Warhammer 40,000 has an unbelievable amount of narrative history readily available to be integrated into any video game genre. Developer NeocoreGames is taking the IP’s traditional RTS roots and transplanting their identity into Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr, an open world action RPG iteration of the series’ tactics-based gameplay. E3 provided me the opportunity to see Inquisitor first hand – a live hands off demo provided a visual backdrop for the developer’s presentation and ultimately set a beautifully dark tone for the information that followed.
Being the first of its kind (action RPG) in the universe, Inquisitor has a flexible freedom with its gameplay that looks to be setting an incredibly high bar for other games in the genre to match. Pure, bloody destruction coats every element of gameplay, and each mechanic naturally adheres to the lore’s source material. Overheating weapons and reloads are both on a cooldown system, adding a tactical tint to the game’s cover-based combat. Players can target specific limbs and body parts of their enemies (especially prevalent in boss-like encounters), effectively preventing opponents from accessing highly powerful abilities because of their lame limbs. Accurate aiming of your abilities becomes paramount in these situations. Creatures have unique animations for the brutal executions you can perform on them, as well – every encounter looks to keep you on your toes until the battle’s conclusion as there is a myriad of ways to approach each conflict.
You are an Inquisitor, a powerful secret agent of the Imperium, on a mission to purge the “unclean.” This label includes heretics, mutants, Xenos – even daemons of Chaos Gods. The game boasts both single and multiplayer, providing players with two very distinct experiences. Inquisitor‘s single-player story places its focus on a personal investigation of sorts as players make decisions based on the situations they encounter in the game’s well structured maps. For those looking for a concrete, static narrative set in a beautifully brilliant universe of pre-established lore, this will be right up your alley. For others looking for more involvement via multiplayer, good news! Decisions will leave their mark on the secluded Caligari sector in which the game takes place – this is where the community comes into play.
The Inquisitorial Campaign bases its story on a communal aggregate of decisions. Depending on what players choose to do with their freedom, they will play a part in sculpting the very narrative of the game itself as they explore randomly generated maps within the sector. Unique world events, chains of missions and clues that lead to other missions, and special mini-campaigns fill this open world gem to the brim with content, allowing players an immeasurable amount of opportunity to influence the direction of the narrative for everyone. Up to four players can team up in any one group to help one another in a PvE environment, but PvP has its own share of exclusive multiplayer features.
Inquisitorial Clans are eventually introduced to players, granting fellow members joint benefits for participating in live world events and the establishment, attainment, and defending of fortresses. As these forts build and develop, the garrison of your Imperial Army will grow into an influential power out on the field. Once players (or clans) feel prepared, they can attempt to attack and take control of another’s fortress. Doing so will leave your fortress bare of defenses if the attack is not properly planned, however, so players will have to utilize strategic warfare if they want to maintain dominance.
The combination of territorial gameplay, open world events, and exchangeable loot upon death makes Inquisitor‘s PvP worth a full investigation of its features as it adds immense scale to the game’s presentation. Players aren’t obligated to play every mode, but there will certainly be neglected potential for enjoyment for those who don’t explore all this game has to offer.
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