“What is that sound?” my wife yelled from the other room, 20 minutes into my first session of Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun.
I was playing the game on the Asus ROG Ally I had connected to the TV in our tiny, temporary rental. The handheld Ally was propped up on an inactive heating panel, and it was rumbling non-stop. Every thunderous step of my Space Marine Sternguard, every shot, every explosion, every chainsword dismemberment rattled the wall-mounted panel, and she could both hear and slightly feel that one room over. I explained what was happening, but I was smirking the whole time, struck by some distant memories.
Tearing through dumb-as-rocks soldiers and demons? Stomping around in armored boots that sound like a mid-’90s Nine Inch Nails rhythm track? Losing track of time in the depths of a catacomb? You can’t go home again, but Boltgun gave me the occasional sense that I was back in front of a CRT monitor and Creative Labs speakers, annoying everybody within earshot.