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Retro-inspired shooter Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun blasts onto PC in May

Doomin' and Boomin'

Retro FPS Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun now has a release date of May 23rd, developer Auroch Digital have announced. Revealed last year, Boltgun is an homage to old-school shooters like classic Doom, mimicking those game’s speedy shooting and bloody visuals, and placing it in the Warhammer universe. Its loud, fast, and fun trailers meant Boltgun ripped its way onto RPS’ most anticipated games list, so thank the grim-dark gods for a release date.

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“In Boltgun,” lead designer Grant Stewart writes, “you play as a battle-hardened Space Marine on a perilous mission across the galaxy to fight against Warriors and demons of Chaos.” Stewart delves deep into other aspects of Boltgun throughout the PlayStation blog post, detailing the enemy AI and the paintwork processes.

Stewart explains that early boomer-shooters (the ‘90s shooters where you boom monsters) used 2D sprites for enemies. To emulate those retro shooters in a modern game, Boltgun is using a “hybrid process” where enemies are modelled and rigged in modern ways, then they’re digitally photographed, then they’re “stitched back together into 2D flipbook animations.” The end effect is very slick, and the enemies look even better when they explode into bloody pixels.

The trailers have a punchy rock soundtrack (as you’d expect), and buckets of fast-paced manoeuvring, blasting, and booming (also as you’d expect.) The Steam page says the game will take place on a series of “huge levels to shoot, shred, and slice the worst heretics across the galaxy.” Very cute.

The resurgence of boomer shooters has been “extremely nice” for our video bud Liam, who also got hands-on time with Warhammer 40,000: Boltshot at Pax 2023. The rest of us will need to wait quietly until we’re allowed to rip-and-tear on PC and consoles on May 23rd.

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