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Everything We Know About Warhammer 40,000: Darktide

The follow-up to Vermintide brings excellent co-op gameplay for the new generation

It’s been quite the journey for developer Fatshark, from humble origins to being one of the strongest developers in Stockholm, Sweden. Now, they stand at making another big impact in the video game scene around the world with the upcoming release of Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, the latest adaptation of Warhammer 40,000 in video games and a big efforts from a well-established team. With new monstrous enemies to fight and a futuristic setting, the team leaves the vermin behind and embraces the chaos of the 41st Millennium. This is everything we know about Warhammer 40,000: Darktide.

Welcome to the war, kid

War never changes, which is most definitely the case in Games Workshop Warhammer 40,000 universe. In the 41st Millennium, there is only war, and it has come to the planet, Atoma Prime. Entities of Chaos have arrived in secret and the Inquisition of the Imperium sends a small team to investigate. These are no ordinary Inquisitorial Agents, and certainly not like loyal Inquisitors in the ARPG Warhammer 40000 Martyr. This is a rag-tag team of Rejects from the bottom of the barrel, coming from completely different backgrounds. Essentially, the Rejects are the Suicide Squad of Warhammer 40,000: Darktide . With the enemy relatively unknown and the danger running high, the Inquisition dispatches the agents into the bowels of the planet to hunt down Chaos and destroy it.

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide builds upon the success set within Warhammer Vermintide- End Times and Warhammer: Vermintide II. Players choose a class, their weapons and perks, then embark on missions with various objectives. On each mission, players face seemingly endless hordes of enemies, some stronger than others, making teamwork quintessential to survival and victory. Each mission could take upwards of fifteen to thirty minutes, pitting players into levels that are constantly changing and unpredictable. In particular, the game’s AI employed the “Conflict Director” to maintain a sense of unpredictability. This level of polish and refinement comes from an established history in game development, coming from games such as Lead and Gold: Gangs of The Wild West and War of the Roses.

Building off the foundations of Vermintide

Before the Vermintide games, the team established an incredible foundation, built by enthusiasm and respect for the world of Warhammer and tabletop games. The team at Fatshark had always wanted to make a Warhammer-themed game for years, but lacked the personel to do so. When Axume Studios, the Headhunter developers, had closed their studio down, many were brought aboard. Moreover, the team grew following the unexpected demise of GRIN studios in 2009, another Stockhom-based studio responsible for Wanted: Weapons of Fate and the 2009 iteration of Bionic Commando. Eventually, the opportunity to work with games Workshop presented itself and became a dream come true for Fatshark. The two companies worked closely together and created the first Vermintide game.

To understand Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is to understand the foundation set in the Vermintide games. Players and critics lauded the sensation of using magic and melee weapons to destroy the vermin enemies. At its foundation, the first Vermintide built a co-op system that was reputable, fluid, and rewarding to players. The eight and power of melee weapons, along with magical abilities, creating resoundingly engaging combat that kept players wanting more. Moreover, the presentation was remarkable, with sharp physics and assets that put players into the world of Warhammer. In a gaming space devoid of the the enthralling thrills that co-op shooter Left 4 Dead gave players, the Vermintide games left a remarkable impression, receiving awards and praise from players can critics alike.

Intergalactic cooperative action

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide builds upon that foundation, but evolves it further into the Warhammer 40,000 universe. The biggest difference will be weaponry. Intergalactic firearms are the focal point of Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, from lasers to bolters to plasma weapons and so on. While Melee weapons have not been omitted, the focus will be on the dynamic dimensions of using firearms. Each weapon will be substantially different, depending on the class chosen. The trailers show a bevy of weapons to choose from, from energy-based plasma guns to heavy bolters that can shred an enemy with their ridiculously large rounds. The ranged weapons of Warhammer 40,000: Darktide also include lasers guns that can sear the flesh off enemies, and explosives that can easily blow a hole through a large foe.

At the start Warhammer 40,000: Darktide will have 4 playable classes: Veteran, Zealot, Orgyn, and Psyker. A significant upgrade is the use of a fully customizable character creator, allowing players to create their very own Reject, from the voice to the facial features. The Veteran is the traditional soldier class, with a specific focus on firearms, but still able to wield a Warhammer. Zealots are the faster but more faithfully focused class, bringing flamethrowers and swords tot he mix. The Orgyn is the heavy tank class, able to absorb plenty of damage and dish out punishing firepower, even using a mounted shield for protection. The Psyker, while not shown yet, is expected to utilize long-range attacks and psychic powers. Based on the their work on Vermintide, Fatshark is providing a bevy of options for players, allowing them to tailor the experience to their desires.

Take on the Chaos

Adding to the uniqueness and challenge of Warhammer 40,000: Darktide are the environments, as well as the enemies faced. Gone are the towns and forests. Players go into a labyrinthian dungeon of steel, fire, and concrete. Each mission will have primary and secondary objectives to complete, all strewn in the level like a maze of sorts. Tight, small rooms can expand to massive chambers, where the fires of the furnace illuminate for miles.

The enemy, Chaos, doesn’t make things easier. Unlike the rat-like Skaven of Vermintide, Chaos is an amalgamation of enemies from the black gulfs of space that unite against the Imperium, and The Emperor, from the morbid Nurgle to the hate-filled Khorne. In the Warhammer 400000 universe, Chaos spreads like a plague, twisting and mutating the minds of mortals to become the enemies of the Imperium. These also include formidable Chaos Marines, who were formerly Marines of the Imperium, to the hell-bent Soul Grinders that seek unending destruction. Expect the enemy to be varied and unpredictable, as well as constantly changing on the fly, like a mutagenic virus. With this, they key to survival, and victory, lies in adaptation to change and switching tactics at a moments notice. Of course, it goes without saying, but teamwork makes the difference between a triumphant victory and an embarrassing defeat.

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide blasts out this month!

With the Beta having wrapped up, players arrived in masses to experience the carnage of Warhammer 40,000: Darktide for themselves. Data shows that over half a billion enemies were slain, with the commonly played class being The Veteran. However, almost 1 billion players were killed, with the deadliest enemy being listed as The Scab Mauler. The Beta clearly shows promise for Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, especially for the long term.

Like its predecessors, Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is filling a voice and that is the thrill of cooperative play. The chance to defeat menacing and dangerous foes through the power of teamwork, and cutting edge weapons, is a reward unlike any other in games. The team has come quite a ways from it humble beginnings, and has celebrated every moment spent making the game of their dreams. Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is shaping to be the definite co-op experience of the generation, from the bevy of options for players to tailor their experience, down to the thrill of mowing down hordes of Chaos with the thunder of a heavy bolter. It’s a dark future, but someone has to purge the heretics for The Emperor Protects!

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide launches for Steam on Wednesday November 30 with a port to Xbox Series X/S later Warhammer 40,000: Darktide will be available Day One on Xbox Game Pass.

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