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If you need a palate cleanser between long RPGs, try this great Game Pass shooter

A character shoots demons in Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun.
Focus Entertainment

Fans of RPGs have been eating well since the beginning of 2024. In fact, there have been more amazing games in this genre alone than most people could reasonably keep up with. As much as I love a deep RPG, even I have to admit I’ve been feeling a little burnt out after my third or fourth 100-hour adventure. Before we get hit with Unicorn Overlord, Rise of the Ronin, and Dragon’s Dogma 2 this month alone, I felt the need for something different to cleanse my palate.

That’s when I found Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun.

I knew about Warhammer 40K: Boltgun from when it launched in May of last year, but a certain Nintendo game also hit that month that was my main focus. After that, I unfortunately let the game slip off my radar until it reappeared on this month’s Game Pass list. With just a bit of time between games, I thought it would be a low-commitment game to dabble in before I was sucked into my next RPG.

I didn’t expect to become a bloodthirsty Ultramarine fully dedicated to purging Graia of all Chaos Forces.

A space marine blasting enemies.
Focus Entertainment

Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun knows what it is and doesn’t pretend to be anything else. This is a boomer shooter — a game in the style of the original Doom and Duke Nukem — where your only goal is to mercilessly murder anything that moves as you navigate maze-like levels. While speed and brutality are the name of the game, Boltgun still feels meaty and heavy. Every step your marine takes sounds like a 10-ton machine and every bullet fired from the titular rifle kicks like a tank shell, and yet the rate at which you sprint and shoot makes you feel like an invincible force of nature.

What I appreciate most about Boltgun is how it so effortlessly urges you to keep going. Every second you’re not engaged in combat, you’re scanning the environment for your next target. Everything from the sound design and weapon feedback to every bit of pixelated gore that gushes from the unfortunate monster on the other end of your weapon makes combat as gripping as it is satisfying. The most you have to worry about is when your dash cooldown is up, how many grenades you have, or what weapon you need to switch to. It’s almost the polar opposite of the more strategic and methodical pace of the recent RPGs, which is exactly what I needed.

Unless you’re adamantly opposed to first-person shooters as a whole, I can’t recommend Boltgun highly enough. I went in expecting a simple “turn your brain off” shooter to kill some time with, and in some ways that’s exactly what I got. This is a pure power fantasy game, but not shallow or low effort. Whether you have Game Pass or not, don’t skip Boltgun like I did.

Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun is available now on PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC, as well as through Xbox Game Pass as well.

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Jesse Lennox
Jesse Lennox loves writing, games, and complaining about not having time to write and play games. He knows the names of more…
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