Ever since I found out that Fatshark was developing and publishing Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, I have been counting down the days to get my hands on this amazing first-person shooter. And when I jumped into the game over the weekend, it was well worth the wait. Now is the game perfect? Not by a long shot, but that is what alpha testing is all about. Is the game going down the right path? Yes, it is and I’m truly excited to see what lies ahead.
With just under 34 hours of gameplay under my belt, I see great things on the horizon for Darktide and a ton of room to grow exponentially. If you like games like Vermintide or Left 4 Dead, I wholeheartedly recommend this game. With the action, music, and dialogue, this game could be the game of the year, and that is saying a lot.
When you first start up Darktide, you get to design your character. Now I found this bit lacking as there were not very many options to choose from. In fact with the options that were made available at this time, I seem to have found mirror copies of my character running around everywhere. I’m sure when future betas come out they will provide more options, so I am not dinging the game with all my doppelgangers running loose. I mean in Warhammer almost all look alike per your army.
Next, you get to jump into the tutorial or the Psykhanium. In my opinion, I found this tutorial to be very effective and interesting. It helped with getting the basis of each class in terms of equipment, skills, and movement abilities. This tutorial has a basic and advanced side, so you are always able to learn or refreshen your tactics.
I found out my favorite class so far is Psyker. I think it fits my play style best, however, I also found it to be the most bugged out of the classes that I tried. Sometimes when I reload a few shots then I cannot fire for the rest of the animation, and others are able to reload the entire magazine after a few shots. They also need to give better instructions for the perk system going forward. I found it at most times to be very confusing for myself and for some of my new gaming friends. I know going forward this may be less of an issue if they can make it so we can see when the perks were available or what level will be required.
During the lower difficulties, the combat is straightforward and satisfying, and the higher the difficulty the more strategic the players need to become. The combat does, however, become repetitious. Luckily with the increased specials and Pox Walker hordes, I was never too bored to keep pushing forward.
The loot that you get is sporadic at best but it does make it a blast learning new weapons or seeing if the weapon you have is worth it. I found a shovel at level 6 that I used clear up to level 17 because of the damage it did. I was doing more damage with melee than some players were doing the shooting, and I felt important to the group.
When it comes to the interaction between the players, the dialogue is not only entertaining but I found it funny and an interesting way to tell the story of what has happened to the Hive City. Each character’s opinion during each conversation is very lore accurate in most cases from some of the research I found and other players I was able to play with. The “customizable” background does immerse the player into the world of 40k, but the only choice of background that will impact the dialogue appears to only be the voice you choose for that character.
Unfortunately, one thing that was dissatisfying to me was the grouping of random players. Unless you are in a group you level with, I found at times that when I was in a level 4 game or Difficulty 3 I was put in a group of level 1’s that normally got slaughtered before we even have a chance. I do hope this is looked into in the future so this is less of an issue. I mean you could buy equipment to help bring levels up, but I rather save that for endgame stuff later.
All in all this game is amazing, and I can not wait to see what will be adjusted moving forward and how Fatshark proceeds with this game. I know right now I am already SOLD on getting it, but there are things they still need to address to make this game the Game of the Year.
I truly have high hopes for this game and I know some of my friends are foaming at the mouth to get their hands on it. Warhammer 40,000: Darktide comes to Steam on Nov. 30, 2022, for $39.99 or you can get the Imperial Edition for $59.99. The game is also coming to Xbox Series X/S shortly after.
This preview was written based on a PC closed beta demo for Warhammer 40,000: Darktide.