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Video Game / Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor Martyr

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Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor — Martyr is an Action RPG set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. It was developed by Neocore Games, who are best known as the creators of the Hack and Slash RPG series The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing.

Players take on the roles of the agents of the Imperial Inquisition operating in the Caligari Sector, a remote region of the Imperium plagued by unpredictable warp surges. These sudden storms can isolate entire systems from support and communications for decades or even centuries, allowing heresy to take root in the absence of the Emperor's light. It falls to the player inquisitor to cleanse the sector and root out the alien, the daemon, and the renegade.

Just as the sector is full of terrible secrets, however, so is the Caligari Conclave, the local branch of the Inquisition. The main storyline centers on one such secret: the mysterious cargo of the Martyr, a battle barge that vanished ten thousand years before the events of the game and only recently reappeared. The ship's contents will divide the Conclave, forcing the player to choose sides, and could potentially change the Imperium forever.

While it is not a direct adaptation of Dark Heresy, it takes some cues from it, mostly character classes and how Psyker characters need to make Perils of the Warp rolls when they overuse their powers.

The game was released on June 5th, 2018 for PC and on August 23rd for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Enemy groups at launch included rebel guardsmen, cultists of the Ruinous Powers, Chaos Space Marines, and daemons of Nurgle. Later expansions added the Dark Eldar and the servants of Khorne.

A full, stand-alone expansion, Prophecy, is due to be released on July 30, 2019. In addition to continuing the story of the mysterious Alpha Pariah, the expansion also adds a new class, the Tech Adept, a former member of the Adeptus Mechanicus, new biomes, new mission types, and several new enemy factions, including the Craftworld Eldar and the Tyranids.

This game provides examples of the following:

