Warhammer 40k Boltgun is an FPS game set in the grim darkness of the 41st millennium, with an aesthetic borrowed from the tubular radness of the mid 1990s. Here’s everything we know about it so far, including the release date, what’s been revealed in the trailer, and the history of developer Aurochs Digital.
Check out our Warhammer 40k Boltgun review for our team’s thoughts on the game’s rippin’, tearin’ first person frolics (spoilers, we liked it).
Warhammer 40k Boltgun puts players in the ceramite-armoured boots of a Space Marine tasked with purging your way through hordes of Chaos Space Marines, cultists, and daemons. The retro aesthetic riffs on the design of classic 90s shooters like Doom, Quake, and Unreal.
Warhammer 40k Boltgun release date
The Warhammer 40k Boltgun release date was Tuesday, May 23, 2023.
Warhammer 40k Boltgun voice actor
TV star Rahul Kohli is the voice actor for Ultramarines veteran Malum Caedo in Warhammer 40k: Boltgun. Kohli has had leading roles in series including Midnight Mass, The Haunting of Bly Manor, and iZombie. He’s also a Warhammer 40k fan, who has been very public on social media about his hobby since he started building and painting miniatures in January 2022.
Warhammer 40k Boltgun trailer
The Warhammer 40k Boltgun trailer announcing the release date is nothing but gameplay, showing off the high-speed gibbage on offer.
The first trailer had less gameplay, but was designed to pluck on the nostalgic heartstrings of anyone who was gaming in the 1990s. It opens with a live action video of someone moving taped boxes out of an empty bedroom. A big box labelled “JAMIE’S STUFF 1999” suggests these are old, childhood possessions being moved out of their parents’ home.
They open the box to reveal 90s’ memorabilia: a magic eight-ball, a slinky, an old box of Chaos Space Marine figures on top of a stack of White Dwarf magazines. They unpack a small force of classic 1998 Space Marines and a Land Raider battle tank.
Finally they pull out a blue floppy disc for the game Warhammer 40k: Boltgun – if you’re young enough never to have seen one, a floppy disc stored one megabyte of data, was used for commercial software and for file transfers between machines, and it’s what the ‘save’ icon is based on.
Warhammer 40k: Boltgun wasn’t around in the 90s, of course, but the short gameplay footage that follows reveals it is certainly channelling the 90s aesthetic, mixing pixel art, low-poly 3d environments, wild gunfire, and a heavy metal score.
Warhammer 40k Boltgun weapons
Here are some of the Warhammer 40k Boltgun weapons usable in the game, in order of when we first encountered them – either in the initial trailers or during our time playing the preview build. These are your basic weapon choices, and will see a lot of use, especially in the game’s early stages.
The eponymous ‘boltgun’ or ‘bolter’ is the standard armament of a Space Marine. Although it looks like a blocky assault rifle, the bolter actually fires rocket-propelled grenades that explode on impact, which explains the almighty mess it makes of targets.
Hidden power-ups can temporarily boost the boltgun to be even more deadly. A hopper of Kraken bolter shells will pump up the gun’s power until they’re spent.
Space Marine shotgun
The Space Marine shotgun does exactly what you expect a shotgun to do – it makes a mess of enemies at short range. It has to be reloaded one shell at a time, making it unreliable in an emergency, but it’s a great tool for pasting enemies up close.
The meltagun is a short-ranged microwave beam that superheats metal and liquid. It’s a formidable antitank weapon. In the trailer, it looks like it fires a spread of fiery particles.
You’ll just get a glimpse at the end of the trailer of the player character swinging his chainsword left handed into an unfortunate cultist’s head. Chainswords are exactly what they sound like – chainsaw swords. The chainsword is always available as a back-up weapon.
The plasmagun is a high-powered energy weapon. It’s slow to fire but extremely deadly. Traitor guardsmen cultists can also wield this weapon, and it’s a real threat to your Space Marine hero.
Warhammer 40k Boltgun enemies
It wouldn’t be a boomer shooter without something worth gibbing: here are all the Warhammer 40k Boltgun enemies we saw in the demo and trailers:
- Chaos Cultist
- Cultist with heavy stubber
- Renegade Guardsman with plasmagun
- Chaos Space Marine
- Chaos Space Marine Terminator
- Lesser plague toad
- Greater plague toad
- Great Unclean One
- Pink Horror
- Blue Horror
- Flamer of Tzeentch
- Lord of Change
Warhammer 40k Boltgun genre
Warhammer 40k Boltgun is a ‘Boomer Shooter’. Boomer Shooters are consciously retro first person shooters that eschew modern design conventions, instead taking cues from 90s games like Doom, Quake, and Unreal.
The name Boomer Shooter is a bit misleading: the 90s era of FPSes were created by older Gen-Xers and played by younger Gen-Xers more than Baby Boomers. You will hear a lot of “booms” playing them, though. Common features of Boomer Shooters (and the games that inspired them) include:
- A mix of low-poly 3d graphics and pixel art.
- High movement speed.
- Weapons that don’t need to be reloaded.
- A large arsenal of weapons which you can instantly swap between.
- Hidden secrets in every level.
- Health that doesn’t regenerate.
- Little or no narrative.
- Scores for time, kills, secrets found, damage taken or dealt, at the end of each level.
- A soundtrack that slaps.
- Either no jumps, or very floaty jumps with a lot of air.
Warhammer 40k Boltgun developer’s previous games
The Warhammer 40k Boltgun developer Auroch Digital has an eclectic mix of games under its belt, showing a commitment to nerdery in its many forms. It even runs the Steam Tabletop Game Fest event.
Auroch made the digital adaptation of legendary strategy wargame OGRE. OGRE was created by Steve Jackson (of the American Steve Jackson Games, as opposed to the British Steve Jackson who co-founded Games Workshop and later Lionhead Studios). It’s a truly enormous war board game that pits an entire army against a single, nigh-invincible OGRE warmachine.
The firm also adapted the little-known Games Workshop property Dark Future into Dark Future: Blood Red States. It’s a strategic combat game of car battles on the asphalt of the post-apocalyptic future, with powerful Mad Max energy.
Achtung! Cthulhu: Tactics is a turn-based tactics game like XCOM, set in an alternate WW2 history where the Axis powers are reinforced by Lovecraftian horrors. It’s adapted from a tabletop RPG setting by publisher Modiphius.
Auroch has made three card games for adults: Mars Horizon: Blast Off! sees players compete to launch a manned mission to the red planet; Agatha Christie’s Death on the Cards is a hidden role game that sees players attempt to deduce the true murderer; and the awkwardly named Elections of US America Election: The Card Game sees players compete to get their candidate into the White House.