Developed and published by Neocore Games, and released in 2018, Inquisitor – Martyr is an interesting top down hack and slash looter. It plays a lot like Diablo II, but with a stronger emphasis on ranged combat. Because of this they added in some interesting cover mechanics, where you and the enemies can take cover from one another. I found myself playing and dropping this game multiple times, until I tried out the Prophecy stand alone DLC/expansion. But I will talk more about all that later.
You pick between three different classes (four if you have Prophecy), and make your way through the Caligari sector of Imperial space, doing missions and killing aliens and heretics for the Inquisition and following the main storyline, exploring and understanding the secrets behind a strange ship that has appeared in the sector, called the Martyr.
The storyline for the game is interesting, but a little bit weak. The same can be said for all of the mini-DLC missions that you can purchase, or unlock through in-game currency. Because the game is essentially, go to this map and kill this thing, or these things, or everything, it is a bit limited in scope. While the premises they have for some of the main mission quests, and these DLC missions, are really really good (good enough to have novels written out of them, or at least be used as plot lines in a tabletop Dark Heresy game), they don’t quite pan out when the answer is just to kill everything on the map.
The maps are all randomly generated, and there are a fair number of them, from ice worlds, desert worlds, islands, spaceship/orbital corridors, destroyed cityscapes, etc. However, due to the heavy number of missions you go on for the main quest, the side quests, the DLC quests, and then just in general in order to get money, loot, special items, etc, the number of maps just does not hold up. Or rather, the number of different types of maps. No matter how well randomized it is, playing a map made up of ship corridors over and over again, just randomly mixed up, eventually does get super boring.
You get to choose between the Crusader, Psyker, Assassin, and in Prophecy, the Tech-Adept. The Crusader is a strong tank character who does well in melee and in ranged, the Psyker is your spellcaster who deals well with large groups, and the Assassin is your glass cannon high damage character. For those who have played Diablo II, the Tech-Adept is a lot like the Necromancer. He summons robots and servitors with various weapons and abilities to fight for him. Until I got Prophecy and started playing with the Tech-Adept, this game didn’t really hold my attention.
While playing as the Tech-Adept can be a bit boring, as your little robots do all the work for you, it makes the game far less aggravating to play. Attacking and moving is set to the same key. This isn’t really a problem if you are playing a melee character, as you move to the enemy and attack. But, when you are playing as a ranged character this can be infuriating. If you are off by just a little bit, you will click on the ground and move there, instead of firing your ranged weapon at the enemy.
Playing as a melee character has massive downsides though, as you cannot take advantage of cover, you need to rush the enemy to attack. This means you will often take massive damage, and melee enemies can have some of the strongest attacks in the game. You often do not last long at all in melee against elite and boss level enemies. with only a certain number of health potions per map, and only a certain number of times you can die per mission, this can also soon become very annoying.
However, the combat is fun. I mean, for a game that is 98% combat, it needs to be. There are so many different kinds of weapons, each with their own unique techniques and abilities. Destroying hordes of enemies while blasting the maps apart is quite a lot of fun. Adding in destructible objects and environments was a good idea, as it really does add something to the combat. Seeing enemies explode, or thrown into the air from explosions to rag-doll around is great.
To add to this, the amount that you can customize your character and their gear is immense. On top of the immense amounts of weapons and special items, there is a huge number of different skill trees for you to put perks into. There are also Archeotech Shards and Psalm Codes that you can socket into your armor. There is a really good crafting system, but it does take quite a long time for it to actually get going and be useful. Other items called Void Shards can be collected and used to start a Crusade series of special missions. Every mission you go on, excluding quest missions, can be made harder (for better loot and gear) using collectable Tarot Cards that add different kinds of buffs to enemies, or debuffs to your character.
Unfortunately, due to there being a limited number of environments, it means that some missions just, don’t make sense. For example, in Prophecy and in a lot of the DLC missions, many of the quests have to do with the Eldar or the Dark Eldar. However, Neocore Games didn’t make any Eldar themed maps. Like, a Dark Eldar ship interior, or a planet with tons of wraithbone buildings/ruins, etc. This really detracts from the game, and makes it even more apparent just how few environments there are.
