Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr Review: Gears of Diablo

Do you remember life before every entity in the world asked for your email address? I do. It was a glorious time where you could walk into a store and buy something and leave without leaving a single digital footprint if it was your prerogative. Now, it’s becoming more and more of a norm that this info is provided before interacting with any company, no matter how big or small the transaction is. This has carried over into gaming, with Injustice 2 and Ubisoft titles offering some sort of incentive for providing the info. Others such as Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr requires it and if you fail to do so, you’ll be locked out of the game completely, which is sadly the boat I fall into, and this happened just as I was getting over the minor faults the game presented.

Upon starting you’ll have to provide your email address, which is cool, whatever; send me emails that’ll likely sit in my spam folder to die until I change providers every so many years. This requires you to activate your account, and failing to do so will prevent you from logging back into the game. I actually tried to do this, even having the email sent additional times and clicking the link, getting a message that I was good to go, and then yet again, receiving the same error message upon logging in. Having the email resent gives me another error that I have already registered the account. This is the loop I have been stuck in and have honestly spent almost as much time trying to get into the game as I did playing it.

If the title didn’t give it away, this is based upon the popular table top board game Warhammer 40,000, which I honestly have very little experience with outside of a few past games from the franchise. If you’re like me, this probably isn’t the best jumping off point into the world story-wise, as I was lost before the initial cut scene was completed and the mid mission information provided only made things worse, as it is presented in an awkward manner. You’ll receive updates regularly from commanding officers, who apparently are only able to send emails, since there was no voice over present (I’m unsure if this was a glitch or how the game was intended, but it was uniform throughout the missions I was able to complete), yet they can hear your character’s verbal responses. Don’t get me wrong, I am not affected by adult illiteracy, I simply came here to kick ass and take names, not read long winded love letters.

The game is akin to a Diablo clone more than a twin stick shooter, but includes the option of taking cover at any time within the game world. This was a strange combination of past games in the franchise. I struggled to wrap my brain around this having played Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, which was a legit Gears of War clone, as well as Kill Team, which was a twin stick shooter that I simply loved during the days of the Xbox 360. The cover mechanic works as it should, but is unnecessary as I would’ve preferred the freedom to use the second stick to free aim as I mowed through enemy waves. The developers seemed to think that walking head first into the direction you wish to shoot was a better use of resources, but I found this change to be extremely hard to adapt to. On the plus side, the characters are fairly bullet spongey and have decent auto aim abilities, making the cover mechanic almost pointless. Even during more challenging encounters such as boss battles, I rarely found myself in danger of dying on the standard difficulty, even when ignoring the mechanic altogether. The missions themselves are fairly short, each running between five and fifteen minutes, and require somewhat lengthy load screens from the main menu, as the title skipped the open world train. These missions are uninspired but passable, featuring the standard tropes for the genre, such as killing X number of enemies, protecting specific NPCs, flipping a switch, or destroying something.

Much like any Diablo inspired game, there are a few different classes to choose from when selecting a character, but outside of the class and sub class, the customization options are limited to renaming the character. Regardless of the sub class you pick, you can interchange items seemingly without issues having selected a shotgun/sniper rifle proficient class from the get go. While I stuck with the vanilla build for a few levels, I quickly found that the automatic and laser rifles were more my speed. Following the typical formula of dungeon crawling games, you will also have a skill tree to throw your earned XP towards, unlocking class specific abilities. While there are plenty of options to be found, none of the ones I acquired felt overly original.

The visual presentation is a mixed bag, with highly detailed environments ripe for exploration and mediocre character models, so much so that I often felt they were ripped from a PS3 era game (at best) and incorporated into the much prettier backdrops. This doesn’t stand out much during actual gameplay due to the panned out view that makes the lack of detail the character models offer to be slightly less ugly, but the game looks atrocious in any of the cut scenes rendered using in game assets. While the actual models are passable, when compared to the small details that other games get right, this fails miserably. The biggest callout was my character’s ponytail (again, I didn’t pick the look, just the abilities). It looked like a broken compass pointing any which way it wanted opposed to locks of flowing hair, rivaling the hair physics from the original Tomb Raider. The in game music and the constant bombardment of gun fire is fine, but is equally unforgettable. While the framerate holds up well even when huge waves of enemies fill the screen, the audio often skips when using one of the rapidly firing methods of death and destruction.

At the end of the day, I started to enjoy the game after becoming accustomed with the wonky controls and awful log in system. While I would recommend purchasing the game if you’re a fan of the genre, Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr is far from being worthy of its AAA price point due to the overall presentation, wonky shooting mechanics, and current log in issues. If you want to take the plunge, I say you should wait for a sale and be sure you resolve the email registration issue early on to avoid losing progress.

5 out of 10

Pros

  • Competent aRPG
  • Bite-Sized Missions
  • Optional Co-op

Cons

  • Dated Presentation on All Fronts
  • Lack of Proper Aiming Feels Wonky
  • Email Registration Issues
  • Lack of Character Customization

Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr was developed by NeocoreGames and published by Maximum Games in association with Bigben. It launched on PC in June of 2018 and later in July 2018 for X1 and August 2018 on PS4 for $59.99. The game was provided to us for review on PS4. If you’d like to see more of Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr, check out the official site.

 

Here at GBG we use a rating method that you are more than likely familiar with – a scale of 1 to 10. For clarification, we intend on using the entire scale: 1-4 is something you should probably avoid paying for; 5-7 is something that is worth playing, but probably not at full price; 8-10 is a great title that you can feel confident about buying. If you have any questions or comments about how we rate a game, please let us know.

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