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Warhammer 40000 Boltgun (1)

Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun Review – Bloody Good Fun

Home » Reviews » Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun Review – Bloody Good Fun

We’d say we’re not quite sure why retro-styled first-person shooters have become quite popular recently, but it’s pretty clear really. They’re free of superfluous features, modern trappings and excessive bloat. They get you in the thick of the action without weighing you down with intrusive stories. Basically, they let you just kill stuff. And sometimes that’s all you want out of a first-person shooter. It’s certainly something you’ll be doing a lot of in Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun, the latest 90s-style shooter developed by Auroch Digital.

There is a story in Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun, but beyond an introductory scene setting up the action, chances are it’s not something you’re going to pay much attention to. All you need to know is that you’re a Space Marine, sent to deal with the daemons of Chaos, as well as Chaos Space Marines, wreaking havoc across the galaxy. And so as you move from one level to the next, your goal is clear: kill pretty much anything that stands in your way, be it a cultist, a plague toad, or even a mighty Chaos Terminator.

Of course, being a Space Marine, you have a formidable arsenal at your disposal. Or at least, you eventually do. You’ll begin with just a chainsword – useless at range, but utterly lethal up close. Many enemies, such as fleshy cultists, are easily cut down with this, leaving them in a satisfying, gory heap. Use it on an armoured or more sturdy foe, however, and you’ll need to mash the left trigger to keep cutting away, steadily depleting the target’s life bar in the process. That is if they don’t manage to throw you off.

Warhammer 40000 Boltgun

It’s not long until you actually have a Boltgun, though, and that’s when Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun really ups the ante. The short introductory level gives way to further levels that are much more expansive, requiring you to explore and find numerous keys to reach their exit points. Along the way, literal hordes of Chaos often seem to stand in your way, and if you don’t turn them into a lumpy soup they’re likely to do it to you. Sometimes you’ll even find yourself in arena-like conditions, not able to progress until you’ve wiped out waves of enemies all vying for your blood.

Related: The Best Warhammer 40K Games to Play Right Now

Eventually you acquire yourself a veritable arsenal of weapons, including a meaty shotgun, a plasma rifle, and even a devastating Vengeance Launcher. All are capable of turning your enemies to mush, and you’ll likely enjoy doing so. On top of that, you also have some nifty tools and abilities at your disposal. We’ve already mentioned the chainsword that never leaves your side, but you can also charge into your opponents, at least pushing them aside if not making them explode. Numerous grenade types are available to you too, and weapon power ups can make your arsenal even more destructive for a short period of time.

Warhammer 40000 Boltgun 2 (1)

Of course, with the gameplay being so focused on slaughter, it can get a bit repetitive over time. But only a bit. In fact, our biggest complaint might be that the titular weapon, the Boltgun, is a little too good, making other weapons less useful than they should be. Again though, in the grand scheme of things it’s not the biggest issue, leaving Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun to be a fast-paced, blood-soaked pleasure, especially for fans of the universe.

Even if you’re hugely familiar with the world of Warhammer 40,000, Boltgun is a bit of an old-fashioned treat. Its sprites are wonderfully realised, its environments suitably atmospheric, and its action brutal. Its simplicity is its strength, as well as its sheer disregard for your enemies’ innards as they spill out under your sustained fire, or perhaps an introduction to your chainsword. And so, we’re reminded why retro shooters are all the rage once more: because they’re bloody good fun.

Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun Review – GameSpew’s Score

This review of Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun is based on the PC version, with a code provided by the game’s publisher. It’s available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.

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