  • Adaptational Badass: While it's certainly not uncommon for inquisitors in the 40k universe to come from martial backgrounds and to take certain matters into their own hands, it's ultimately a role of authority, not combat, which is why each order has its own military force. Of those inquisitors that do engage in combat personally, they're scarcely able to act as a one man army, much less go toe-to-toe with the likes of a Tyranid Carnifexe or a Helbrute single-handedly.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Attack skills with the Armor Breaking (ignores 50% armor damage reduction) and Armor Piercing (completely ignores armor), especially useful versus elites, champions, and vehicles. Note that unlike other Warhammer 40,000 games, this is not bound specifically to the weapon types, but rather their individual attacks. For example, wielding a single Plasma Pistols, the weapon has this trait on Attack Skill 2 (Right-Mouse Button or the "2" key if wielded off-hand with a different pistol type or melee)
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Probably, the goriest of all the videogames based on Warhammer 40,000. Even moreso than Space Marine. And the trailer says everything
  • But Thou Must!: Your judgement of Caius Thorn at the end of the first part of the Khorne DLC. Even if you pick the Puritan choice, you still spare him (though you do make it clear that he is on very thin ice). Justified, as Thorne is in charge of handling the game's PvP system.
  • Calling Your Shots: Certain attacks have the "Aimed Shot" rule, which allows you to put the shot somewhere on an enemy's body.
  • Cessation of Existence: The power of the Alpha Pariah. Not only could she disrupt the powers of the warp, but can even utterly destroy chaos daemons.
  • Chainsaw Good: A Chainsword is an available weapon for the Crusader.
  • Colon Cancer: Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor: Martyr
  • Computer Equals Tape Drive: Invoked. Imperial "computers" (called cogitators), are the size of a bed, and have monochrome screens, cogwheels and pistons. Your bridge has an entire cogitator just for E-Mails.
  • Charge Attack: Certain attacks have the "Compression" special rule, which allows them to be charged for 3 seconds, gaining 100% power with each second. So, for example, if an attack should do 10 damage, it does 20 damage, 40 damage, or 80 damage based on the level of charge.
  • Cyborg: Modular Neural, Eye, and Body implants for your character. Also any Adeptus Mechanicus characters, including as a Class.
  • Data Pad: Several Story Breadcrumbs are found on dataslates.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The Inquisitor is shown to have quite the barbed wit in response to everything they have to deal with throughout the story.
  • Dual Wielding: The Assassin can wield two blades.
    • Crusaders can dual-wield pistols. In fact, pistols only have 2 special attacks unless dual-weilded
  • Elite Mooks: Several mobs have these. For instance, a mob could be accompanied by Traitor Marines and Chaos Champions.
    • The Black Legion are by far the most advanced of the enemy factions. Even their standard cultist soldiers possess high caliber machine guns capable of shredding your Suppression, and unlike other factions, they don't utilize Horde enemies, instead preferring to mob you with significantly stronger Chaos Spawn. Also, their Marines are one of the few enemies who actually use shields.
  • Enemy Civil War: The Word Bearers attack an Inquisition archive primarily to get information to find and crush a Khorne-worshiping warband they despise. Insult and injury to the Imperium are incidental, if welcome.
  • Energy Weapon: Lasguns have the "instant travel, visible beam" subtype.
  • Equipment-Based Progression: The Psyker is the only class with intrinsic powers. Everyone else's abilities change with their loadout.
  • Escort Mission: Rescue and Panic Room missions require you to save allied units from hostiles, then escort them to the extraction point. Panic Room missions go a step further as before you can even escort them, you have to reach their location and kill all the enemies attacking the ally's safehouse before they break in and One-Hit Kill him.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Heavy Flamers are available as weapons.
  • Giant Mook: Chaos Dreadnoughts and Hellbrutes.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: None of the moral decisions during the storyline have a clear right or wrong answer.
    • For the first decision, the player can choose the Radical option and ally with Inquisitor Klosterheim to free the Alpha Pariah and use her as a weapon against Chaos, justifying all the horrible things that Uther Tiberius did to create her and potentially unleashing someone who ancient prophecy suggests could rise as a fifth Chaos god. Alternatively, the player can choose the Puritan option and reject Klosterheim and the Alpha Pariah, killing the former despite his years of fighting the forces of Chaos and rejecting the latter even though she might be the greatest chance of doing lasting damage to Chaos and potentially saving the Imperium.
    • For the second decision, the Radical option is to pardon the Van Wynter house in order to keep them as allies, even though they were manipulated into serving Chaos in ways that nearly caused several disasters throughout the sector and pardoning them might allow corruption to spread. The Puritan option is to uphold their conviction, even though the Van Wynters never meant to betray the Imperium and it means forever condemning the captain who has been supporting you and ferrying you around for the entire game.
    • For the third decision, the Radical option is to spare Inquisitor Draken so he can keep fighting the Chaos forces on the planet, even though he is a member of a conspiracy protecting horrible secrets and tried to have you killed when you started to investigate them — and may have done the same to other inquisitors. The Puritan option is to kill Inquisitor Draken for his role in the conspiracy, even though he is a hero to his men and has single-handedly held together the forces of the Imperium so that an entire planet doesn't fall to Chaos.
