The resurgence of old school shooters has given us some corkers in recent times, including the fantastic Prodeus. But to stand out in this new era of DOOM-esque blast-'em-ups, you need a hook — and Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun certainly has that, thanks to its unmistakable Warhammer 40k aesthetic.

You play as a big and bulky space marine, who makes the controller vibrate with every step. Armed with a chainsword and, eventually, a sizeable arsenal of oversized guns, you're tasked with purging heretics on what is essentially a scrap planet. You go from level to level, massacring all that stands in your way, in what is a dense but fairly repetitive campaign.

The core gameplay of Boltgun is great fun. There's a satisfying feel to each weapon, the controls are tight — although you might have to tweak the sensitivity settings a bit — and the action rarely lets up. However, that last point does start to weigh the game down as you progress. The lack of enemy variety becomes a problem later on, and bigger fights against waves and waves of heretics start to feel like a slog. It's not that the surprisingly lengthy campaign completely outstays its welcome, but it definitely drags at times.

Some brutal difficulty spikes only add to the frustration. Even on the normal difficulty setting, Boltgun dishes out cheap deaths, whether it's from pinpoint enemy accuracy as you round a corner, or from the way it tends to spawn bullet sponge enemies one after another. Boltgun is meant to be played at a fast and furious pace, but these moments are often guilty of killing the momentum.

If you can look past the repetition and the roadblocks, Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun is a largely solid shooter. It nails the visuals, the guns generally feel great, and the sound design is suitably punchy — just don't expect it to push beyond those foundations.