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Rogue Trader: The next CRPG to watch, and the first in the Warhammer 40K universe


When you think about it, the awareness is indeed amazing. Dozens and dozens of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 games have been released in recent decades, and there are almost all genres that lend themselves to it: action-RPG, tactics of course, strategy, 4X, FPS, and even sports games. But there’s never been a true pure RPG, worthy of the name, strangely. It must be said that the universe does not lend itself too much to compromises and nuances, and Fallout already occupied the ground in the sci-fi genre. Relatively young studio Owlcat Games is tackling this challenge, and it gives some good reason to be confident.

Owlcat Games will adapt the rules of the Fantasy Flight TTRPG (aka Rogue Trader) into an isometric CRPG-like video game, based on group play. The graphics engine used is Unity, and the game is planned for PC and consoles. The fights will be managed on a turn-by-turn basis.

What is Rogue Trader?

Rogue Trader is one of the many board games created by Games Workshop, it has its own rules, but its universe is derived from that of the well-known Warhammer 40,000. Rather than participating in one of the major conflicts of the dark license, we there embodies one of the rare sources of hope and freedom of the Imperium: a Rogue Trader (surprise). He is a kind of mix between a privateer, an explorer, a merchant and an adventurer. With his own ship, crew, and freedom nearly unmatched in the Imperium, the Rogue Trader serves the Imperium in his own way by discovering lost worlds, resources, and technologies in exchange for his privileges, as well as a certain tolerance on the part of the imperial institutions. This unique position allows the Rogue Trader to cooperate with different branches of the Imperium, but also with other worlds, with heretics, and even xenos, which would usually earn someone else a summary execution.

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In summary, the Rogue Trader can form and control his own territory on the fringes of the Empire, and have a motley and unconventional crew, which is normally impossible in the Warhammer universe, except for an Inquisitor at a pinch. . So that makes him the ideal character for a CRPG, since it opens the door to all elements of the genre, whether it’s moral choices, exploring unknown and exotic territories, as well as recruiting a eldar elf in the group if the mood takes him. It’s unknown if this will be the case in the video game, but the paper version of Rogue Trader allowed to play an orc, a kroot, a tau warrior, or a renegade psycher among others, to list some of the more exotic choices. It is the variety of available themes and their exoticism that prompted the studio to choose this license.

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This aspect of the gameplay has not yet been addressed at all, but knowing Owlcat Games, there should be an aspect relating to the management of the ship(s), as well as the territories under our influence. After all, she was in the game on paper, and that’s exactly what the studio did in Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. Hopefully, however, they have really improved, since it was quite cumbersome in terms of the interface and loading times, and it is by far the least popular aspect of the game among players. Several ship models are in any case confirmed in game, since there is one listed in the list of premium packages Game.

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More info about Rogue Trader

The game will take place in the Koronus sector, probably before the advent of the great rift, but this remains to be confirmed. It is designed to be affordable by players unfamiliar with the Warhammer 40,000 license and its particularly rich lore.

We play the heir to the Von Valancius house, who takes over and who will decide the future orientation of the organization following the death or disappearance of Teodora. The character can be created freely by the player, with different possible appearances, origins and professions that will determine his skills. Some original examples are Crime Lord and Commissar.

Different factions will obviously be present, such as Chaos, Eldar, Dark Eldar and Necrons. Which will be so many opportunities to sink into heresy. The game is to be expected to have several drastically different endings, depending on the path taken. Each faction has its own fighting style, which will require adaptation.

Several planets are confirmed, including an agricultural world, and a forge world.

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Many elements in Rogue Trader’s gameplay and orientation are reminiscent of Pathfinder. Besides the turn-based combat system (although the rules are different, and they are based on D100). For example, the active party is made up of 6 characters. Each has its particularities and character. They will not hesitate to let you know their opinion, and the situation can degenerate, even turn confrontational in some cases. It must be said that committing a heretical act in front of a Battle Sister is probably not a good idea. They may also have conflicts with each other. Rarely for the Warhammer 40,000 universe, romances should also be possible. We always knew you dreamed of kissing an orc.

For the moment, the confirmed companions are:

  • A Space Marine from the Space Wolves Chapter
  • An Eldar Ranger
  • A Sister of Battle (Adepta Sororitas)
  • Browser
  • An Inquisition Interrogator
  • Our Seneschal, who also acts as a right-hand man for the management of his territories and fleets
  • An Unsanctioned Psycher
  • An Adeptus Mechanicus Magos Explorator, which you will surely need to operate the ship.

Other Xenos should be revealed soon, but there will be no Squat. It has been confirmed that companions can be specialized and played in different ways. For example, the Space Wolf can be played purely in melee, ranged, or as a hybrid.

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Alpha, beta and release date

Rogue Trader has been in development for a long time, but is still in pre-alpha. It is possible that it will arrive in alpha version on Steam within a few months, but no date has been given. By extension, there is also no release date. An optimistic estimate is sometime 2023 for release, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see it arrive until 2024 (or beyond). To participate in the beta, or even the alpha on PC, you must acquire one of the paid packs on the game site.

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