Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Review | First Step For The Emperor

80
Story
8
Gameplay
9
Visuals
7
Audio
8
Value for Money
8
Price:
$ 49
Clear Time:
8 Hours
Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader is a robust CRPG with tons of options on character customization, abilities, classes, and more. Its multitude of options allows you to role play as a Rogue Trader of your own background and style which leads to unique experiences down the line. The Warhammer universe and lore is massive and this game doesn’t pull its punches when it comes to dropping jargon left and right. People new to Warhammer may need to take some time to read on these terminologies as it is overwhelming. Nevertheless, this is a great first step to Warhammer getting CRPG follow ups as the franchise is perfect for the genre.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader is the first ever CRPG in the Warhammer franchise developed by Owlcat Games. Read our review to see what it did well, what it didn't do well, and if it's worth buying.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Review Overview

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Checkmark Massive Variety In Classes and Abilities
Checkmark Great Voice Acting
Checkmark Choices Actually Matter
Checkmark Lack of Voice Acting In Some Parts
Checkmark Visuals Leave A Lot To Be Desired

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Overall - 80/100

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader is a robust CRPG with tons of options on character customization, abilities, classes, and more. Its multitude of options allows you to role play as a Rogue Trader of your own background and style which leads to unique experiences down the line. The Warhammer universe and lore is massive and this game doesn’t pull its punches when it comes to dropping jargon left and right. People new to Warhammer may need to take some time to read on these terminologies as it is overwhelming. Nevertheless, this is a great first step to Warhammer getting CRPG follow ups as the franchise is perfect for the genre.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Story - 8/10

The story leads up to you becoming a Rogue Trader, which is a high position of power under the Imperials allowing you to have freedom to explore uncharted territories for Mankind. While the prologue is indeed slow, the game lets you have free rein as to what to start with afterwards, which allows you to shape your own story. Dialogue choices are also important as your decisions will impact the outcomes of these small chapters, and as a result, will change the conclusion of certain quests.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Gameplay - 9/10

The gameplay isn’t necessarily a revelation by any means, as it is very similar to other cover-based CRPGs like Fallout Tactics, Wasteland, and to some extent XCOM. However, it offers the vast options that Warhammer has to offer and you’re completely free to use whatever is available. All the skills and classes mixed with the mechanics of the game make for a paradise for those who want to optimize and create multiple characters to experiment builds on.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Visuals - 7/10

The visuals of the game aren’t really something to write home about. The models of the game aren’t great, you could tell that they weren’t really the focus of the developers. However, it does show off the diversity of the locales and areas of Warhammer and a good job at that.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Audio - 8/10

The audio design of the game is very good. The music in the game shows off the dark and gritty world of Warhammer 40K and fits the bill for every encounter. Sound effects are also great as the feedback from shooting guns as well as hitting them is satisfying.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Value for Money - 8/10

The game is listed at $50 and is honestly worth it for the amount of content that the game offers. It also functions as a way for more people to get into the Warhammer franchise as this game introduces you to a lot of factions in the IP. It’s a fairly standard CRPG with its own unique skills and classes, but considering that this is the franchise’s first one, it’s only the start of something great.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Review: First Step For The Emperor

Warhammer 40K is a massive franchise, so massive that it’s very daunting to actually get into due to the gigantic lore and unique factions in the game. The franchise also has its fair share of games in different genres and I’m actually quite surprised that this is their first CRPG. It shows off the franchise’s unique units and factions and how they interact with each other.

So let’s get into it. The game is a fairly standard CRPG with unique mechanics littered with Warhammer-specific abilities and classes. It follows the standard cover system with the added bonus of having friendly fire which means you have to be extra careful with positioning. There is a ton of variety with the amount of classes and talents there are in the game and the combinations are massive even with the amount of characters that you’re eventually going to be handling.

In addition to this, it’s more of an encounter-to-encounter basis as you heal after every encounter save for the penalty if a character dies. I can understand that not everyone would like this design at a glance as it eliminates the planning from each encounter, but after playing through a couple areas, this actually works very well since they designed each encounter to be difficult especially with the boss fights.

