A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor -- Martyr is an action-packed adventure game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. Using guns, swords, explosives, and magic, players have to attack aliens, demons, and other people. But while the top-down perspective limits some of the blood and gore, there are still times when you'll see enemies exploding into pieces, as well as surfaces stained with blood. That said, there's no sex, use of drugs or alcohol, or cursing.
What's it about?
WARHAMMER 40,000: INQUISITOR -- MARTYR is an action/adventure game that's set 39,000-plus years in the future. While humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, it's as part of an empire that, oddly, owes as much to Ancient Rome in its governmental structure as it does to modern science for its warfare and its technology. But when it seems that something is corrupting the Empire from within, it's up to you, as an inquisitor, to root out the problem by any means necessary. That means smacking, shooting, or spell-casting over and over until all of your enemies, and the enemies of the Empire, are dead.
Is it any good?
Given that the core of any action/adventure game is its combat, it's a real problem that the combat here is so flawed. In Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor -- Martyr, it's the far future, and humankind's empire has spread through the galaxy. But it's also suffering, which is why you, as a member of the Emperor's elite fighting force, have to go around and kill all of his (or should that be the Empire's) enemies. Played from a top-down perspective, this Diablo-esque action game has you doing a bit of exploring, a bit of investigating, and a whole lot of fighting, which you do as a Crusader (i.e., a warrior) an assassin (i.e., someone sneaky), or a Psyker (i.e., the magician class).
The problem, though, isn't with the exploration or the story, or even with what kind of character you play this as, but how your weapons work. Like many adventure games, you get special attacks that need to recharge. That's a standard feature in gaming so that you're not just destroying everything without a challenge. But where this becomes an issue is that your main attack, regardless of whether you're using a melee weapon or a ranged one, needs to recharge as well. It might only be a split-second, which isn't long. But it's still long enough that it makes fighting tedious. It also doesn't help that even when using a sword or magic, your enemies mainly fire projectiles at you and can get in a bunch of good shots before you're close enough to cast a spell or smash them. Since the entire game is built around this flawed form of combat, it means that Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor -- Martyr is hardly a noble, or even worthy, quest.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor -- Martyr affected by the fact that you attack both monsters and people? Does the impact feel lessened when you kill a monster instead of a human?
When is it good to be honorable, and when can putting your honor above all else cause problems? How do you know the difference?
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