Focus Entertainment has unleashed another trailer for its upcoming retro shooter Warhammer 40:000: Boltgun, a game that I was genuinely excited for before I watched it. After watching it, I must confess I'm slightly less excited than I was before. Not because of the game itself, but because the trailer's voiceover is actively off-putting.
The trailer's clearly shooting for an attitude-eta, “John Romero's-about-to-make-you-his-bitch” vibe that the classic shooters Boltgun is inspired by emerged alongside. Putting aside that this is the one element of mid-nineties shooters we don't want back, the obnoxious narration and slightly lame metal backing track doesn't fit with the gothic grandeur of 40k, even when viewed through the lens of a fast-paced, pixelly FPS. It smacks of a marketing department that only understands what it's selling at a surface level, and as someone who has played pretty much every retro shooter since DUSK, it doused my interest in the game rather than firing me up.
That said, I am still probably going to play Boltgun, mainly because Robin was adamant in his preview that the game is shaping up well: "If you like the idea of shooting monsters with big guns at high speed, chances are you'll like this regardless of whether you've spent the last few years playing the likes of Dusk and Ultrakill or not." I certainly do like the idea of shooting monsters with big guns at high speed, and an annoying trailer isn't going to stop me from doing that.
If you can concentrate amid the trailer's relentless screeching, there are a couple of interesting new things worth briefly touching on. We get a glimpse of a couple of previously unseen weapons, including a meltagun, which will let you fry enemies with its intensely hot energy beam. It also looks like you'll be fighting insectoid Ambulls in the game, which suggests developer Auroch Digital is plumbing the 40k enemy roster pretty deeply.
There isn't long to wait before Boltgun comes charging onto PC either, the game launches on May 23. No doubt we'll have a review charged and ready to fire when the time comes.