Warhammer 40k, let’s face it. It’s the most badass sci-fi universe. There is a mountain of law attached to it, it’s massive and I’m definitely a fan of it. I’ve got a bookshelf full of stories and a Steam account bloated with wayyyy too many hours spent. It all points to an imagination spent in a universe 40,000 years into the future. It’s a dark, brutal and desperate universe that Inquisitor – Martyr lets me run around in and click on stuff. Cool stuff.
I think most Warhammer 40k games I’ve played on my PC have been really good. Great storytelling in the first ones, the Dawn of War series. I must admit though, I never purchased Dawn of War III. The art design felt wrong as it was just way too pretty for a universe in such decay. The story wasn’t inspiring as well and so when I started to see all the reviews talking about what went wrong with it… I was put off. I’ve been waiting ages to sink my mouse into a decent 40k game, so when I heard the whisper “Diablo in space.” Ooohhhh…. Please be true!
Diablo is one of those games I measure others against, especially Diablo II. A game that just makes you want to walk over every pixel, open every chest, loot every corpse, take every item back to town and flog it. I remember not wanting to miss out on a single bit of immersion. I read every bit of item description, pondered and calculated every change of weapon and boot. But it was the story that really held me in wonderful captivity.
I was so excited to play Inquisitor – Martyr because it just makes so much sense. The tone is very similar to Diablo, and I don’t blame them for copying Blizzard – no – I applaud them. If you’re going to copy a game, copy a great one! So here we go Steam, keep those internet tubes open (no offline play). I’m gonna be on you, and on you for the foreseeable future.
The game opens. You choose your class, then sub-class. Very nice. You can really specialise your character to the way you like to play. We get a video that sets the scene and then straight into it. Here it lags behind Diablo II. The story isn’t as captivating. It’s good, but if you’re not really into 40k, I can imagine it would feel a little light on the ground. But it’s early days.
The problem, in a way, is that there is just so much lore it probably makes setting the scene really hard to balance with your audience. So, I’m guessing they chose to focus on the fans of 40k over any newcomers. But it’s certainly not impossible to wrap your head around it, especially if you’ve played Diablo.
At first it’s really stingy on loot, but now that I’ve played a while that has improved. One of the pleasant surprises of the game is that it gets more complicated as you go along. More and more skill trees open up. More and more weapons and upgrades become available. I’ve got to the point now where I can craft weapons. There are even skill trees for that as well. There are local side missions and global ones too, that the community shares.
The two biggest problems, so far, are the maps can start to feel very same-y. Especially on the side quests. The map is really impressive as there are a lot of planets and structures to travel to. But once the level is loaded it’s hard to tell them apart. Again, that might well be to do with the Lore of 40k coming into play. But the game developers need to think of a way around that to make side quests more interesting. Also the ‘Story’ mode is way too easy. Most of us are here for the story, but by making it too easy to play the central campaign maps, I feel kinda cheated of the accomplishment. I’ve seen this talked about, so I’m hopeful that these issues will be patched.
What makes the story mode even easier is that I’ve gone ahead on much harder side quests. Getting the premium loot and leveling up a bunch of abilities. So when I go back to playing the story I’m hilariously stronger than anything I might face. I’m taking the levels at a sprint, swinging my huge power sword here an’ there. Those evil pixels don’t even know what’s hit them. If I was to start again with a new character I would just do the story first, I think. I haven’t finished it yet and I’m hoping there is a re-balance coming.
I want Inquisitor – Martyr to be great. Diablo-great. And it’s pretty close. It just needs some better story moments. The characters are a bit monotone – well voiced – but again, because of the lore, they are all overly serious. Like the maps, they need some light and shade and a splash of colour.
I’m keen to get home and log on. So that’s got to mean something. I’m looking forward to my character, KFCmmmm, discovering the truth and then cutting some new holes in it. They have copied a lot of elements from other games – but they have copied from the best. I see myself playing this for a while, just not as much as I played D2… Thank God.