Games Workshop are a name that’s known by many, and for good reason. Warhammer 40,000 being that reason. Making its way from table top once more to console and PC, is Warhammer: Inquisitor-Martyr. An Action/RPG being developed by Neocore Games, whose precious work has consisted of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing trilogy and the Deathtrap spin-off which has seen some favourable responses for the most part. Now they’ve tried their hands at a Warhammer game, which feels similar to the Van Helsing games with regards to camera positioning and other areas, will it appease the Emperor, or will it be seen as a heretic?
First of all, I’m no big fan of the Warhammer universe, but it’s started to grow on me in recent years, and I’m more inclined to read the books. It’s an expansive and rich universe for sure, and Neocore has plenty to work with. Question is, will they make the game work as an Action/RPG when there’s plenty of successful and popular RTS games? Well, over on Steam, there are many average-at-best reviews from users, with many unhappy at how it’s played out so far for Inquisitor-Martyr. I don’t think it’s that bad a game, although I would question just how ready it is for release after several delays already.
At first, I really enjoyed the game, it was a blast to play, albeit with some awkward controls. I was expecting it to play as a twin-stick shooter, but that’s not the case. Combat feels awkward and clunky, offering little in the way of real control over your character. Three face buttons and a trigger are used for your attack commands, and usually, you will watch in horror as he shoots into a wall hoping to kill an enemy from distance when someone is blasting his face off at point blank range and he takes no notice whatsoever. Either that or just runs off in search of the nearest chest if one is in range. I did on only one map, find that I was running down under the map which surprised me as I honestly didn’t think it was that bug riddled a game. I did encounter some frame rate drops, which made it look unstable but these were mostly during the interstellar travel on the Star Map.
Now despite all of this, I did enjoy playing the game. The controls did take some getting used too, but it’s not unplayable, although it’s going to need some fine tuning to make it worthwhile to the masses. The reason being, the bulk of the campaign is well defended by a huge grind to get anywhere, as you need to increase your power level before you can take on later levels. Sounds easy, right? Well not really, as the gains per run are mostly minimal, although I did have a few occasions where I’d be able to buy new items in the store that offered me a decent enough boost. Though it still requires a lot of work.
Those who favour this genre will be pleased to hear that loot is plentiful, and you can even craft your own once you advance far enough in the story, and this naturally requires collecting materials to forge the new items. But here’s the kicker. You not only need to scrap items to contribute to this, but also find them when you’re on your runs, and find respective blueprints. At time of writing this paragraph, I’ve spent 15 hours in the game and only found 4 of these blueprints. I can get better than what’s on offer there now, which is kind of making this redundant.
So far, I haven’t said much good about the game, and for good reason too. But underneath these issues, lies a damn good game just waiting to burst it’s way out, like the Xenomorph did from John Hurt’s chest in Alien. I just wish that this game would hurry up and show how good it can be. Not only is there the single player component, but local and online game modes. I do see the co-op being worthwhile playing with a friend, and maybe even the VS mode too. It could be said that it’s too ambitious for its own good trying to add in as much as possible to flesh the game out, but in doing so, it’s alienating people. I feel conflicted by Inquisitor-Martyr. I really want to love and hate it at the same time, and I just don’t know how I should react to this. I did originally think it was a fantastic game before all the issues presented themselves to me, and yet I can’t stop playing. There’s just enough for me to feel a little bit of love towards it, even if it’s not perfect.
To look at the game maps, some of them look a little bit bland when traversing the harsh planet exteriors, and some look like they have seen some hard work and attention. The interior levels seem to have had better luck with the amount of work involved. Just seeing what I would say is ice with random rocks thrown in for good measure to spruce it up just doesn’t look right. As for the voice acting, it does a decent job and I can’t grumble here. This makes up most of the audio involved, but just ambient background tracks noticeable otherwise, aside from the barrage of guns blasting away at the faces of your enemy of course.
It’s going to be a shaky debut working on the Warhammer series for Neocore. It needs a bit more polish, that I won’t deny, and even though I would recommend a delay to really make it shine, I fear that in doing so would make matters worse for all the fans that want to get their hands on it. Don’t ignore it forever, especially if you’ve got a friend to buddy up with. There’s something there that’s worth your time, it just needs coaxing out of its burrow. As for the score, I have thought long and hard about what to award it. Had it worked properly, I would have been giving this a nine perhaps? Definitely an eight. But I don’t want to drop it down to a five. Although I’m sure some would so that is even too high a rating. So here it is; a six. If I’d reviewed it later on after release it may have been a different story.
Developer: Neocore Games
Publisher: Big Ben Interactive
Release Date: 23rd August 2018
File Size: 26.7GB
Xbox One copy provided for review purpose
Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One & Steam