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Forget Darktide, I’m hyped for Warhammer 40k Boltgun DLC

Between a free update to Darktide and the Forges of Corruption Boltgun DLC, Warhammer 40k FPS fans are going to eat good this summer.

Warhammer 40k Boltgun DLC screenshot - closeup on a missile launcher explosion

Wargamer’s favorite new Warhammer 40k game from last year, the retro FPS Boltgun, is getting a surprise DLC pack on June 18 called ‘Forges of Corruption’. Barely a week after that and multiplayer 40k FPS Darktide is gets its own content update, the free ‘Secrets of the Machine God’ pack. I hate being forced to choose between my darlings, but it’s not a close contest – I’m far more stoked for the Warhammer 40k Boltgun DLC.

Make no mistake, both Boltgun and Darktide are excellent Warhammer 40k games. While Darktide had a poor launch, a series of free updates have made it far more rewarding and more interesting, so now the always excellent visuals, sound, and level design are matched by equally good gameplay and long term progression. Those changes, and an upgraded gaming PC, have put it onto my rotation of comfort games.

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So I am very interested by Secrets of the Machine God, revealed at the Warhammer Skulls preview stream. A new mission in the “derelict Mechanicus research station in Atelium Foundryplex Omega V” sounds like just my kind of grimdark fun.

Darktide levels are always a visual treat and great inspiration for scratch-building Warhammer terrain fanatic. Plus extra weapons like the “bolt pistol, Ogryn pickaxes, shockmauls, and a new shotgun” are all welcome.

Warhammer 40k Boltgun DLC screenshot - the player shoots a missile-launcher toting Chaos Space Marine Havoc with a volkite caliver

But the new Boltgun DLC Forges of Corruption has the edge. As I said in my Boltgun review, it’s fast, furious, and faithful to both Warhammer 40k and the boomer shooter era of lightning-quick FPS games. It just feels great.

While it would have been impossible to create with the technology of the Quake era, it feels like it emerged from an era of gaming that I was too young and too uncoordinated to enjoy when it actually happened.

I ended up completing Boltgun after writing my review. I stand by the score I gave it, and might even push it a little higher – there seems to have been a day one patch to difficulty, apparently in response to reviews like mine calling out the brick walls reviewers faced in certain levels. As it stands now it’s still a challenging thrill ride of forward momentum.

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But for returning players there’s not much to do except play the game again, faster or at higher difficulty. I’m a game reviewer, which means I’m bad at games, so speed running and score chasing are more or less off the table for me. Despite loving Boltgun, Forges of Corruption is the first real reason I have to return to it.

The core game did a great job making its weapons and enemies feel distinctive, so the prospect of fighting new Chaos Space Marine Havocs and Helbrutes, using a new multi-melta and missile launcher, across all new levels, has me hyped. And then there’s a horde mode!

Warhammer 40k Boltgun DLC screenshot - a giant Chaos Space Marine Helbrute blasts the player

I’m just glad that these two sumptuous treats are releasing early in Summer. In September we get the Space Marine 2 release date, and the newly revealed Space Marine 2 PVP multiplayer is threatening to utterly decimate my free time. And let’s not get started on the surprise news of Mechanicus 2, sequel to an excellent XCOM-like game that also has one of the best stories and soundtracks in Warhammer 40k gaming. It’s a very good time to be a 40k videogamer.