In the grim darkness of the far future, there is solely conflict. The Emperor’s most interesting, the transhuman Space Marines, are the bulwark defending humanity from the malevolent forces of Chaos. Sometimes, the setting of Warhammer 40,000 is lethal severe. But it’s additionally an extraordinarily foolish galaxy, and Warhammer 40K: Boltgun indulges within the lighter aspect of issues, to nice impact.
Boltgun, a boomer shooter created by Auroch Digital, takes heavy inspiration from Doom, Wolfenstein, Duke Nukem, and different old-school FPS video games. I tackle the position of an Ultramarine, one of the Emperor of Mankind’s Angels, dispatched to the world of Graia to wash up after the occasions of the 2011 motion game Space Marine. I play as Malum Caedo, a Sternguard Veteran, and I’m the only real survivor of my squad.
Everything’s gone straight again to hell after the occasions of Space Marine concluded and prior Ultramarine protagonist Captain Titus killed boatloads of Orks and Chaos Space Marines. The planet has been re-infested with cultists, Chaos Space Marines, and daemons. Luckily, I’ve a chainsword, the titular boltgun, and a devoted button to shout praises to the Emperor. My course of motion is clear: rip and tear.
At first look, Boltgun is an elaborate joke. If you’re conversant in the 40K setting, then it’s a pleasant jest that turns acquainted tropes on their head. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s simply an over-the-top, gory romp — a Duke Nukem game during which, as an alternative of enjoying a red-blooded American who likes beer and boobs, the protagonist is an 8-foot-tall tank in energy armor who turns daemons into pink mist and praises his Emperor.
The factor about most jokes, although, is that they finally put on skinny. If Boltgun was simply a foolish goof, it might grow to be stale after the primary couple of ranges. Happily, there’s extra meat on this explicit bone, as a result of the gameplay is truly fairly good. It wasn’t lengthy earlier than I fell into a rhythm of slaying heretics.
The chainsword lets me cost ahead and shut the hole, and it could possibly down even the mightiest of foes. But it additionally locks me into a stationary animation, opening me as much as enemy fireplace. I also can mow via daemons at a distance with my boltgun, which is much less dependable, however offers me a lot of room to dodge photographs and get the lay of the room.
Combat is punctuated by exploration. I’ll often have to search out a key or knock down a secret wall. The extra I discover, the extra I’m rewarded. I discover new weapons tucked across the ranges, just like the Meltagun or a Vengeance Launcher. There are additionally secret upgrades squirreled away that spew cones of fireplace, or give grenades the power to blow up into black holes. These highly effective instruments are enjoyable to deploy and ridiculously overpowered, and I steadily erased an total room of dangerous guys in fabulous type.
As for whether or not Boltgun is a problem or not — that’s actually as much as you. There are tiered problem choices, starting from Low to Exterminatus. If you simply need to discover the environments and uncover the story, then the accessibility menu comprises an invulnerability setting. On Normal problem, even lowly plague toads and cultists pack a punch. I’ve to look at my positioning and select my instruments fastidiously, since my enemies have a equally versatile arsenal at their disposal.
The extra I advance via Graia, the extra I admire the environments of Boltgun. I started on snowy peaks, with metallic Imperium infrastructure constructed into the mountains, earlier than preventing my manner via habitation blocks and factories with big Titan mechas looming within the background. Graia’s stark surfaces are interrupted by colourful, vivid realms of Chaos, full of winged Tzeentch daemons and noxious little Nurglings.
Auroch Digital has performed a nice job of deploying retro visuals and the trimmings of older shooters alongside fashionable sensibilities to carry the game to life. The abyss of Chaos seems downright disturbing, even captured via an old-school lens. These trippy environments and crude daemon designs mix with visceral and satisfying fight to make Boltgun a blast, and it’s good to discover the world of Warhammer via such a ridiculous, blood-smeared filter.
Warhammer 40K: Boltgun was launched on May 23 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Windows PC. The game was reviewed on PC utilizing a pre-release obtain code offered by Focus Entertainment. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These don’t affect editorial content material, although Vox Media might earn commissions for merchandise bought through affiliate hyperlinks. You can discover further details about Polygon’s ethics coverage right here.