Warhammer 40,000 Inquisition: Martyr Review – Loot and Shoot At Its Finest
A lone Inquisitor stands tall against a wall of the filth that the Chaos birthed. The spawn of Nurgle rush the Inquisitor, hoping to tear him limb by limb making another sacrifice to their blood god. The Inquisitor does not budge, rather he readies both his bolter pistol and plasma pistol. He fires each, one at a time, the plasma melts flesh while the bolter shreds through bone. The carnage is beautiful, the degenerates explode or vaporizes right before his eyes. With this room clear he moves forward, only to be stopped by the towering form of a Chaos Marine. Taking a stance, the Inquisitor fires again.
Warhammer Inquisition: Martyr is a fantastic loot and shoot affair set within the Warhammer universe. The game takes heavy inspiration from the legendary Diablo series with different classes and sub-classes that makes each character feel distinct from one another. With each class comes drawbacks, for instance if you play a Psyker you have access to Psy abilities but overuse can dredge a Deamon from the Warp. But there are balances to these debuffs, using other weapons or abilities cools down the Warp potential, so mixing up combat abilities is crucial. For all three base classes there are three sub-classes that determine your starting stats and abilities. On top of that there’s a fair large skill tree that allows for individual build types, making every player somewhat unique. While this can seem dizzying at first, everything clicks together in a satisfying way, making you feel real ownership of your character. Top this all off with a satisfying reward loop that gives you different armor sets and you have truly unlimited customization.
The story of Martyr follows your Inquisitor as they search the Caligari system for the mysterious ship the Martyr. Once aboard you discover that things are horribly wrong as the filth of the Chaos pervades the ship. The plot thickens as you realize that you aren’t the first expedition to board the ship. What follows is a story of heresy and conspiracy as ancient secrets and old alliances are unearthed. Those who will get the most out the campaign are, of course, Warhammer fans as the dialogue is heavy with terminology from the universe. So going in you should probably understand what the Wrap is, how Tech-Priests work, and what constitutes as heresy under the Imperium. In addition to the main quest line there are also a good deal of side quests provided to you by the Caligari Counsel, most involving some sort of insurrection in the sector. These provide a change in enemy type and each mission rewards you with a reliquary pact, with even more loot. The story is also pretty long with some missions taking 30-45 minutes and plenty of content in each mission. At the time of writing I have about 30 hours invested and a moderately leveled character. What I’m most looking forward to is the endgame as there is a plethora of content that is available for players after the standard questing is done. There’s also a mode for level capped player called Warzone with higher challenges and sweeter rewards. Lastly there is guilds called Cabals where like-minded players can join to conquer challenges that rank up their cabal. Overall the world is engrossing and the gameplay only adds further to the experience.
Martyr plays most ARPGs of it’s genre, a third person dungeon crawler in a zoomed out perspective. The game is a loot and shoot to the core with many enemies dropping new gear or crafting components when killed. Attacks are based on weapon abilities that are on a hot bar. the most basic attack of the weapon has no cooldown but the other weapons abilities have varying levels of cooldown. For instance on a bolter rifle there is standard fire, concentrated automatic, precision headshot, and automatic explosive (which has much more spread). The longest cooldown is the headshot attack as it does the most damage out of all the weapon abilities. The auto fire abilities cooldown quickly and make the pace feel quick. Combat is lock-on focused as you will attack the closest enemy with a red highlight, you can also click the camera to lock your focus on a particular enemy, which is useful if you are trying to kill an enemy that is damaging you more than the others in a group. The enemy variety is actually kind of astounding, with multiple melee types, firearm enemies who use different ammo types, horde types, champions, and more all with multiple faction types so every enemy feels visually distinct. The game also has co-op and PvP which I was unable to try for this review. But in all consideration I can only imagine that this game would be a ton of fun in co-op. The visuals are faithful to the techno-architecture of the grimdark universe and overall the game looks solid. The cities looked choked in smog with steel and stone masonry, while the ships are works of twisted metal with religious iconography interspersed throughout. There are a few issues that do crop up that hold the game back slightly. Load times are long, around 25-30 seconds at most. Secondly the framerate has moments of major stuttering, especially when the action gets incredibly intense. A few patches have been released though and most of the rough edges have received some attention.
Warhamer 40k Inquisition Martyr is a great adventure for fans of the ARPG sub-genre and for those who enjoy Warhammer lore. While there are some technical blemishes the game holds steady and is an addictive romp in this oppressive universe. With multiple avenues of play, dozens of build options, and a rich endgame there’s plenty on offer. So grab a couple of buddies and head out to the stars. The secrets of the Martyr await you.