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?