Blast-from-the-past FPS Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun gets a release date

Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun, the aggressively retro and also just plain aggressive-looking first-person shooter from Auroch Digital, now has a release date. It's been revealed via a trailer showing off a variety of the 41st millennium's monsters in the pixelated-sprite style of the late 20th century, which we'll be pretend-murdering right here in the 21st century. Specifically, from May 23, 2023.

Those enemies include heretic cultists and a pick-and-mix bag of daemons who serve the 40K setting's Chaos Gods. The little mucus-colored guys are Nurglings who work for Nurgle, god of pestilence, as do their bigger cousin the Great Unclean One seen being purged 20 seconds in and the horned amphibian with the tongue attack, which is a plague toad. The blue bird who looks like a skeksis from Dark Crystal that got a gym membership is a Lord of Change, a greater daemon of Tzeentch, god of magic and mutation. There's also some kind of armored daemon I can't even identify—it definitely seems like there'll be a diverse set of heretics to blast.

As Robin pointed out in his recent hands-on Boltgun preview, Doom was always a borderline 40K game. Heck, Doom's manual opened with the words "You're a space marine" and ended with a bestiary of demons to slay. The idea seems so obvious it's surprising that we got so many other Warhammer 40,000 games before someone got around to this.

While the look and vibe of Boltgun is extremely retro, the chainsword-charge attack shown in the trailer, which you can do even if you're in midair, definitely feels like a modern touch, as does the amount of jumping going on. Apparently there's a dedicated key for throwing grenades and another for shouting battlecries, neither of which were in our 1993 shooters, though I'm happy to see them here.

Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun will be released via Steam on May 23, and you can preorder it now.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.