The Inquisitor


Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisitor!


In The Inquisitor (or to use its full title 'I, The Inquisitor') you play as Mordimer Madderdin, sent to a town called Koenigstein in an alternative 1533 to investigate reports of missing people, gory murders and rumours of a vampire.

I say 'alternative' because the story is based on Jesus Christ being a rather different character to the one I read about in the Bible. Some have labelled it sacrilegious and blasphemous, but without dropping huge spoilerbombs I'd just call it a fanciful re-imagining of what would have happened if Jesus was the vengeful type, like his Dad, and encouraged his followers to be the same.

Mordimer sees things in visions, triggered by people and objects as you search for clues and follow a trail to solve various mysteries. You can also use "Prayer" (LT & RT) to see places and objects of interest in the city. These reveal collectibles, evidentiary items and temples that Mordimer can pray at, which I believe act as restart points should you die. The Inquisitor's journey is a twisty tale and the city is quite complex but it's difficult to get lost, all you have to do is ‘pray’ and a white beam will show your next objective(s).

The city is a varied and impressive location.

When certain clues are found, Mordimer can pray and visit "the Unworld", a dark, murky place where supernatural forces try to hamper your progress. Some Unworld areas are submerged in "the void", and they slow you down and attract the Murk (it looks a bit like the Sentinels out of The Matrix) and its monster-like minions. The object in this weird and disturbing realm is to salvage shards of memory in order to solve the plot's various mysteries. The Unworld sections get increasingly difficult and confusing, but never too hard or frustrating as a quick "pray" will usually reveal another objective.

The game has its graphic moments...

QTEs (Quick Time Events) figure sporadically, and they're quite easy to do and rarely impinge on the action. For QTE haters (and I know they're out there) you can turn them to 'automatic'.

The city is very evocative and atmospheric, and is quite an expanse, sadly without requiring that Mordimer take to horseback–which is a shame as there are several standing around doing nothing. The character models are okay, but nowhere near the standards of other recent adventures like say, Fort Solis or The Callisto Protocol. The character's faces are rather lacking in expression and their lipsync is rather hit and miss–literally missing in places. The period clothing is very believable, only let down slightly by a few glitches in cutscenes, with jewellery in particular taking on a life of its own. However, the overall look of the game is good, and it plays smoothly.

This clown leads you on a merry chase, Tracking him down is quite the hunt, He talks in rhyme and wears a cursed mask on his face, He really is a rather annoying c̶u̶n̶... chap

The sword combat has a standard setup; 'X' is fast hit, 'Y' is hard hit, 'A' is dodge and 'RB' is block. Mordimer can also use his sherskin powder to blind an enemy with a tap of 'B' or heal himself by holding it. From your first training fight in the marketplace you'll realise that The Inquisitor's swordplay isn't good. The increasingly common fights are interspersed with occasional head-scratching puzzles and a lot of wandering around talking to NPCs.

The character models vary from 'not bad' to 'awful'.

The sound is really good, but unfortunately the sound levels are all over the place, meaning that the music frequently drowns out the dialogue.

As I mentioned previously there are aspects of the Inquisitor that are done well–some are done extremely well, however the worst part about The Inquisitor is without doubt the combat, which is a massive letdown as it's so central to the game. It feels sluggish and unresponsive, and has some of the vaguest collision detection I've seen this generation–as an example, if compared to a much older Assassin's Creed game it doesn't fare well.

The Unworld is a strange place where Mordimer reveals mysteries to himself...

Refreshingly, developers The Dust clearly want everyone to see the entire story, and while I played The Inquisitor through on the default settings (and if I can complete it, anyone can), should you find any of the story puzzles or the sword fights too tough, in the options you can find skippable puzzles and an easy combat mode which will make Inquisiting a breeze. So thanks for the accessibility options that cater for casual gamers who don't want to slog away at a boss battle they can't beat until they quit, never to return. But then oh dear, there's a branching storyline and missable achievements but no chapter select? Why do developers think we want to play their game through multiple times?

Mordimer does a lot of praying.

Generally The Inquisitor is an engaging, competent title, but then there are moments like when you find a map, and an info screen tells you that they mark the entrances of tunnels on the map to make use of them for fast travel–but the game HAS NO MAP SCREEN! This was just one of the things I'd hoped would be clarified or rectified when the game received a massive 16.9Gb update while I was playing it, but sadly no.

It's not all work, work, work...

Putting aside the controversial storyline I enjoyed the simple gameplay (there's no clambering around) and the way the game allows you to be vengeful or merciful, but the core combat needed a lot more polish to fulfil its lofty ambitions and make inquisitioning cool.

Many thanks to The Dust, Kalypso Media for the review code.