You might remember Auroch Digital as the developers behind some fairly wholesome management games like Mars Horizon, Megaquarium, and The Colonists. Auroch’s latest announcement, however, brings the studio back to the heady days of the mid-‘90s when blood and gore were considered staples of the shooter genre.
Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun is a retro shooter very much inspired by the likes of Doom and Quake. It’ll feature a pixel art style, 2D sprites, frame-by-frame animations, and tons of blocky blood spatter. The trailer only has about ten seconds of actual gameplay, but it’s enough for players to understand exactly the kind of game Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun is aiming to be.
While the game itself seems to be anything but wholesome, it at least has a wholesome origin story. Studio director Tomas Rawlings has been a Warhammer fan since 1987, playing both the first edition of Warhammer 40K and Warhammer Fantasy Battle 3rd Edition.
"Unsurprisingly, as a long time fan, this project is something I’m both hugely excited to work on, and to play. It’s a dream project," wrote Rawlings. "For me there’s a certain full circle here, as back in 1989 was my first attempt at some game design that was vaguely commercial when I wrote some rules for both Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40K and sent them in to Games Workshop."
Games Workshop was "kind enough to reply," noting in its rejection letter that Rawlings’ suggestions were "nowhere near the standard we would expect for publication." Thankfully, it seems Games Workshop is either fairly open-minded or just didn’t remember Rawlings’ earlier letter, since the Warhammer publisher has gifted Rawlings with its prestigious license.
Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun seems simple enough. You play as an Ultramarine armed with a trusty boltgun and tasked with eliminating heresy wherever it can be found. This includes Tyranids, Chaos Marines, Daemons, and corrupted former citizens of the Imperium of Man. The game will be made in Unreal Engine (although probably not Unreal 5), and will be available for both current and last-gen consoles, Nintendo Switch, and PC sometime in 2023.
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