Warhammer 40,000 is getting a boomer shooter

Boomer shooters—games that hearken back to the old-time classic FPSes of the 1990s—are all the rage these days, and Warhammer 40,000 is joining the fray with Boltgun, a new shooter revealed during today's big Warhammer Skulls showcase.

The reveal trailer doesn't actually say much about the game, focusing instead on its thematic roots: As gentle music evokes an air of nostalgia, Jamie unseals boxes of his packed-away childhood stuff, rediscovering games, toys, and a pretty sweet Model M-style keyboard. After lovingly placing his Chaos Space Marine figurines, he digs out an odd diskette with a hand-drawn Boltgun logo and "confidential" warning.

And then POW, it's blood, guts, and gibs as far as the eye can see, all rendered in the pixellated style characteristic of the boomer shooter subgenre. 

As you'd expect, there doesn't appear to be a lot of story involved in this one: Players will step into the oversized boots of a battle-hardened Space Marine and go to war against the forces of Chaos on a perilous, galaxy-spanning mission. Boltgun is being developed by Auroch Digital, whose previous games include Mars Horizon, Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics, and Ogre, and has been in the works since 2018.

"We are delighted to be working on this fast-paced indie FPS alongside the talented Auroch Digital studio, and our long standing partner Games Workshop," said Dessil Basmadjian, chief creative officer at publisher Focus Entertainment. "We are excited by Boltgun's skillful combination of iconic '90s style, the Warhammer 40,000 universe, and thrilling gameplay that is sure to delight all kinds of players."

Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun is expected to be out sometime in 2023.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.