Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun Review – Boomer Shooter Masterpiece

For the glory of the Imperium.

Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun Review
Overall
4
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

With its incredible atmosphere and engrossing combat, Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun is one of the best boomer shooters in quite a while.

  • Developer: Auroch Digital
  • Publisher: Focus Entertainment
  • Release Date: May 23, 2023
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5
  • Tested On: PC

Pros

  • Great Art Design
  • Enemy Variety
  • Satisfying Gunplay
  • Great Music
  • Never Gets Boring

Cons

  • Repetitive Objectives
  • Pacing Issues
  • Lack of Map

There has been a renaissance in the Classical Shooter genre over the past handful of years, and newer and more creative indie titles are being released in it at an almost staggering pace.

And Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun adds to that genre, as one of the best action games in the Warhammer series of games. So our review then goes over why the gameplay here is done right, explains how the story connects to the overall lore of the franchise, and generally tells you if the game is worth picking up.

Story And Setting

warhammer 40k boltgun review
Story And Setting. (Image Captured by eXputer)

Now this might not be completely unexpected, but the story of Boltgun is definitely the weakest part of the game and is simply barebones. But it is not the narrative that will make you want to put hours into the experience, it’s the gameplay.

Nonetheless, you play as a Space Marine who has crash landed on Adeptus Mechanicus Forge World of Graia. Your original task was to simply investigate the planet, but you’re instead greeted with the forces of chaos, so a typical day in the galaxy all things considered.

Nothing to worry about though, since Space Marines are basically walking tanks that can rip apart Heretics and Xenos like a normal human would cut through butter. And that’s exactly what the story wants you to do, as you go from level to level, butchering anything in your path until you reach the very end.

Gameplay

warhammer 40k boltgun review
Gameplay. (Image Captured by eXputer)

As mentioned above, the gameplay is what makes Boltgun worth picking up. You have a wide variety of weapons to choose from, and you’re allowed to go on a rampage against Cultists and the Spawns of Chaos with nothing holding you back. And true to its namesake, the Bolter itself definitely takes the cake for being the best gun to use.

But there are other weapons as well, including the Shotgun and a Plasma Gun, and all of them are incredibly fun to use. But using the Bolter comes with a feeling of satisfaction that most other guns cannot match when you’re purging monsters, and you’ll often find yourself relying on it more than others as you rampage through the levels.

Speaking of which, this game is split into various levels, all of which are packed with action, gore, and a good amount of creative enemies to kill. The retro visual style might be a turn-off for some players, but Boltgun clearly wants to embrace that boomer shooter vibe to the fullest.

Even though the art style is pixelated, the weapon animations and sound design are still top-notch. The sound design for these weapons, which includes both reloading and shooting, is so well done. And that is not just restricted to weapons either; the ambient sounds of the environment elevate the eerie atmosphere of some of these levels. 

But enough about the ranged weapons, the game also offers one of the most satisfying melee weapons in a while. The Chainsword adds some much needed diversity to the combat since it can not only cut through anything and everything, but time slows down when you pull it out and you can basically rush toward enemies in range. Mixing this melee weapon with your guns makes for some really fun, action-oriented gameplay sections. And even though the main character is a literal tank, the movement in this game is so smooth and responsive.

The gameplay is not perfect, however, and there are some flaws here as well. The level design is good, and there is a lot of verticality in some of the areas. But the lack of a map really hinders exploration, and more often than not, you will feel lost.

Most of the Puzzles in this game also involve finding keys for locked doors that are hidden around the level. And this objective is repeated for the entirety of the game, making it feel much more repetitive than it has to be. Having to fetch keys in order to proceed becomes old really fast.

There are also secrets hidden around different areas, and most of these include weapon upgrades. But having to go look for especially well-hidden upgrades in a game that focuses on constantly moving and shooting really kills the pacing. 

Visuals And Performance

warhammer 40k boltgun review
Visuals And Performance. (Screenshot Captured by eXputer)

If you’re a fan of retro art and pixelated graphics, then get ready to feast on the visuals of Boltgun. The art direction really carries this game alongside the gameplay, and it’s some of the best that you’ll see in any game this year.  It really helps elevate the atmosphere of the world and works spectacularly well with the grimdark themes of the Warhammer universe.

Additionally, the great soundtrack further accentuates the art direction and makes the atmosphere even more immersive. As for the performance, this game runs well on most low-end builds easily and even performs exceptionally well on both the Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck. Performance is the last thing that you should worry about while playing Boltgun.

Verdict

analysis of the game
Verdict. (Image Credit Copyright: eXputer)

Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun is one of the best boomer shooters in a long time, and if you’re a fan of such games, then then it should be a must-buy for you. It offers satisfying weapons that players can use to brutalize various monsters and an immersive world that is just a joy to rampage through.

There are a few downsides to the gameplay that will mostly affect those players who have never tried a boomer shooter before, but these are mostly quality-of-life nitpicks which would have made the game more accessible to new players. Aside from that, Boltgun is one of the best action games released this year, and I highly recommend you pick it up.

This has been our Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun Review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles. 

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Asad Ahmad is a Games Reviewer on eXputer who’s combined his passion for writing and gaming into a sweet blend of content for his audience to enjoy. He started off his gaming journey in the RTS genre but settled on RPGs like Skyrim as his go-to games. Asad has a substantial amount of writing experience in reviewing and writing for games, which is backed up by his extensive gaming library on Steam. Experience: 2+ Years || Mainly covers Game Reviews || Education: Bachelors in Electrical Engineering.

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