Set your Lasguns to kill lads, it’s time to go back to the Caligari Sector to conduct the Inquisition on behalf of the Emperor. Here’s XboxEra’s review for Warhammer 40,000 Inquisitor: Martyr – Ultimate Edition!
Well, that’s a mouthful
Warhammer 40,000 Inquisitor: Martyr – Ultimate Edition is a Series enhanced collection of both Warhammer 40,000 Inquisitor: Martyr, the standalone expansion Warhammer 40,000 Inquisitor: Prophecy and approx. 25 DLC packs for the game ranging from emotes and pets, to mission packs. For the Warhammer 40k fans there’s a tonne of content in the package, which until now was available on Xbox as the Complete Pack but without anything beyond basic One X enhancements, which we’ll talk more in detail in a bit.
Warhammer 40,000 Inquisitor: Martyr dates back to 2018 and is an action RPG in the style of Diablo and others in the genre. Your task in terms of gameplay is usually therefore simple: the player has an array of skills to dispatch of the armies of chaos and anything else standing in the way of the Imperium of Man, and your job as an Inquisitor is to use them in the most efficient of manners to prevent them from overwhelming you.
The setting, the Caligari sector, was created by Neocore games as a new location in the lore of Warhammer 40k, allowing the devs to freely create the stages for the battles within, without the limitations of too many existing storylines – and, of course, the consequent furious bashing of keyboards by the fandom telling them that the rocks were the wrong colour in their favourite location. This has resulted in a familiar, but unique set of locales that reflect the battle-scarred, post-industrial worlds that litter the empire that the Inquisition seeks to defend.
And the story goes
The main campaign of Inquisitor is comprised of 5 chapters, with a single player mode containing a story familiar to anyone who knows the series. To avoid giving too much away, you’re an Inquisitor, an elite combat unit of the Imperium of Man and you’re a tool of the Emperor to eliminate any ongoing threats against them. Needless to say, it’s Warhammer, so there isn’t a shortage of enemies. Prophecy adds another strand to the campaign also, but the main focus of the Ultimate Edition is everything else that comes with it.The game, outside of the campaign, is designed to be played with friends, and the missions available from the base game are complimented by the aforementioned Ultimate DLC selection. There’s a huge amount here to play, and you will not run out of things to do in a long while, so long as you enjoy the gameplay loop familiar to ARPG fans.
Martyr has 3 basic classes to choose from: Crusader, Assassin and Psyker. There are no prizes for guessing where these classes are derived from (although, as webcomic Penny Arcade has famously noted, a certain developer named after cold weather famously took most of the inspiration for their titles from Warhammer tabletop games and Tolkien; but I digress). So, let’s take a look at the classes, shall we?
The Crusader is the tank, brute of a class with either big guns, or heavy swords for combat. While this role is of course the go-to selection in these games, it also comes with the simplest of gameplay loops. Hit things until they die. Easy enough.
The Rogue, sorry, Assassin, is the stealthy archetype. With less armour and heavy weapons to rely upon, you’ll need to make use of the environment for cover and keep enemies from using your more vulnerable face as their latest chew toys. Unlike the Crusader, which you could viably engage a battalion of enemies at once, this tactic would likely get you crushed, so a more methodical approach is needed here.
And finally the Psyker is the magic using class. Unlike the other classes, this then needs to be played to make the most of the powers you have and has the rotations of abilities that would be second nature to those who loves a bit of wizardry in their gaming. As is custom, each class has 3 further sub-classes to focus on and adjust your playstyle to, with the game offering skill trees to further enhance your characters to your preferred method of play.
Yass queen, slayyy
Of course, like any ARPG, the game throws loot at you. But unlike most, players do not get to change their equipment during a mission. Instead, you have a loadout to choose before each mission, making said choices matter in how players wish to approach each challenge before hitting play. You can choose 2 sets of equipment per mission and focus on ranged weapons, melee, or a combination of the two. When you find loot, of which there is plenty, you can then select it for the forthcoming missions hence. Each weapon has their own skills, meaning that rather than just character-specific ones, you get skills per weapon to change things up per mission depending on your preference.
If this all sounds a bit basic, it is because it is. At it’s heart, this is very much a by the numbers ARPG. If you know the tropes of the genre, you know Inquisitor. Like many post-Diablo 3 console titles of the genre, the game controls perfectly on console with the gameplay attuned to the requirements of controller-based play. This also means having an Elite controller is helpful to bind the main skills to the paddles for even more efficient skill rotations. If you’re into the main gameplay loop, and especially a Warhammer 40k fan, you’ll find a huge amount of game to enjoy, but if you’re looking for any form of innovation or mind blowing changes to the formula, look away now.
Talking of looking away, this is a fully Series X|S enhanced port and fixes one of the biggest issues with the Xbox One version of Inquisitor. While the last-gen port had One X enhancements, allowing you to choose between 1080p and 1440p modes, the experience was, to put it mildly, not optimal. Both modes appeared to top out at 30 FPS at most, with an option for “Frame Blending” helping make things feel smoother at the cost of input lag. Turning it off made the game a juddering mess, which to a PC focused gamer like me was basically making me choose between a game being unresponsive (unforgivable in an ARPG with time sensitive inputs) or simply unplayable. Needless to say, owning the game on PC and Xbox One alike, my platform of choice has always been PC. This version of the game finally bridges the gap, offering high resolution and stable 60fps across the board.
In the end
Thankfully, the implementation of the higher framerate mode is more than optimal, with the graphics significantly enhanced from the Xbox One port, matching what appears to be the best settings from the PC version. Combined with a rich, punchy soundstage with plenty of voice acting and satisfying crunchy sounds when you fell your foes, it all makes for a satisfying visual and aural experience on Series X, correcting the main problem with the console versions in the past.
To conclude, this is a competent, satisfying and, while admittedly not ground-breaking, a very comprehensive package that will keep ARPG gamers and Warhammer fans happy for a long time – especially with some fellow Inquisitors to play with in co-op. Warhammer 40,000 Inquisitor: Martyr – Ultimate Edition is a game I’d happily recommend to anyone into fans of both of those things.
|Reviewed on||Xbox Series X|
|Available on||Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC|
|Release Date||October 27th, 2022|
|Rated||ESRB M for Mature 17+, PEGI 18|