The 2022 Skulls showcase may be behind us, but the hype for upcoming Warhammer games is at an all-time high. One of the surprise reveals this time around was Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun, a boomer shooter that looks like a custom Doom WAD and promises old-school FPS carnage. Tragically, the protagonist is an Ultramarine, but everything else we’d like from a 40k shooter is there: over-the-top action, big chunky weapons, and lots of Chaos enemies to gib. The trailer for Boltgun was undeniably awesome, but did you notice it also contained a lot of key details about the upcoming game’s setting and gameplay?
Setting and enemies
From the few glimpses of gameplay shown, we can discern that Boltgun (or at least parts of it) takes place on an Imperial Forge World. We see the Adeptus Mechanicus banners and the Imperial Aquila in a number of backdrops, and the action takes us to the rusting guts of a massive industrial facility of some sort, complete with lava just pouring all over the place.
The trailer also shows us fighting against daemons and Chaos Space Marines that almost certainly belong to the Iron Warriors Legion. Mixed among them are Chaos Cultists and Skitarii soldiers. Altogether, this paints a vague idea of what the plot of Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun could be about. It seems an Imperial Forgeworld has come under attack by a dedicated Chaos force, or perhaps has been compromised from within, judging by the Skitarii forces that we encounter.
I said that Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun looks like a Doom WAD, but that’s not entirely true. The trailer shows pixelated 2D sprites against a level that is entirely 3D: a combination of Doom and Hexen era 2.5D and no-frills 3D à la Quake. In other words, whatever the engine is, the game will be a healthy mix of 90s era FPS visual styles.
Pink Horrors are the most recognizable minions of Tzeentch, and in the trailer we see them in action (mostly getting minced by bolter rounds.) Interestingly, we also see Blue Horrors as enemies. While the exact moment in which a Pink Horror splits into two Blues is not shown, it seems like a safe bet that this mechanic will be present in Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun.
At the very start of the gameplay part of the trailer, you can see a Purity Seal just floating in mid-air in the bottom right corner. It appears that Purity Seals are a pick-up of some sort in Boltgun; perhaps armor, or bonus XP? Not a big deal, but still interesting to notice.
Naturally, the titular Boltgun is not the only weapon players can wield. As seen in the trailer, players can also wield a Meltagun, and it seems to function like a shotgun: firing a wide spread of projectiles at a slow rate. This may not be exactly right in terms of lore, but it makes just enough sense. Boomer shooters are not complete without a preposterously powerful close-range weapon, and the Melta fits the part.
Another weapon is shown for the briefest of moments right at the end of the Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun trailer, and it is more exciting to see than the Meltagun. For a split second, we see our protagonist whip out a whirring chainsword to pacify a cultist. We don’t know yet if the Chainsword will be a powerful ability that we can only resort to from time to time, or simply the Space Marine’s off-hand weapon, to be used at will like the chainsaw in the original Doom. Either way, it’s great to see it in the game.
Those were the details that caught our attention – if you spotted anything else, please let us know in the comments below! We cant wait to learn more about Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun as we wait for its 2023 release window.