore behind an Inquisitor gaining allies and power and position among other Inquisitors. You will even have a chance to make a stand as a Radical or a Puritan and ally or fallout with another key figure. No more on that as it leads to major spoilers. The important point is that all those systems feel like they naturally belong and make sense in the universe and the game.
The combat experience in WH40K: Inquisitor Martyr is visceral, gory, and primal while remaining thoughtful and tactical. Enemy types are liberally mixed among each other in more challenging fights. There are smaller packs of mobs to mow through, but larger placements require thought and a little planning even when jumping in full melee, especially when jumping in with melee weapons flashing.
Every weapon has 4 active skills and several other traits such as ammo or energy based. There are different sniper rifles each with their own skills. They share some skills, but also have their own unique version or flavor of that. The base sniper rifle you get early, as an assassin, does good physical damage, has a long range small aoe on a short cooldown, and a great high damage cleave along with an auto-fire knockback. Later sniper rifles, like the Needler, offers poison damage and rapid fire skills. It’s a great complement to the physical damage of the base sniper.
With the sniper rifles small aoe skill it can take out or soften up small groups of enemies from long range. Often weaker enemies are surrounding elite foes. Elites have armour meters their weaker counterparts don’t. They also pack a few thousand more health. Stepping into cover, with the press of the spacebar, and taking stealth aim the sniper can one shot these with a critical hit or knock them down significantly on lower difficulty levels, or make them manageable on higher ones.
Snipers are only one set of the dozens of weapons available. Pairing sniper with an autogun or a two-handed sword has also been a productive loadout, depending on the mission and enemies. Some boss monsters melt under the aimed headshot of the sniper, while others did not, but were vulnerable to the melee attacks from the sword. Some melee weapons have great mobility offering gap closers and long range aoe pounces.
Cover is an important part of combat. By pressing the spacebar near a cover spot (it highlights when you’re near) your character becomes glued to it until you release the key again. Being in cover can offer incoming damage mitigation depending on the angle and area of cover. The tradeoff with cover is that you lose mobility. You will need to make a choice whether the cover will afford you enough protection to take down the hordes or allow them to overwhelm you. In practice you can hop in and out of cover easily but once you’ve committed to an attack changing tactics can be hectic.
In addition to basic health your character has a suppression meter. This is a measure of how well you’re holding up under combat. As combat fatigue increases your suppression meter will go down from green to yellow and finally to red. Along the way you will incur debuffs to movement speed and accuracy and become more vulnerable. There are tactics, skills, and gear mods that help regain suppression. Staying out of combat for a period of time will accelerate suppression and health regeneration.
In addition to the four weapon skills, you gain an additional skill through your amour choice which is based on your class. The assassin has options for simulacrum, time distortion, or stealth whereas the crusader has turrets, rockets, and jump packs. These add tactical advantages in tougher fights. In addition to a special skill each amour type offers different levels of protections and resistances to various types of damage such as physical, warp, and heat.
The combat mechanics are solid and challenging, but just as important they feel good. Skills have punch and there is satisfying feedback when delivering devastation. A well timed sniper shot will knock back and elite or knock them down making them vulnerable to further attacks. An area attack with your sword will knock back and obliterate swarm monsters.