A game where you play as a secret agent of the Imperium smiting everything in your path in the name of the God Emperor isn’t without its appeal, but as with so many other 40K games it seems it’s the execution that is somewhat lacking.
One of the curious things about Inquisitor Martyr is despite being a 40K game it spends very little time actually establishing the world and setting. There’s a brief intro explaining how the Inquisition are involved in a 10,000 year long war and that’s pretty much it. So it’s ideal as an introduction to the somewhat bewilderingly vast mythology of the setting.
Playing the part of an Inquisitor you are sent to investigate a signal in the remote Caligari Sector, the signal belongs to a vast cathedral fortress battleship named ‘Martyr’ that hasn’t been seen in several thousand years. Choosing from one of three classes, Psyker, Crusader and Assassin. Each class has three subclasses. Roughly speaking the Crusader class is the Barbarian of the classes whilst the other two are the Mage and the Rogue. The Crusader and Psyker are male whilst the Assassin is female.
The main campaign starts with going to investigate the mysterious signal but things soon branch out. Being able to take on missions in the various systems of the Caligari Sector breaks up the campaign on the Martyr itself. Priority Assignments which are in essence mini campaigns removed from the main campaign have pretty interesting ‘choose your own adventure’ elements , whilst there are further side quests from other inquisitors, stand alone missions on the various planets and additional Tarot missions which come into play later in the game. There’s no denying that there’s a lot of stuff for anyone wanting to engage with it.
The inquisitor’s ship soon becomes a hub from which you can find other planets and systems and with them other missions, the ship will also soon become host to variety of other characters. Inquisitor Martyr isn’t a particularly bad game (it’s arguably the best 40K on consoles but that speaks more to how poor most 40K games are) though it definitely doesn’t do itself any favours featuring a variety of elements that are poorly explained, a variety of bugs, sound occasionally cuts out randomly for example, and an overall lack of polish.
The approach to weapons and armour, the fundamental basic of any RPG or indeed an ARPG like this one is a bit odd. Different classes have access to a variety of weapons and armour but something which slowly becomes clear is the importance and hindrance of the power rating. Weapons grant four different attacks, or for duel wielding 2 each, with a variety of effects and damage. Weapons, armour and other equipment have a power rating. Missions also have a power rating. This determines a mission’s difficulty but it’s not that simple because without the right power rating players get negative modifiers, take more damage and do less damage. Where things get a little confusing is the power rating of a weapon doesn’t necessarily equate to being a better more powerful weapon. Sometimes a weapon with a higher power rating will actually be worse than one with a lower power rating. Which leads to a bizarre scenario where an inferior weapon may have a higher power rating and thereby increase your overall power rating. This means keeping a preferred loadout is problematic.
That a game that features the Inquisition rather than just the usual 40K default that is space marines is a welcome change. Although there’s definitely a sense that a 40K game about the Inquisition could have been so much more than this. Inquisitor Martyr at times feel like quantity over quality. As though Neocore has tried to jam so much into the game that it can at times seem rather messy. Your inquisitor will has attributes, a plethora of unlockable skill trees and a variety of unlockable perks. That’s besides character specific special abilites, for example the Crusader Heavy Gunner has a shoulder mounted miniature rocket launcher. There’s also a morality system too. The game features a bewildering crafting system, and an associated unlockable tech tree, but none of this is really explained at all and the same can be said for the games innoculator system.
Despite its various faults though Inquisitor Martyr is not without its charm. This largely comes down to undoubtedly being the most accessable 40K game to date. The game isn’t bogged down in explaining the myriad different factions and races, it doesn’t even really explain who the chaos gods are and it all works rather well for it. The story is rather well done, there’s definite shades of Dan Abnett’s Gregor Eisenhorn, and the voice acting is for the most part pretty well done.
Although whoever opted to have NPC’s voices come through the controller speakers needs talking to.