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As a CRPG, the game is filled with choices that push the narrative based on your decisions. There are choices that literally have you nuke a planet because you are able to. It showed that being a rogue trader is being THAT guy, wherein you have agency to do what you want because you’re authorized to. You can be devoted to the Emperor and chart explorations for the good of Mankind, you can also be a goody-two-shoes saving the people in the different planets, and you can actually be a renegade making deals with opposing factions to fuel your expeditions. The choice is definitely yours and these have consequences, but with the amount of different choices you can make it definitely opens up multiple playthroughs to make different choices.

Overall, this game is a great first step for Warhammer in the CRPG space. Owlcat has been known to make great CRPGs with Pathfinder and they’ve proven that they can continue to make these with a gigantic IP like Warhammer. The franchise has always been known to really hammer in a lot of terminologies which can overwhelm a lot of people that are not familiar to the franchise. This is still true for Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader. However, due to the confined and slower pace nature of CRPGs, you are able to take your time and immerse yourself in the massive lore in Warhammer.

Pros of Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader

Things Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Got Right
Checkmark Massive Variety In Classes and Abilities
Checkmark Great Voice Acting
Checkmark Choices Actually Matter

Massive Variety In Classes and Abilities

I’ve already said it again and again, Warhammer is huge in terms of its lore and factions. Now there are a sizable number of classes in the game that’s available, and each basic class multiclasses into a secondary class with each other. It offers tons of variety with the different builds that you’ll be using and also mixing in with the different characters in your team making the perfect killing squad.

Great Voice Acting

The game features some voice acting and honestly I quite like it. It hammers the dark fantasy world with the great voice acting of the core characters. It gives life to the unique characters in your team as well as they’re all from different backgrounds and origins.

Choices Actually Matter

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The game’s narrative is you being the sole inheritor of the rogue trader title, and how you are as a rogue trader is completely up to you. You can be the most despicable individual or the biggest goody-two-shoes the Koronus Expanse has ever seen, and it will show in the outcomes of the side missions and quests you’ll be doing.

Cons of Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader

Things That Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Can Improve
Checkmark Lack of Voice Acting In Some Parts
Checkmark Visuals Leave A Lot To Be Desired

Lack of Voice Acting In Some Parts

While there are dialogue and cutscenes that have voice acting, it’s very jarring when suddenly these characters are mute in some dialogue. It’s a wasted opportunity as I believe the voice acting in the game is pretty good and actually enhances the experience.

Visuals Leave A Lot To Be Desired

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The game isn’t the best visually, it looks very dated for a 2023 game of this caliber. While it’s not necessarily the worst looking game of 2023, it seems like a wasted opportunity to show off the unique details of every faction to its fullest.

Is Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Worth It?

Yes. It’s Time To Get Into Warhammer (If You’re Into CRPGs).

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Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader is a great CRPG offering and Owlcat Games absolutely smashed it as their first Warhammer CRPG. It’s a game that offers you the opportunity to be a space pirate-slash-combat diplomat for Mankind and you can be whoever you want to be in a universe as unforgiving as Warhammer. You may have been on the fence on trying out a Warhammer game, and you may be a CRPG fan like me, this is your sign. It’s time to try it out and get into it.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Overview & Premise

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As a Rogue Trader, you must gather your crew of psykers, marksmen, and warriors to travel through the vast and perilous Koronus expanse to explore and seek profit for the Imperium of Man. Make a multitude of decisions either staying faithful to the God-Emperor or make alliances with the enemies of Mankind in this world where your actions and choices matter.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader FAQ

In Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, How Do I Add Custom Portraits?

When creating a new character, click on custom portraits and in the lower portion you will see a button that will open the specific folder path to add images for custom portraits.

In Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, Can You Romance Companions?

Yes, you can. However, there are a limited number of romantic partners available in the game.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Product Information

Warhammer 40
Title WARHAMMER 40,000: ROGUE TRADER
Release Date December 8, 2023
Developer Owlcat Games
Publisher Owlcat Games
Supported Platforms PC (Steam, GOG, Epic Games), PS5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Strategy RPG
Number of Players 1
ESRB Rating Teen
Official Website Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader Website
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