Twitch Streamer Kaos_Wulf is taking on a Warhammer 40k Boltgun speedrun in a Games Done Quick (GDQ) charity livestream, today, January 16, at 09:44am PT / 12:44pm EST / 5:44pm GMT. He’s aiming to complete the first act of the challenging retro FPS in under 25 minutes.
Recordings of Kaos_Wulf’s Warhammer 40k Boltgun practice runs are available on his Twitch channel. His best practice run took just 21 minutes one second, and his theoretical best time – combining his fastest completion times for each of the act’s seven stages – is 19 minutes one second.
To put that into context against a (very) average gamer’s performance, it took us five hours to complete act one for Wargamer’s Warhammer 40k Boltgun review. At least some of that laggardly performance is because Boltgun has some extremely steep difficulty spikes, but watching Kaos_Wulf’s videos makes it clear he’s playing the game in a totally different way to nomal players.
The goal of speedrunning is to play the game fast, not to play it as the designers intended. Part of the joy of watching GDQ livestreams is seeing experts exploit all the unintended and overlooked possibilities a game’s design offers. While Kaos_Wulf doesn’t seem to be exploiting any glitches, he does exploit the game design to its fullest.
The Space Marine protagonist’s melee attack pulls the character towards the enemy it targets, a tool Kaos_Wulf uses to complete seemingly impossible jumps, effectively using the chainsword as a rib-busting grappling hook. Some enemies need to die before level gates will open, but most enemies don’t, so Kaos_Wulf’s racing line through the levels is (relatively) bloodless.
Tactically falling off ledges and into the void in certain locations scoots the player forward to a respawn point further along the level. Jumping onto the explosion of a grenade or a barrel provides a quick vertical boost that can provide shortcuts around level geometry, even bypassing certain locked gates.
The Games Done Quick foundation organises speed-running events to raise money for charity. The January 2024 Awesome Games Done Quick event, which runs from January 14 to 21, is raising funds to support the US non-profit Prevent Cancer Foundation.