    • The Chaos Undivided DLC adds the option to spare or execute a High Marshall who was being brainwashed by the Black Legion in order to force his planet to surrender. On the one hand, dialogue heavily implies that the High Marshall in question is genuinely loyal and is both a war hero and a patriot of the Imperium, plus it never hurts having a High Marshall owing you a favor. On the other hand, brainwashed or not he still committed an act of treason, and there's no guarantee that he won't get brainwashed again if a similar invasion happens, nor if there will be another One-Man Army like you to set things right if it does.
  • Green and Mean: Since Nurgle is the Ruinous Power on display, and his holy color is green. Subverted, in that Nurgle is actually a Nice Guy (as far as Eldritch Horrors go, anyways) and sees the horrific infections he and his minions dole out as presents.
  • Karma Meter: Throughout the storyline, players have to choose between being a Puritan, uncompromisingly upholding the principles of the Inquisition, or a Radical, willing to compromise and use the weapons of humanity's enemies against them. There are perks tied to each path, with Puritan perks generally sounding good and holy while Radical perks are dark and utilitarian at best. The decisions themselves are a lot less clear-cut than the perk trees. Puritan decisions are often so uncompromising that they lead to the deaths of good, innocent people and reject potential progress in order to avoid using impure methods. Radical decisions are generally compassionate and ambitious, but carry the risk of allowing taint to grow. Either could lead to disaster for the sector.
  • Knightly Sword and Shield: Crusaders can equip either a power axe, hammer, sword, or chain sword and Suppression shield. The shield pairs equally well with a pistol though...
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Crusader shields do not directly boost their standard resistances and damage reduction. Instead, it boosts the Crusader's Deflect chance to completely ignore a hit taken, and its first skill deploys a protective field in the direction you're facing which greatly boosts deflection.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The "Demolition" armor for Crusaders pack a Cyclone missile launcher, a man-portable MLAS (multiple-launch assault system) usually mounted on Space Marine Terminators.
  • Mana Meter: The psyker's "Warp Heat" meter combines this with Overheating (see below). It's not a measure of how much magic power he has, but how much he can use before he be kill by daemons.
  • Meat Moss: Nurgle is in full, pestilent form with his corruption today.
  • Modern Day/Sci-Fi RPG Class Equivalents:
    • The Crusader is a Soldier, with Grenadier, CQC, and Heavy Weapons Guy splats
    • The Psyker (psychic, and closer to a fantasy magician class) can equip magic staves alongside lazerguns and assault rifles. He usually focuses on Magic Knight subclasses due to the fact that he suffers Perils of the Warp rolls when he bottoms out his mana meter. In any case, one's got Bullet Time, one can teleport, and one can astrally project to scout the area without getting shot up.
    • The Assassin is a sniper, knife-fighter, or trapper rogue-who happens to use sniper rifles and discount lightsabers
    • The Tech-Adept has built in Medic potential, with the ability to summon numerous types of support turrets that provide healing and buffs to allies in an aura, and can very easily become a Combat Medic with his damage-over-time potential. But, in a rarity with Modern Day/Sci-Fi RPGs, he alternatively can spec into a Summoner focus instead, being capable of summoning an army of robot spiders, or a small handful of huge robots. And from there can spec into a mix of summon damage and personal damage, mix summoning with the previous Medic build, or can go full tilt into a "pet build" where he takes a backseat while the robots are the primary source of damage.
  • No Sympathy: When the Inquisitor discovers that Omicron Arkh experimented with a daemonhost, a horrifed Inquisitor exclaims that the creation of such an abomination condemns the hosts soul to A Fate Worse Than Death. Arkh's response to this:
    "Initiating empathy modulator. Attempt failed."
  • More Dakka: Most weapons have single-shot and 3-round burst attacks. Autoguns, however, have a 3-round burst as their basic attack, and fully-automatic fire as their secondary. The winner is the Crusader-class exclusive's Heavy Bolter, which has a high rate of fire Full-Auto primary, a slower but more accurate and armor reducing secondary, a tactical withdraw third attack that functions similar to the first while backing up, and its 4th attack launches shells at a moderate rate of fire with an Area of Effect burst.
  • Obvious Beta: The game is riddled with bugs, glitches and optimization issues. Furthermore, text dialogue and voicelines either don't fit or are missing.
  • Overheating: Energy Weapons have a Heat bar that fills instead of a magazine that empties. The Psyker class also uses Overheat to limit their powers. If they accumulate too much Warp Heat, they accidentally warp phenomena and daemons.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite the Inquisition's well deserved reputation as brutal Knight Templar, you have multiple opportunities to spare individuals that anyone else in the Imperium would immediately execute. Tellingly for the nature of 40K, these are more often than not the Radical options.
  • Plague Master: The primary antagonists are a cult of Nurgle. Pus and green pathogens are not in short supply.
  • Plasma Cannon: Pistol and rifle size. Unlike the tabletop game, they don't have a one-in-six chance to kill you by accident.
