Warhammer 40k Inquisitor ARPG adds a story at last


1) Burn Heretics 2) one of your own turns out to be a Heretic 3) burn them. Such is the traditional Warhammer 40,000 videogame plot. It’s too soon to know if Warhammer 40,000 Diablolike Inquisitor – Martyr will ultimately sing that age-old tune too, but at least it’s now made its first moves into having a story.

Its first six months in early access were plot free, relying instead on unlinked and similar missions, but its January update adds in the first chapter of a story-led singleplayer campaign, as well as a third character class. Will this be enough to salvage a game our own John ‘Sanguinius’ Walker deemed to be “the clunkiest festival of clunk since Professor David Clunkington invented his Clunkatron 3000?”

On paper, a 40K action RPG sounds just about ideal: have force hammer/lightning claws, will smite, ad infinitum. In pratice, Van Helsing studio Neocore’s Inquisitor – Martyr has perhaps not entirely found the fun, but hey, that’s at least partially what early access is for. John particularly took issue with a lousy tutorial setup, iffy cover mechanics and AI, lag and, most of all, a strong sense of sameiness in its somewhat open world. It’s this latter which the January update seems to be targeting. First up, there’s the story – just one chapter thereof so far, and which is introduced like this:

I.e. bloke goes to place, there are almost certainly baddies in said place. Whether there’s anything more character-led remains to be seen. I’m not entirely convinced by that voice-acting either, but then 40K games generally play it broad, in fairness.

There’s more on Neocore’s approaching to Inquisitor storytelling and how they’re overhauling their previous mission system in this earlier post here.

I am tempted to play because I will always love 40K and something a little bit but not quite mindless appeals right now – I’ll report back if I do.

Also in the mix in terms of combating repetition is a new character class, making for a still relatively paltry three in total.

“Primaris Psyker Inquisitors are incredibly powerful, but they must be careful with using their powers, because it may very well turn against them. They channel devastating otherworldly energies, but they always risk damnation doing so.” Psyche! In actual in-game terms, what this means is that there are penalties for using psychic abilities, including accidentally spawning Warp anomalies. I like the deal with the devil thinking there, and will be interested to see if the gains are appealing enough to outweigh the risks.

There’s also revamped levelling, assorted polishing and bug-fixing, as detailed in this big ol’ list of splats. The bad news is that the changes are substantial enough that all old characters are getting wiped. Er, for the Emperor?


  1. thetruegentleman says:

    I really liked the Van Helsing Final Cut: it was never hilarious, but it did a lot of things right that made it more fun than Diablo’s usual grimdark crap.

    I hope Inquisitor – Martyr turns out similarly.

  2. zaldar1978 says:

    I mean it is hard for me to believe a 40k game could be anything but grim dark but I suppose there may be a way…

    • termit says:

      Well, a Ciaphas Cain game would (and should, actually). But I don’t really see GW providing that particular license, seeing as it will ruin all the grimdarkness.

    • thetruegentleman says:

      There are two kinds of Grimdark: the good kind uses black humor and doesn’t take itself overly serious, while the bad kind plays everything straight. The problem with playing Grimdark straight is that the audience inevitably ends up apathetic to the whole story, because everything is terrible and depressing all the time.

  3. Turkey says:

    Just make an Ork game. At least then we’ll have some characters to care about.

  4. Imperialist says:

    I mean, its an alpha, and its literally NOT an alpha without tons of clunk. Compared to a year ago, theyve come a long way through the warp. With just a few more features to be added, and a ton of polishing, i think the faint light of the Astronomican is getting ever so brighter, and when the game finally vomits out into realspace we might have the 40k dungeon crawler we always wanted.

  5. revan says:

    I was kind of hoping for a game in the vein of Dark Heresy pen & paper campaign and Eisenhorn/Ravenor books. Sadly what we got is another Diablo clone. Waste of potential, in my humble opinion.

    • Imperialist says:

      It plays absolutely nothing like Diablo…so im not quite sure what you mean.

      • revan says:

        I may have misspoke. I meant hack & slash ARPG. For me every such game is a Diablo clone. Just a habit from the time when the first Diablo game came out. :)

        • poohbear says:

          so any rpg is basically a final fantasy clone?

          • vlonk says:

            Yes, for years and years everything was a Diablo-Clone what is now called an ARPG. That is mostly, because most of those games WHERE clones of that formula. At least the german gaming-press stuck for years with the term “Diablo-Klon”.

            Please set your Phaser to stun next time and maybe use the tricorder first. You might raise an eyebrow to the ancient forgotten lore of “gaming in the 90ies”

    • RoyalBologna says:

      I think I get you, was myself hoping for the heady gravitas of leading an elite team of operatives into the dark intrigue and gothic brutality of the W40K world as an Inquisitor, rooting out heresy and investigating deviancy in say a Mass Effect/KOTOR 2 styled vein. Too bad we get a Diablo-esque beat everything up Solohammer.

  6. maninahat says:

    God what a wordy bit of narration. Space marines are so dreary sometimes

  7. Fiyenyaa says:

    Whatever happened to your Wraithknight Alec? Did you get it painted up? I want to see that!