Review: Warhammer 40K Boltgun: Forges of Corruption is more of the glorious same

warhammer 40k boltgun, forges of corruption, dlc

Warhammer 40K: Boltgun was one of the pleasant surprises of 2023. It stood out in a crowded field of retro-influenced FPS games by combining the “boomer shooter” format with a loving implementation of the 40K license. Auroch Digital captured what it would be like to be a Space Marine, plunging players into the role of Malum Caedo – an Ultramarine singlehandedly facing down a Chaos invasion of the forgeworld of Graia. Put simply, the Forges of Corruption DLC is more of the glorious same.

Especially given that this DLC arrives 13 months after the main game, it would not be unreasonable to have expected something on a larger scale. Auroch Digital have crafted five new levels – a mere snack compared to the 24-level feast served up last May. They have also added a couple of new foes, and two formidable new firearms. This is a modest offering, but one with a modest price to match. It is a deal that fans of Boltgun would be well-advised to take up.

Forges of Corruption opens with another perfunctory pixel art cutscene, in which the familiar inquisitor (again voiced by the prolific and imperious Rachel Atkins) informs Malum Caedo (again voiced by Rahul Kohli) that his work is not yet done. Despite the blunting of the Chaos incursion, the forces of evil have captured and corrupted a key part of Graia’s infrastructure. Caedo must delve deep into the planet’s foundations, and snuff out this dark scheme.

warhammer 40k boltgun, forges of corruption, dlc
The large-scale purge arenas are tougher than ever in Forges of Corruption.

Gameplay is virtually unchanged from the main campaign, although the level design does create a slightly different feel. Verticality is sometimes a larger factor in the new levels, and some of the purge arenas are among the largest that Auroch Digital have made. As before, deft movement is essential to survive. Caedo may be a Space Marine, but the scale of the enemy forces is often huge. A new sub-boss, the Helbrute, is particularly dangerous. It has a tendency to reappear in awkward positions, and has tremendous firepower.

Caedo has two new tools of his own. The missile launcher, long a staple of Space Marine armies in the tabletop game, can deal massive damage over long range. Ammo is fairly scarce, but the resulting explosions are a joy to behold. The multi-melta is equally devastating, albeit over much shorter ranges. In the increasingly large Boltgun arsenal, it has unfortunately little in the way of a specific niche and is liable to be forgotten about. 

warhammer 40k boltgun, forges of corruption, dlc
Auroch Digital retain their mastery of the grim darkness of Warhammer 40,000.

Perhaps the only real criticism of Forges of Corruption, though, is to do with its settings. A return to Graia makes sense, but the new levels do not offer any substantively different environments. Auroch’s latest work tends largely towards sizeable interiors, as Caedo ventures deep underground. It would have been niche to return to the desert canyon settings from the main game, for example.

Forges of Corruption is a welcome return to one of the strongest traditional shooters of the last few years. Its small size is acceptable given an equally small asking price. While Auroch Digital have added little that is genuinely new, the core gameplay of Boltgun is so superbly pitched that a straightforward, modest addition is more than satisfying enough.

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