  • Precursors: The Fabricatus race, an extinct xenos race from millions of years ago, are a key figure in the plot of the Prophecy expansion as their original research into the Pariah Gene to create beings with both Psyker and Pariah abilities to rule the Warp is what inspired Uther Tiberius to create the Alpha Pariah. You seek more information about the civilisation in order to discover more about the Alpha Pariah's purpose and to seek the means to control her unstable powers, such as the artifact the "Crown of Emptiness".
  • Purple Is Powerful: The psyker's Warp Lightning is purple, in opposition to the enemy's snot-green magic.
  • Quiet Cry for Help: In the Dark Eldar DLC, a Cardinal contacts you to visit him in the cathedral, and mentions a certain Saint. Cross referencing shows that this particular Saint was betrayed by his close friends, so you realize a trap is already waiting for you at the entrance.
  • Recursive Precursors: The Fabricatus appear to have been a very advanced race, and what little technology that has been analysed by Tech-Priests "defy explanation" and is considered unique amongst the galaxy. However, it turns out that the Fabricatus actually evolved on a ruined Necron Tomb World, and the race actually adapted, repurposed and modfied Necron technology to form their own, unique technology.
  • Right Hand Versus Left Hand: The infamous infighting of the Inquisition rears its ugly head towards the end of the game, when just as you're about to claim Uther's Rosette, you're ambushed by an Inquisition kill team belonging to your opposite Morality.
    • This concept is also why Klosterheim chooses to take the Alpha Pariah under his wing in the Radical ending. Knowing that the Puritans would likely have the Alpha Pariah killed or imprisoned and the Radicals would likely end up exploiting her for their own ends, Klosterheim instead decides to take control over the Martyr and act as the Alpha Pariah's "knight" and guardian until she is ready to take the fight to Chaos.
  • Secondary Fire: And tertiary, and quatrinary. Each gun has 4 special attacks, except for pistols which require them to be dual-weilded. It's usually single-shot and burst fire, and then something odd for the other two. For example, the Lasgun can fire a hotshot pack to light enemies on fire, or be set to keep the laser diode on while bypassing the capacitor array, mimmicking the Psyker's Molten Beam spell.
  • Sequel Hook: Both the Puritan and Radical endings of the main campaign have your Inquisitor suspecting that this is not the last they've heard of either the Martyr or the Alpha Pariah.
    • The Chaos Undivided subplot ends with the revelation that Abaddon the Despoiler has his eyes on the Caligari Sector, and while you've successfully dismantled his operations for the time being, he's far from finished.
  • Shield Bash: Crusader shields boost their base attack stat, benefiting all attacks made with that weapon set. Both versions also have a secondary attack available. Suppression shields unleash an energy shockwave in the style of a Shockwave Stomp, while storm shields let the Crusader perform a Shield Charge that bashes into whoever they collide with.
  • Sniper Rifle: Appropriately enough, one of the Assassin's main weapons.
  • Spam Attack: Autoguns have the ability to fire in 3-round bursts or hold the trigger down. The equivalent for the lasgun is a sustained beam, although it also has the 3-shot burst.
    • The aforementioned Cyclone missile launcher that comes on Crusaders Demolitionist armors.
  • Splats: Each class has three sub-classes. Despite the initial way they're introduced, the subclass or background has a larger effect on which Passive skill trees are initially unlocked and available to them, how their starting six ability points are spread out among the class' three ability scores, and their starting perk they have exclusively available to them. The rest just determines what starting gear (weapons, armor-type, and accessory) they receive, and the order of initial equipment unlocks they receive when leveling up
  • Starter Villain: The Feral Beasts, a pirate gang who serve as your first real obstacle in your pursuit of the Martyr.
  • State Sec: Player characters are agents of the 40K universe's most iconic example of this trope.
  • Sword and Gun: Any class can wield a one-handed melee weapon in their main hand and a pistol in their off-hand.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: Some weapons have a special attack that involves firing them while backpedaling, usually stubbers and flamers.
  • Take Cover!: Enemies and the Inquisitor can grab cover. Certain attacks do extra damage to it, and flamers ignore it.
  • Timed Mission: Silence the Guns missions require you to find and shut down several bombardment weapons before they fully destroy whatever it is you're trying to protect.
  • The Turret Master: "Sentinel"-pattern Crusader armor can summon Tarantula Turrets. Certain enemies can also.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Uther Tiberius, master of the Martyr, attempted to find a final solution in the fight against chaos. However, he used radical means to do so. First, he attempted to create an army of ex-daemonhosts, who after being exorcised would be immune to the effects of the warp. The first attempt failed, damning countless souls to the mercy of chaos. He then bargained with a Greater Daemon of Nurgle in order to create the Alpha Pariah, a being who is not only immune to the warp but can forever destroy daemons of chaos.
  • Wham Line: One sentence sums up just how cosmic the stakes are.
    The Player Character, (Former) Senior Inquisitor: Tiberius wanted to defeat the chaos gods so badly that he created a god of his own!
  • What Other Galaxies?: Carvings decrypted from their ruins about "the grand pilgrimage" and "the world of strange stars" leads a tech-priest to a far-fetched theory that the Fabricatus race is not extinct, but instead left for another galaxy for an unknown reason. Said tech-priest also speculates if the Fabricatus were considering the possibility of an impending apocalypse.
  • Zerg Rush: The tactic of nurgling swarms, as they are very easy to deal with individually, but stronger in numbers. Chaos Spawns are also fond of this, especially in Black legion areas.

Alternative Title(s): Inquisitor Martyr