We’ve had the pleasure of meeting with veteran video game developer, NeocoreGames (King Arthur, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing) during gamescom 2016 to preview their new action-RPG, Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr, produced in close collaboration with Games Workshop. The Warhammer 40,000 universe has been around for nearly thirty years and incorporates tabletop games, video games, books, comics, and more.
Warhammer 40,000 is a grim space fantasy, set in the 41st millennium, when the galaxy is at constant war. The Imperium of Man, the interstellar empire of humanity, is besieged from all sides. There are various non-human, sentient races fighting for dominance, but there is an even greater threat, the daemonic Gods of Chaos. The Imperium is slowly rotting away from the inside, tainted by the whispers of these dark gods. And this is exactly where Inquisitors come into play.
The game takes place in the Caligari Sector. It is part of the Imperium of Man, while on the other hand it is a secluded and vast part of space, encompassing hundreds of star systems, countless planets, which all have been cut off from the rest of the galaxy for a very long time. It contains everything that a Warhammer 40,000 sector should, while it is quarantined from the Imperium, which makes it a special sandbox with a persistent world.
The player takes the role of an Inquisitor. Inquisitors are powerful secret agents with a wide range of unique skills and deadly firepower. They wander the galaxy to root out the taint of Chaos and heresy.
In Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr there will be three classes to choose from.
The Game Modes
Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr will have two main game modes.
- The single-player campaign or the “story mode” is a stand-alone narrative which will be a campaign, where cutscenes and dialogues will help fleshing out the story.
- There will be a separate open world game mode we call the “Inquisitorial Campaign”, in which a whole Sector will be gradually opened up, where the player can roam freely with their own ship and followers.
Both the story mode and the Inquisitorial Campaign take place in the secluded Caligari Sector, and they both can be played right from the beginning, although it is recommended to start with the story mode as it serves as the introduction to the mechanics and the background.
The basic gameplay is fundamentally an Action-RPG with all the classic elements already used and tested in The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing games: dealing with a large number of enemies on your own, leveling up and gathering loot. We also chose a slower and a more tactical approach. One of the fundamental improvements is the cover system. Both the player and the enemies can use certain objects as covers, which can also be destroyed. The number of enemies is slightly downsized, and the AI has a more realistic approach. Instead of attacking and retreating, the enemies work in groups, they use covers, send out alerts and also have leaders who control their strategy. We wanted to create the impression that the player is participating in a war. The player can have aimed attacks at giant creatures and bosses: you can destroy specific weapons, limbs or other appendages. This way enemies can lose their special abilities, special weapons and so on. Larger creatures or constructs have several zones the player can attack, and their choice can influence the outcome of the battle.
In certain areas the player will find fixed, but controllable turrets and weapon systems that are capable of incredible destruction. They can use those with certain limitations and this feature also lends another tactical element to the game. At certain points of the story mode – and of course in the Inquisitorial Campaign – the player will gain access to unique vehicles for a limited amount of time – a kind of a mini-game with special maps and unique setup. This doesn’t change the fact that it’s an Action-RPG, it expands the gameplay and adds variety to it.
The Inquisitorial Campaign
The Caligari Sector is a persistent world where there are open missions that you can access on a star map. There will be a huge variety in mission types, you won’t see the same maps with the same objectives all over. The players can choose any quests they want, they can improve their character and increase their reputation in certain regions. The mechanism is simple: the player goes on a mission with the ship, enters the mission, which will be one of the classic Action-RPG maps, completes the task and then leaves. The player starts in a sub-sector with a selected number of star systems. Over time, new systems and new sub-sectors will open up continuously.
The Inquisitorial Campaign always poses new challenges for the players, and you’ll have the opportunity to play a co-op game up to four players in this game mode. We wanted to build a sandbox game where the threat level won’t be following the character’s progress all the time, which turns the gameplay into constant grinding. The sub-sectors will let the player know if they’re not ready – the hard way.
The Inquisitorial Campaign also introduces the Inquisitorial Fortress, which will be a customizable safe haven for the player. While the player won’t fight other players directly, there will be many Ordos and factions with different agenda, so the players can attack each other’s Fortresses for valuable loot.
The Sector is a persistent world, and far from static. The player’s personal progress has some part of this: the growing reputation will give them influence and rank in certain systems, making them power players in certain areas.
The Sector also has its ongoing storyline, which is a composition of many factors. It is influenced by the missions, the balance between the various factions, and of course the special events that have an effect on the entire Sector. These events generate a chain of missions, and the outcome of these missions influence what the next event will be. We only introduce the conflict, and let the players decide which side they will take. The entirety of the players, the community as a whole will influence the outcome through their personal decisions, turning the Sector into a dynamically changing world.
Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr is slated for a 2016 release for PS4, Xbox One, PC and Mac
Source: Press Release