Casting ‘magic’ in the Warhammer 40,000 universe is an incredibly risky business. The psychic (see: Space Wizard) must draw his power out of the warp, an unstable dimension that is home to demons and confused gods. Therefore, every magic, no matter how trivial or powerful, comes with the chance of injury, madness, demonic possession or death. Warhammer 40,000: In the upcoming RPG from Rogue Trader, Owlcat Games, you have to weigh that risk every time you think of eliminating the enemy with your mind.

Perils of the Warp, a system that controls the way you live to cast your head the next day, is one of Alexander Gusev’s favorite mechanics in the 2009 Rogue Trader, a tabletop RPG set in the dark future of the 41st millennium. He and other members of the Owlcat dev team played the game for years and so dreamed of the opportunity to turn this pen-and-paper hobby into a video game. But then a golden pitch of the Games Workshop and that dream came true; Gusev is now the creative director on the first ever Warhammer 40k video game RPG.

“We were making a lot of sandbox-style RPGs [other developers], ”Says Gusev, referring to the studio’s amazingly open Pathfinder Games. “Your kingdom was. You were traveling, exploring the map, learning about this unknown place, The Stolen Lands. And it kept reminding me of what parties in Rogue Trader do. ”

In many Warhammer 40k video games you have participated in the millennium-long quest of mankind to erase every other race in the galaxy (there are no good people here, sorry). But rogue traders, with their gorgeous spaceships and impeccable fashion tastes, are not your war-hungry space marines. “Rogue traders shine in a way that is different from many other groups in the Warhammers Empire in which you can interact with xenos. [aliens] In other ways than killing them, ”explains Gusev.

Rogue Trader’s goal is to explore, trade, and deal with brokers in territories beyond the limits of imperial space so that they are free to see the unfamiliar side of the universe. “He’s probably the best [subject] In a Warhammer 40k setting to approach CRPG perspectives, ”says Gusev. “It gives us the opportunity to give you powerful enemies and do truly epic things without going completely away from the RPG part and going into battle completely. It allows us to show the world and show how ordinary people live there and how quiet parts of the Empire look.

A Rogue Trader Imperial Cruiser. (Image Credit: Games Workshop / Meteor Games)

The freedom of the rogue trader to negotiate and the recruitment of aliens means that the tension in your crew will inevitably increase. Your protagonist will be surrounded by characters who can only be described as religious zealots, and each has their own explanation of how to serve the God-emperor of mankind. For many people, simply saying “hello” to someone outside their species is considered the highest form of hypocrisy. And so it looks like part of the Rogue Trader challenge will be managing your party’s conflicting approach.

Gusev teases, “There are definitely high points of conflict in our game. “There are some points where you can allow one character to kill another character. The Adapta Sororitas character, for example, will not be comfortable around unapproved cyclists. ”

If you want to see those particular sparks fly, you can recruit… just an Adepta Sororitas (warrior nun) and an uncertified cyclist in your retirement. Other hired companions include Seneschal (your right hand pulled from the Imperial Navy), Adaptus Mechanics Magos (Cyborg Engineer), a questioner in the Inquisition, a Navigator, and – of course – a Space Marine from the Tribal Space Wolves chapter. .

“We were looking for characters who would show the world different perspectives,” says Gusev Ulkat’s teammates. Although all of the above characters belong to the Imperium, they each have different cultures and conflicting beliefs. Of course, the real oddity would be Eldry Ranger, a space elf in a kingdom much older than mankind, who will no doubt be viewed with suspicion by his human bank mates.

We were looking for characters who would show the world from different perspectives.


Resolving disputes between your quarrelsome crew will be one of the many, many options in Rogue Trader. Gusev promises a full-fledged narrative, “There will be significant differences, depending on what choices you make in different parts of the game,” he assures me. “Some of the decisions you make in the first half of the game can change the rest of the game very dramatically.”

Gusev says, “We’re still developing a companion-focused classic RPG, so Olcat fans can be sure that Pathfinder’s values ​​will enter the 41st millennium. “You can change this character. They will have personal discoveries, they will have their own epilogue. Some of them may not be very convenient in some of the choices you make. And you will be able – the way you interact with them, the way you interact with them, the way you react to their interruptions in certain conversations, and so on – you will be able to change their destiny. ”

Although rogue traders can focus a lot on your crew, their personal stories are only part of the grand picture. As the trailer for the announcement unfolds, the story will feature several notable groups of Warhammer 40k, including Chaos, Aeldari, Dhrukari and Necrons. Where Warhammer stories usually take two or three groups and throw them into battle, Rogue Trader is ready to explore multiple fronts.

“We have an advantage here, because our games are very long, so the stories are not short,” Gusev explains. “Those enemies are not identified as deus ex machina. We have time to introduce them and connect them to the story. ”

Royal servant  (Image Credit: Meteor Games / Games Workshop)

Royal servant (Image Credit: Meteor Games / Games Workshop)

At the very least you can expect a great variety of enemies, then, with a collection of enemies will be lovingly translated from their plastic micro form into digital models. You can then fly them into bits in turn-based combat, a new venture for Ulcat (real-time-with-pause was used for Pathfinder). “We chose to go turn-based because we wanted to focus more on combat encounters and more on each persona and what they do,” says Gusev.

It brings us back to the Perils of the Warp. While Gusev is reluctant to explain how Owlcat adapted the tabletop rules for Rogue Trader’s combat system, your unapproved cyclist could potentially destroy their brain if you are not careful. But Gusev promises that many of the artwork in the 40k arsenal will be present, appropriate, and the machine will be God’s blessing. “We will have both riot and range weapons. It’s not uncommon for games to be based on multiple turns, but it’s very common for a Warhammer to have a bolt pistol and a sword at the same time. ” Hopefully this will make the lines between hierarchical and close-combat battles interestingly blurred.

Right now we can’t say when Rog Trader will expect to see a release, but Owlcat already has a series of beta stages planned which can be accessed by purchasing a pack of founders. I personally am very interested in getting my hands on it as soon as possible, as there is nothing like Rogue Trader in the extensive library of Warhammer video games currently available.

This type of character-led storytelling is really only accessible through the Black Library; Huge collection of games workshop novels. And yet, there are many war stories in which the Space Marines are seen unloading cargo-worth ammunition in a foreign army. It’s rare to see the kind of party-based adventure that RPG tells us in the 41st millennium, and I was fascinated by what Owlcat does with the freedom provided by Rogue Trader.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader – Trailer Screenshot

Matt Perslow is IGN’s UK News and Features Editor.