Warhammer 40K: Boltgun imagines the grimdark setting as a Doom-esque FPS

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Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun is an appealing combination: What if you took nan grimdark mounting of Warhammer 40K and examined it done nan lens of a classical boomer-shooter à la Doom? Boltgun is named aft nan limb Space Marines and Sisters of Battle employment successful war, a .75 caliber weapon that shoots monolithic bolts that detonate wrong their target. That benignant of over-the-top, metal, somewhat goofy lore is what gives nan Warhammer 40K mounting its charm, and truthful far, Boltgun deploys it to masterful effect.

I played a preview demo of Boltgun, which includes nan tutorial and nan first 3 levels. The Space Marine crash-lands, his squad dead, and he must move done nan mountains and factories of Graia, a world that produces Titan mechs for nan Imperium. Of course, he almost instantly encounters heresy — cultists, Chaos Space Marines, daemons, etc. Luckily, he besides discovers a beatified relic pinch which to smite them: nan titular boltgun.

Boltgun feels for illustration it was made by 40K nerds; there’s tons of tie-ins to nan larger lore. The crippled opens pinch a cutscene wherever an Inquisitor, an supplier of nan Imperium of Man’s concealed ace police, briefs nan Space Marine connected what to expect. Boltgun follows nan events of 2011’s Space Marine, wherever nan Ultramarine Captain Titus stopped an Ork WAAAGH! (that’s really nan large greenish lads mention to a sustained warfare campaign) and a Chaos incursion. The Inquisitor thinks location are loose ends near aft that campaign, and they request to beryllium investigated.

 Boltgun - The Ultramarine uses his chainsword to mow done an force who is now unrecognizable isolated from for gore and bones. This technically counts arsenic an investigation. Image: Auroch Digital/Focus Entertainment

Boltgun does a awesome occupation of straddling nan statement betwixt 2 perchance divergent directions for nan game. On 1 hand, it’s wonderfully silly. There’s a dedicated taunt button, which has nan protagonist Space Marine shingle his fist and outcry thing for illustration “For nan Emperor!” aliases “Purge nan Heretic!” astatine enemies (or astatine nary 1 successful particular, if you’re emotion spicy). If nan subordinate is idle, nan protagonist takes retired his trusty Codex Astartes and flips done nan pages.

On nan different hand, Boltgun faithfully captures immoderate of nan champion parts astir its inspiration of ’90s shooters. There are tons of secrets hidden passim nan levels, for illustration vortex grenades that resistance enemies into oblivion, aliases powerful upgrades to nan Ultramarine’s arsenal. It’s beautiful nosy to blaze done nan levels toward nan nearest enemy, but I felt rewarded erstwhile I took my clip and slowed down to sprout astatine walls and gawk astatine nan surreal and visceral pixelated scenery near down by a Chaos incursion.

The force creation is besides charming. Chaos, arsenic a faction, risks emotion a small same-y. Darktide has awesome combat, but location are only truthful galore Nurgle cultists you tin termination earlier they get monotonous. Boltgun draws from nan afloat smorgasbord of Chaos troops, from nan Pink and Blue Horrors of Tzeentch to Chaos Space Marines decked retired successful armor to exploding monster frogs.

If you prefer, you tin play connected an easier difficulty, aliases usage nan accessibility options to go invulnerable, aliases unlock nan full room of levels. It’s a bully measurement to see everyone. Boltgun’s higher difficulties consciousness appropriately challenging for fans of a bully coagulated shooter, but it’s besides imaginable for a 40K instrumentality to circuit done a lovingly built crippled successful nan grimdark beingness of only war.