Warhammer

Dystopian Brilliance in Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor-Martyr Alpha

Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor
- Martyr
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I am pleased to bring another fine example of great game development in Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr. It is also another Warhammer 40K game that exemplifies the genre. The following is only a preview for things to come as this game is still in alpha build. Because it is in alpha build what I am to describe is only the single player missions. The story and campaign will come in the final version. However, despite this it was an awesome experience and shaping up to be a fantastic game and Warhammer title. Advertised as an action RPG game, the preview had a lot of great action in it and set the tone for a larger story.

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The Caligari Sector.

Brilliantly beautiful, Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor-Martyr proves that game development is not just about a story it can also be about the art and experience. Because the story is missing I had the privilege of experiencing the incredible artistry and the mission gameplay.   It was an incredible gaming experience just with an alpha build. Also, there is a whole online community to enhance the gaming experience bringing it from a single player to an online game.

Except for connection to the server issues, I did not come across any other problems. Again I am only privy to a small portion of the game but it was a generally smooth game experience. For the rest of this impression I am going to just describe how this game plays and the elements that make it an incredible experience. Beyond the gameplay and characters the artistry is probably the top on my list of Inquisitor-Martyr favorites.

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A Crusader Assault gunner Inquisitor. The level of armor detail and mechanics is impressive.

The greatness comes from the artistry and in every detail of scenery and armor. Throughout the maps, scene objects and armor are laced with gilding that has the right amount of shine. In the armor the level of detail is stunning and adjusts to match the type of background and expertise the player chooses. When selecting a mission and in the star map the level of detail continues with stars and gas clouds. Traveling to different sectors opens a wormhole or hyper-route that takes players to the system.

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Port Aria orbital station and planet.

Each planet is done differently and textured for realism. Systems are in gaseous clouds lit by the star with planets, asteroids, orbital stations and monasteries. The orbital stations and interior maps for example have that very Warhammer look, the look that is futuristic sci-fi mixed with a 19th century iron battle ship and the colors have an industrial feel with the gold or bronze gilding. As mentioned in previous Warhammer reviews it has a steampunk sci-fi look. Shadows, gilding, wrought iron look complete with lighting and spire details that make the art alone worth playing this game. Also interiors are decorated with insignias on pillars and floor tiles. When killing enemies there is plenty of blood and gore. The player’s warrior is like steampunk armored cyborg tanks. Enemies also have armor and armored mechs.

As for the character creation, there is nothing complex in the alpha. Just pick a background, for the alpha only the Crusader was available. Crusaders are the holy warriors of Adeptus Ministorum and the honor guards for the emperor. They are equipped with heavy weapons and armor. Though grayed Assassin and Psyker are in the menu. Following your character’s background choice it is time for players to choose an expertise. These come in three flavors; close combat, assault gunner, and heavy weapons.

Expertise gives the combat style characters will have and what type of weapons are available to them. For instance the close combat expertise is a melee type that wields a sword and shield with power armor. An assault gunner has auto guns, a versatile weapon that fire standard ammunition.  The heavy weapons expertise is equipped with a plasma cannon and sentinel Raiment that allows for the wearer to summon automated tarantula turrets from orbit. Also has a frag grenade dispenser belt. The assault gunner also has grenades at his disposal and rocket launchers. They come in handy when surrounded by fierce enemies.

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The initial area with the mission console.

For the alpha, players were placed in a staging room. Here you can buy and upgrade weapons and armor.  There is also the ability to craft new weapons and armor.  Through out the missions I kept with a plasma gun, which is by far the best weapon. Only problem is that it needs to recharge but grenades and rockets can help during these moments. Or hiding behind barriers. You can also get your implants and inoculators in the staging room.

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An interior map with an Inquistitor shooting down enemy daemons.

In the main room there was a command table with a star map to select missions. A map of the galaxy was visible that had available star systems within the Caligari Sector. Selecting one warped the player to the location and then the mission arena. Following a rather detailed mission briefing the missions would begin by transporting the warrior to the starting map. Each mission had specific objectives, like kill all enemies or collect relics.

Missions took place not only in the interiors of stations but also planet side.

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Planet side missions.

Gameplay was simple and warriors moved around by clicking on the spot to move to. Keep running down corridors, through doors, around rocky out crops, and be prepared to fight the daemons of the Chaos Gods, mutants, and heretics out to slaughter the Inquisitor. Terrifying and worthy beasties and monsters that are challenging to get through. Make sure to have medicine and keep looting chests for more ammo and grenades. With the alpha there was medicine injections available but only three lives before mission failure. Strategy, good weapons, and strong armor was necessary for victory.

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Enemies.

Weapon firing was also straight forward with bound keys and mouse controls. Players also can destroy pillars and other obstacles in the environment. Chests were available for needed loot.

With the gameplay and art the only other great thing so far in this game is the music and sound effects. The music is very Warhammer like with the dark sci-fi instrumental tones. As for sound, footsteps on the metal flooring are very distinguished through the music.

Just from playing through the few single player missions available it is a game shaping up to be a spectacular journey into the dystopian 41st millennium and Warhammer universe.   For now the alpha gives players and fans of the Warhammer games a fantastic look at things to come and whets the appetite for the RPG aspect and the Inquisitors story of the complete game.

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