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First off let me say that any screenshots or pictures on this page are from the internet and not screenshots from my playing the game. This isn't because I didn't try to take screenshots, just that all I got was a blank page . Okay that's that matter cleared up. Now what about the game? Here's how the official blurb goes ‘Eisenhorn: XENOS’ is an immersive, fully 3D adventure game, adapted from ‘Xenos’, the first book in Games Workshop’s best-selling ‘Eisenhorn’ trilogy, written by award winning author Dan Abnett. Set in the grim, dark future of Warhammer 40,000 ‘Eisenhorn: XENOS’ lets you experience firsthand the story of Gregor Eisenhorn, an Inquisitor and member of the ‘Ordo Xenos’, sent out to fight and protect the Imperium of man from anything that may threaten it. Players will get to play through and experience the events of ‘Xenos’ as Eisenhorn himself (as voiced excellently by Mark Strong), exploring the vast expanse of the Warhammer 40k universe in ways never seen before".

If you vist Amazon or any good book selling website or shop you will find a series of Warhammer 40K books (and others) from prolific author Dan Abnett. How close the game is to Xenos, the first of the WH40K books, I cannot truly say as I haven't read the book, so I can only judge the game from my playing of it and not with any preconceived ideas as to what it should or shouldn't be.

The first thing to note is that the backgrounds, mostly not interactive, are hugely impressive, being all gothic, dark, stone, metal and gold leaf; they look like places you would find on an Easter European holiday if you were on an adventurous type of tour. Or they are the type of buildings you would expect to construct from the scenery found in a Games Workshop mega game box, except you would have to apply the dark and gold painting.

 

As you would expect the game gives you the chance to play it on Easy, Normal or Hard mode. Playing on Easy I got quite far into it before finally dying after being overwhelmed by about a dozen of the zombie-like creatures. The game has you controlling Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn.  [ the following description of an Inquisitor comes from: Here ] "An Inquisitor is a clandestine agent and highest-ranking member of the Imperial Inquisition. They are the secret policemen and intelligence agency of the Imperium, driven by ancient order of the Emperor of Mankind to ensure the security of the Imperium of Man from the taints of Chaos, the daemonic threats of the Warp and the dangers presented to Mankind by intelligent alien species like the Orks, theTyranids, the Eldar, the Necrons and the Tau. Split into three main Orders, the Ordo Xenos (Alien Hunters), the Ordo Malleus (Daemon Hunters) and the Ordo Hereticus (Witch Hunters), the Inquisition is ruthless in uncovering and snuffing out Chaotic corruption, heresy, and mutation wherever they may be found among the million worlds of Mankind".

Gregor uses the Amalathian Philosophies of the Inquisition (The most conservative form of Puritanism in the Inquisition, Amalathians (named after Mount Amalath, where its tenets were first set down at an Inquisitorial conclave) believe that the Emperor has some sort of divine plan for the Imperium, and the Inquisitions purpose is to protect the Imperium as that plan becomes visible. Change is considered the greatest enemy (which may have some sense to it), with the exception that they seek to overcome the factionalism so common within the Adeptus Terra. The irony that the Amalathians are themselves technically a faction is not lost on them. You'd think that a group which holds the Imperium at present is perfect would be off its rocker, but they're actually a fairly reasonable group who prefer to get shit done rather than bicker and bitch over territorial disputes. At the time period of this game Gregor Eisenhorn is a staunch Amalathian, eventually, as he ages, he will fall into Radicalism).

 

The game takes place on the Planet Hubris, a desolate world that suffers extreme cold for almost half of it's orbiting of its sun. Techno Magi from Belacane managed to convert a fleet of Ark ships into hibernation chambers which allow the inhabitants to stay alive year after year, however super bad dude Pontius Glaw is abusing these poor souls which, as far as I can gather, is which is why Gregor is now there. I have a feeling that the creatures attacking Gregor are the inhabitants who have been "modified" by Glaw but I cannot be exactly sure as I haven't heard, read or seen anything as yet, it's just a feeling.

In the game Gregor has an Auspex, a device that he uses to manipulate and activate (turning on, off or detonating etc) electronic devices - this helps a lot with the electro-mines that are often left on the floor in front of him. As usual the suspect he is chasing manages to always be just far enough ahead so that even when he/you catch a glimpse of them you have no chance to catch him (just like the serial killer on TV shows, always in the right place at the right time).

 

From a gamers point of view this is a trip down memory lane. Nothing is new, movement, combat all is run of the mill, regular button pushing, left for melee, right for ranged. Gregor is fast with his blade but the ranged combat is rather cumbersome and slow. The animation is a little chunky but acceptable and as I said before, the backgrounds and backdrops generally have the "wow" factor. The close up graphics are another thing though; they are quite solid and lacking in detail. Character's hair, for example looks like cheap, bad, wigs (of the helmet style). Combat is around almost every corner but unfortunately what or who the fighting is against rarely varies and so it becomes a procession of creatures lining up to be cut down by your swinging blade, beginning as exciting but eventually becoming tedious.

This may be the WarHammer 40K world and it may be based on the WH40K stories by Dan Abnett, but it isn't the best of the WH40K games available, either currently or previously.

The Standard PC version is priced at $19.99, £14.99, €19.99, and is currently discounted to $14.59, £10.94, €14.59 until August 16th. A ‘Deluxe Edition’, which includes a copy of 'Eisenhorn: XENOS' the game, the full game soundtrack, a digital artbook, a special Eisenhorn prequel comic, and a digital copy of the original novel 'Xenos' by Dan Abnett will be available for $49.99, £34.99, €49.99, which is currently discounted to $36.49, £25.54, €36.49. The iOS version is priced at $9.99, £7.99, $9.99.
For more information, visit the:
Official website at www.pixelherogames.com
Game’s Steam page at http://store.steampowered.com/app/373920/
App Store page at: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/eisenhorn-xenos/id996948313?mt=8

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015