The Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor ARPG Is Very Explodey

Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr, the action RPG from the folk behind the Van Helsing hacker-slashers, has been quiet for the best part of a year, presumably because the horrifying punctuation of its title caused a directory error which rendered all its files inaccessible. The heretic-burning Diablolike just broke cover anew, offering us decent insight into what, yes, looks very much like an action-RPG in the 40K universe, and that is not something I’m ever going to argue with. It’s also very shiny, in a very grimdark sort of way.

The major remix to ARPG tropes is that there’s a cover system and destructible scenery. Interesting idea – ARPGs traditionally go for the most basic, silly approach to guns, rather than anything remotely tactical. However, this is showy as well as tactical: there’s some neat destruction on show here, and the idea of slaying one’s foes by shooting a nearby pillar into pieces until it collapses on top of them is appealingly over the top. Here’s how it all looks:

And last year’s teaser if you missed it:

I think most of us were feeling a tad burned out on 40K videogames after the recent deluge of so-so stuff, but Battlefleet Gothic has restored some hope that care is being taken with the license again. Too soon to call Inquisitor one way or another, but going on this it’s not looking throwaway, at least.

More details on the cover and destruction systems here, as part of what’s planned to be a weekly devlog.

Devs Neocore aren’t hurling around a release date yet, but you can go see a pre-alpha version of the game with your actual human eyes later this month at Warhammerfest 2016. It’s on at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, UK, on the 14th and 15th of May.


  1. daev_Neocore says:

    “presumably because the horrifying punctuation of its title caused a directory error which rendered all its files inaccessible.”

    The whole studio is laughing at this now!

  2. EOT says:

    This style of game just seems like a misstep when considering how important and Inquistor’s retinue is to their operations.

    A Mass Effect style RPG would have been perfect but this looks dross. Though I’ll hold my judgement on its merits until release of course.

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      phuzz says:

      That was my thought too, in fact, Shepard as a Spectre, given substantial independence and leeway to conscript people and vehicles in service of a higher cause, is quite similar to an Inquisitor in many ways.
      Quite a lot less burning of heretics and praising the Emperor though I suppose. Also, I’m pretty sure the Ordo Malleus frowns upon people banging aliens, spoilsports.

    • jareddm says:

      The importance of the retinue can vary drastically depending on the MO of the inquisitor in question. Some operate with huge webs of affiliates and acolytes, whereas others, like Inquisitor Lord Hector Rex, are powerhouses all on their own.

  3. Flamepreacher says:

    Looks interesting to me. Personally anything that changes up the usual ARPG gameplay, either by setting or adding something new to mix is worth keeping an eye on. At least its not a MOBA!

  4. RedViv says:

    The destruction levels are nice, but the bolter being so flaccid and missing the FWOOMPROAR disappoints.

    • Snidesworth says:

      Absolutely this. A bolter that sounds weak is no bolter at all.

      • RedViv says:

        It’s a freaking .75 caliber HEIAP launcher firing with the speed of a small machine pistol. The sound alone should convey how terrifying it would be to even attempt wielding it with a normal human physique.

  5. BathroomCitizen says:

    Talking about Warhammer 40k lore: I’ve read only Space Marines books and played videogames about WH40k, thus I don’t know anything about the Inquisition.

    How strong is an inquisitor vs a Space Marine?

    • jareddm says:

      Varies hugely. Some inquisitors are completely unaugmented, and operate on the strength of their knowledge, convictions, and charisma. Some are potent psykers and hone those talents over all others. Others can be monstrously augmented beings in custom-made power armor that would be an equal match for many space marines.

    • Victor A Yorke says:

      On the tabletop, No idea.

      In the lore – depends on what the writer wants out of it. Sometimes the inquisitor is a spymaster with top-tier equipment but an ordinary human frame, sometimes the inquisitor is a Marine Captain in both build and hardware.

      This time, we appear to have the latter – the gauntlet-mounted bolter and silvery colour scheme implies Grey Knights maybe…?

      (actually if you’re reading 40K novels, seek out the Caiaphas Cain series as a matter of urgency…)

      • EOT says:

        The Caiaphas Cain books are Black Adder/Flashman in space. Amusing enough reads but there’s not that much about Inquisitor’s in them from my remembrance (apart from when he’s sleeping with one).

        The Eisenhorn and Ravenor series are more directly related to the discussion.

    • malkav11 says:

      In terms of raw ass-kicking, the Space Marine is probably going to win, although it depends on the Inquisitor and their preferred methods. Space Marines are heavily bio-engineered ultimate warriors with incredibly potent powered armor suits and some of the most devastating non-vehicle weapons (hell, some Marines can tote certain classes of vehicle weapon) the Imperium can field. They are the elite.

      But Inquisitors don’t answer to anyone except theoretically the Inquisition proper (and there’s more than a few that don’t bother with that). They can, at least in theory, requisition anyone and anything in the Imperium if they want to. Their political authority is virtually unmatched. But of course, how much that’s respected is going to depend on how loyal people are and how much their presence screws with the local politics and since the Inquisition’s mission is to hunt out the renegade, the heretic, the alien, etc, they tend to move in circles where they aren’t necessarily going to get total, implicit compliance.

  6. ZombieFX says:


    burn those “lane defence” heretics!!

  7. PancakeWizard says:

    Loving that we’re finally getting a sci-fi ARPG with a cover system, not loving that they stole my idea for a sci-fi ARPG with a cover system.

  8. anHorse says:


    Was hoping this wasn’t going to be a bog standard arpg

    • Asurmen says:

      Is cover and destruction not different enough? I suppose it depends on how else it plays.

  9. nimbulan says:

    I’m not going to hold my breath for this one. I don’t trust Neocore to make an even remotely balanced game after playing through Van Helsing, which while it started promising, ended up being a dreary slog seemingly designed to constantly punish anyone not playing a melee tank build. It’s hard to define a worse feeling than spending 22 hours on a game only to discover that the final boss is literally impossible to beat because you didn’t follow the game’s unspoken character build requirement.

  10. Nauallis says:

    I love WH40k lore, universe, and for the most part, the video games.

    That said, this worries me. They’re harping so much on the “use of cover and a destructible environment” that it seems more like they want to show off their neat particle destruction & interaction engine and it just so happens that WH40k is a universe where things get destroyed, so let’s make a 40k game about destroying the environment! (except y’know, hive cities already do that)

    On the other hand they could be trying for the gameplay style of The Division, and that has fun core gameplay despite the rest of it being bleh.

    I really want to be hopeful, though.

    • Zekiel says:

      My impression was that this was just a dev video that happens to particularly focus on the cover system. If all the other dev videos do too, then that’s a concern.

  11. Durgendorf says:

    Wants to know how an inquisitor-martyr works. Usually they martyr is on the other side of that line.

  12. Sangrael says:

    I’m bummed this is by Neocore as I’ve sworn off their games entirely. VH3 was a mess that they never fixed because they were working on the essential VH game that combined all three. And then for some reason they shoehorned in an “always online” requirement for a number of game features, except a sizable portion of the playerbase were unable to ever login, myself included.

  13. Zekiel says:

    Looks interesting but you’ve really got to change the name. All I can here is “Inquisi Tomato” :-)

  14. Wolfoz says:

    What is a Plasgun? I’m unfamiliar with it within the context of WH40K. Is it a blue soup warmer?