Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr review (Xbox One)

Neocore Games’ Warhammer adaptation in the action RPG genre has finally been released for console players, and is now available on Xbox One and PS4. We played the Xbox One version of Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr for this review.

The development cycle for Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr has been a long one, with Neocore showing off the game early on to press (I think it’s been two years since I went hands on with it for the first time) and an early access period prior to the full release on Steam. We chronicled this in our review of the PC version, and also noticed that the game was still in need of a bit of polish when the “final release” was announced.

In all that time, however, I had never played the game on console or with a controller, so I was looking forward to playing the Xbox One version when its release date neared. After a lengthy download, the Warhammer universe beckoned – and this time it was in my living room.

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I quickly got the sense that having played the PC version, and being somewhat familiar with the lore, definitely helped me through Martyr on the Xbox One. The narrative certainly hasn’t gotten any more accessible in the months following the Steam release, and I could easily see non-Warhammer enthusiasts losing interest because of it. It’s a shame, and it fits with the “Warhammer isn’t for everyone” that also applies to the board games, but I still feel like having a console version is the perfect way to make things a bit more accessible. Alas – the narrative and tutorials still don’t help much.

It’s a shame, because – as with the PC version – there is a really solid Warhammer-themed action RPG in the Diablo vein underneath that inaccessible exterior. There is a big universe to explore that Neocore says they’ll expand (for free) as time goes on, and the action is as mindless and fun as Diablo can be – but with a sci-fi setting. The console versions are also excellent in that they support local co-op play, which is a huge bonus when playing it in a living room setting.

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The console version isn’t superior in other senses though, and it’s actually plagued by more technical issues than the PC version was at release. Longer load times are kind of expected, but I noticed screen tearing and inconsistent frame rates as well – and that’s for a game that doesn’t look especially “next gen” compared to the likes of Diablo 3 – which also came out on last gen consoles. I installed the game on an Xbox One X as well, but still noticed performance issues (though I had a better-looking game and the issues were less prevalent).

In a way, the release of the console version of Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr feels like deja vu. As was the case with the PC version, this is a game that could have been optimized and polished much better at release – and as a second attempt, it really should have been. Hopefully, with the release out of the way, Neocore can now focus on bringing an otherwise fun action RPG to the surface.

Score: 6.8/10

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