Reviews

Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr review – That’s Long Enough

Van Helsing developer Neocore Games has brought the Warhammer 40k universe to the isometric ARPG scene in ‘Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr’ with the distribution brass of Big Ben Interactive.

The Chaos Legion have come to meet the special forces of the evangelical Imperial Empire on their home turf within the Calgari Sector. The Inquisition are tasked with the more challenging crusades of the Empire, in this case an initial investigation aboard an apparent abandoned ship behind enemy lines.

Players will create their own Inquisitor within a selection of three ranks:

  • The Crusader: A Warrior / Paladin
  • Psyker: A War Mage
  • Assassin: A Rogue with fast reflexes

Skills To Pay the Bills

With various skill trees and other class based skills to learn, players will find enough customisation to cure their thirst for character building. The planning of said skill sets coupled with the viewpoint of Inquisitor – Martyr brings back fond memories from this reviewers’ day as a keen 40k table top enthusiasts. Maybe a 40k game with paintable figures and NFC capabilities is in order?

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Fixed quests picked from the main campaign map aboard the Inquisitor ship will take up the majority of players’ time in the 41st Millennium. However, the aforementioned ship also serves as a convenient central hub based which houses quest givers, merchants and more. Side quests can be from fellow Inquisitors who need a hand or a conversation that needs following up. The title of Inquisitor really does mean to be inquisitive. Tarot missions come in handy for players who wish to influence the kind of loot they wish to receive and more. For Inquisitor modifications such as self-healing implants, the materials needed to craft can be tough to gather. This is where tarot missions come in really handy, just pick a relevant card and go grind for a while.

As previously mentioned, players can choose to purchase new weapons or upgrade the ones they already have to unlock new skills and combinations for their fully customisable Inquisitor. The combinations are near limitless, but that doesn’t mean they are all good ones. Skills are dependent on the players’ arsenal, not class. This means that customisation options are not locked to one class, but gives everyone a chance to try out new strategies in-game.

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Autobots, Loadout?

Weapon load outs are fixed until a level is complete, which can be awkward for testing out new weapons and abilities. 2 load outs can be built to switch between in between missions. Initially, the Inquisitor customisation can be overpowering, but quickly becomes a fun aspect to the title for RPG enthusiasts. Finding a weapon setup that works well for your protagonist and one that matches your play style is a rewarding one and adds to the titles immersion. Deeds are in-game trophies which can range from using a certain weapon to deal so much damage to just surviving a horde of enemies.

Movement can feel sketchy throughout the games variable game time. In an unusual move for the Isometric ARPG genre, a cover mechanic is used to help players recover health and gain a tactical advantage over the Chaos hordes. Whilst it comes in handy, Inquisitors are the elite (Bar Elites of course) and should be able to handle a lot more than the standard Space Marine of any faction. One feels that a reduced damage mechanic should have been introduced for partial cover, much like the table top standard rule set. Aiming can also feel awkward with a forced auto aim with the addition of scenery occasionally blocking the players view.

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Inquisitor – Martyr is very much typical of its genre, to the point where gameplay variation drops of the radar 3-4 hours in. Missions boil down to fetching, protecting an area and cleansing, which is a true shame considering the time Neocore games has put into different mission types and character customisation. Feeling like one has dressed up in a tailor made suit to a milk tasting book club, the foundation of the game is a basic one. In other words, the lights are on but nobody’s home. The title does however offer a couple of drop in co-op modes which does extend the games lifespan and would be quite a joyous activity, if it wasn’t for the frame rate.

Inquisitive Frame Rates

This reviewer played Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr on an Xbox one X and often encountered terrible frame rate drops. How this can happen with an Isometric game with mid-demanding textures is beyond this writer! It got so bad at times that it was hard to persevere through a mission, absolutely unacceptable for a 2018 release on a 4K capable console. Warhammer 40,000 is a universe full of amazing buildings, character design, lore and cyber ancient Gothic aesthetics, which are present within the game. It’s a shame to see such poor performance on a deep and complex franchise.

Whilst the voice acting reflects the upper echelons of the uber religious Imperial Empire, the sound effects and ethereal soundtrack bring to life the cathedral of a mothership the Inquisitors are laying down the law in along with other territories. This reviewer was very pleased with the sound engineering in Inquisitor – Martyr, however it only partially makes up for the immersion lost with the games overall poor performance.

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Verdict:

Graphics and Presentation: 2.5

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 3

Overall Score: 3.2 / 5

Warhammer 40,000 Inquisitor – Martyrs saving grace is in its character building and sound engineering. Whilst the iconography of the 41st millennium is present throughout and some solid texture work is present, however the games terrible frame rate issues and movement mechanics really let it down. Whilst one hopes for these issues to be patched down the line, this reviewer feels let down by a developer that should know better.

Formats: Xbox One X (Reviewed), PlayStation 4 and Steam

Price: £52.99 (Microsoft Store)

Publisher: Big Ben Interactive

Developer: Neocore Games

Release Date: 23/08/2018

Age Rating: PEGI 18+

Review copy provided by publisher

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