Something very strange is how Prophecy and the Tech-Adept character are added into the game. You suddenly show up mid-Martyr story-line, and all of the characters (who you didn’t recruit and who don’t know you) suddenly start treating you like the character from the main game. People will talk to you like you are the other Inquisitor whose ship you essentially stole, as he (which would be your other character) is lost as the Martyr (ship) goes into the Warp.
People you have never met, side NPCs and characters, will talk to you like you have history with them when you don’t. It is a very annoying and constantly drags you out of the game and the atmosphere. They could have, and should have, done something a little bit more clever in order to add your Tech-Adept Inquisitor into the game and the story-line.
The game looks really good, with all kinds of different enemies. The actual number of which is pretty unreal. Enemies from both the tabletop ,as well as enemies they created just for this game. Again, considering that this game is 98% killing things, having a lot of things to kill is necessary. Unfortunately, things start to give out during cut scenes sometimes. Textures can act a bit odd, shifting and moving about as the camera does. This can take away from the gravitas of the cut scenes and what is happening.
What is kind of disappointing is that, if you like playing Crusader, but not Tech-Adept, or you like playing Tech-Adept, but not one of the other original classes, you will miss out on missions. The original game’s missions are locked behind those character classes, and the Prophecy missions are locked behind playing as the Tech-Adept. Even if you own both, they remain separate. I think this is a shame. I would like more missions and quests to play.
There are some smaller gripes that I will list here. The music is pretty decent, not good, but not bad. It kind of just, stops existing. This is too bad, as I think a lot of the game and the cut scenes could be really elevated with a good, solid score.
The mini-game where you control a Knight and walk above city streets annihilating large groups of units that would normally give your regular character a hard time is tons of fun. This makes me think that a proper mech-warrior Warhammer 40k game with Knights and Titans would be fantastic.,
Important plot messages can, and will, often be interrupted by less important fluff messages or conversations from other characters. When your character moves forward and into a cut scene, none of your allies or your robots move with you, meaning that sometimes you will find yourself alone with a boss, right next to them, for several seconds in which they can decimate you.
Some characters don’t act like they should, for example the Astartes companion that you will eventually recruit behaves and talks more like a Khornate berserker than a Space Marine, reveling in the “glorious carnage”. Eventually you get to meet other members of his chapter, including the chapter master, and they are nothing like him. Very bizarre writing.
As for the writing, there are a lot of spelling errors, as well as tons of mispronounced words in the voice acting. I don’t mean for the Warhammer 40k words, I mean just regular words that the voice actors butcher. There are also sentences that are written and say one thing, while the voice actors say something completely different. Voice acting for some characters is great, especially for the smaller NPCs you don’t really interact with, or boss enemies you talk to once and then kill. However, when it comes to main characters who you talk to a lot, their voice acting kind of, really sucks a lot of the time.
Overall, it is a pretty decent hack and slash Diablo clone game, with great character and item customization, and a great Warhammer 40k feel to the world.
Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor Martyr
A decent Diablo II style hack and slash game set in the Warhammer 40k universe. Despite repetitive environments the game-play and character customization are fantastic, and the combat keeps you coming back for more.
- Decent graphics, with good looking character models and environments.
- Great character customization, with three main classes each having three subclasses.
- Prophecy adds in a fourth character class, the Tech-Adept, increasing customization.
- Crafting and item modifications are extensive and broad in scale and scope.
- Great combat that is very much like Diablo II in terms of quality.
- Enemies explode and ragdoll wonderfully, and environments and objects on the map are highly destructible.
- Almost every enemy of the Imperium is present in the game for you to purge, a vast array of bad guys that never gets dull.
- The environments, while randomized to make new maps, quickly become boring and repetative.
- The crafting system can take quite a long time to actually start using properly.
- The voice acting is all over the place, with minor charactershaving awesome performances, and main characters being mediocre to just plain bad.
- The game is rife with spelling and grammar errors, and what is written is not always what characters say.
- Some characters don't really act like they should in the context of a Warhammer 40k game.
- The soundtrack is essentially non-existant.
A good hack and slash game with great combat that I would recommend if you enjoyed Diablo II.