I’ve been searching for an Action RPG to sate the hunger that Champions of Norrath has left me. Over the years I’ve played the likes of Diablo 3 and Path of Exile, and nothing has managed to capture the addiction and pure fun factor that Champions of Norrath, a PlayStation 2 title, brought me.
While browsing through Steam, I came across a title that Steam recommended to me, because of my recent purchase of Warhammer 40K: Vermintide 2. It was an Action RPG based on the same universe (one that, frankly, I’m still a complete and total newbie to), called Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor – Martyr.
As of this date, Inquisitor – Martyr is an Early Access (EA) title on Steam, with a release date of May 11th of this year. In a recent post, developer NeocoreGames (The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Trilogy) stated that this current build will not be updated until the full version is released. What’s out now shows off what many would expect of a title in alpha/EA – placeholder cutscene art and plenty of bugs that are more than likely ironed out of the final build, but also a taste of what’s to come.
I held off purchasing Inquisitor – Martyr for a few days when I was reading some of the user discussions about the build, worried that I was going to get a crumb of the upcoming feast, however that’s not the case. Yes, it’s a bit rough around the edges, but the content that has been available in this final build before its release is more than enough to keep me occupied, and for the majority of it, satisfied.
I did a near three hour stream over on my Twitch channel of some gameplay just outside the tutorial section. (Feel free to follow me on Twitch as well, as I’ve been streaming a lot more lately!)
But here’s some of what I’ve come away with from my near nine hours of gameplay in total (to reiterate – this is the FINAL ALPHA build, before the full retail build coming in May):
- There are three classes to choose from, each with three subclass selections. I, of course, went the route of the generic tank type build, and thus far I do not regret that first choice.
- The tutorial lasts a couple of hours (or it did for me).
- The tutorial gives a false impression on how loot is done; only two or three primary items were found in the tutorial, and any other upgrades I received were via “loot boxes” (don’t worry – this is nothing like Battlefront 2). I thought that the only way to obtain loot was during these post mission “loot crates” and account level up “crates”. Once I was out of the tutorial, that’s when I was witnessing loot drops, chests drops, etc.
- Each weapon type has its own set of attacks/skills. There’s always an AE type attack, whether it’s secondary fire or a skill hotkey. This gives the gameplay quite a different feel between each weapon type, leading to plenty of exciting experimentation early on.
- Movement can be a little choppy in this build, mostly due to a slightly lagged feeling every so often. It isn’t prevalent, but I notice when it does occur.
- The bugs present can be game breaking, though a simple quit to desktop and reloading the game will fix the most egregious. The most egregious being when I entered a mission and not only was I all but invisible (only my flashlight was showing), but every enemy unit was invisible as well.
- On top of that, the map I was on didn’t have proper geometry working, so I was running above the ground and across areas with ease. The latter happens on certain maps, but again, ALPHA build.
- There can be a lot of action going on at times, with hoards of enemies (dozens) that can come rushing towards the player. The majority of it came off without much of a stutter, though my settings are not all maxed out.
- It’s a fairly good looking game, though the lighting (which I did not properly have displayed on this stream) was done quite well.
- Leveling feels a bit elongated. While I do not want to whiz on by through levels, it does feel that it takes a lot longer to get each level when compared to similar titles within the genre. As long as the gameplay continues to keep my attention, this shouldn’t be much of a problem for myself.
- Unless I am mistaken, you cannot change your weapons/gear mid-mission. This means any potential upgrade that you collect during a mission, stays bagged and inaccessible until either the mission is completed, or the player dies too many times during a mission.
- On the other hand, if you find some gear on a mission and die more than the allowed number of times, you do retain them. This is a neat little bonus for those who fought through a mission at a higher level than the player is, as picking up a purple and not being able to retain it, would have been quite a disheartening blow.
- These missions (side missions that do not really correlate with the main story arc) are either short, medium or long, and last from 8-10 minutes, to a little north of 15 minutes. They never overstay their welcome, not feel like they could have used a bit more length to them.
- This is an “always online” game. If you have any qualms with this, you may want to pass. As for myself, I’ve had issues in the past with titles such as Diablo 3 being “always online” primarily due to the abysmal and epic fail of a launch Blizzard had with it. You will see players chatting with each other as well in a global chat box, though I have not tried to find a way to disable it.
Do I think this will be the one Action RPG that can satisfy me as much as Champions of Norrath did? It’s too early to tell, but from the time I have spent thus far with Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor – Martyr, I can say that even the buggy final alpha build has more than enough to grab my attention, and eagerly anticipate its May 11th release. I can’t wait to try out the other classes, and see what each subclass brings to the table as well.
Check out the nearly three hours of gameplay below, and stay tuned to Galarian Gaming, where I may have more to say about this very promising title coming your way in little over a month: