As the title suggests Warhammer Inquisitor Martyr or Inquisitor from here on in is a game set in the Warhammer 40K universe that borrows liberally from Diablo. Surprisingly, this combination clicks brilliantly, and it is a game that should be picked up by anyone with even a slight interest in the IP. It is the best Warhammer game since last gen’s Space Marine. Hopefully, Inquisitor is not as criminally overlooked as its predecessor.
You begin the game as the titular Inquisitor and before long are fighting off hordes of grotesque creatures as you navigate the internals of ships and planetary surfaces. The developer Neocore should be applauded for getting the visuals and level design nailed down. I’m not an expert in the series having only read a few books, but the internals of imperial ships are rendered as I imagined with the perfect mix of religious and sci-fi iconography as described in the books. Unfortunately, here is where the first problems will arise for people that are coming to this just as a game, rather than as a fan of the series.
The lore in this game is heavy and can be off-putting to newcomers. The names of the imperial forces, the depth of the lore including machine and tech chapters and the variation and motive of the enemy are all here and the game expects you to have a basic understanding of this. All the casual player needs to know is that you as an inquisitor are a substantial fighting presence no matter what class you choose.
When it comes to class you have the normal options. A sniper inspired light and manoeuvrable class that focusses on technology, the all-rounder and the Support or Psyker character. I felt most comfortable with the Crusader as it reminded me of Space Marine. Jumping into the action and suddenly you are struck with how different this feels from Diablo 3. Diablo 3 is slick, with your character seeming to move through endless hordes with little input from you and little appreciation for the areas you are traversing through. Inquisitor is immediately slower and more robust. Attacks have a real weight to them, and the areas help bring the whole game to life. There is the option of melee weapons, but most people will be staring out using guns of varying power. A shotgun or plasma pistol/rifle in the game lets you take down most common enemies in one or two shots. The enemies exploding into a mess of gore and bones that don’t really become tiresome. You can have two sets of weapons while in a level but must wait till the end to equip any you find during the process. Whereas Diablo is very much a case of ‘equip and evolve’ as you go, Inquisitor makes you get to the end of its short levels to do some loot management.
Here is another place where there is a lack of user-friendliness. It isn’t immediately clear which weapon classes are better. I lifted a rare shotgun then later discovered a masterwork one. I assumed because the second one was discovered later it was the higher and rarer drop. It was only at the end of the level in the tiny item descriptions that I saw how wrong I was. Unfortunately, there is nothing helpful about your loot, points equip and levelling up screens. They are complicated and poorly laid out. You get a massive model of your character and everything else is squeezed around them. There is no easy way to equip weapons and it can be confusing as to which weapon set you are on. A few tries though and you will get the hang of it even if it is only through trial and error. Basically decide the kind of weapon you like then get the best version you can, all the while watching your overall power level rise. The ship is your hub and all upgrades and loot dumping can be done here. Levelling up gives you random loot crates and an ability point to spend on a speciality that you have to unlock through heroic actions in the game.
In play, there is enough variation especially on planet surfaces to keep you interested and the whole thing is an attractive and relaxing game to play. The gorgeous graphics and weapon effects coupled with the lore and mission variation makes it easy to lose hours while playing and grinding for better gear.
The game itself makes bold promises about endgame content and a persistent universe and I hope I get to see it all but currently, the normal campaign and missions are both enjoyable and challenging and serve as a gateway for anyone half-interested in the IP to become a bigger fan. For more casual fans it is a good alternative to Diablo that moves at a slower pace and hits harder. If you can get over the few niggles it comes highly recommended especially as it can be found on sale now.