The meat and potatoes of Warhammer 40,000: Darktide have at all times been stable. It’s a blast to delve into the Hive Metropolis of Tertium as a psyker, veteran, zealot, or ogryn. The sport’s fight is brutal, visceral, and deeply satisfying; the soundtrack is an absolute banger and I really like the chats between every character class. However the recreation struggled to take care of post-launch momentum as a result of techniques exterior of every match, like weapons upgrades, character development, and late-game selection.
Darktide’s most up-to-date patch, which was launched Oct. 3, might change all of that. I’ve been digging by means of the depths of Tertium, giving every class a spin, and I’m impressed with how way more dynamic every character feels. The 4 lessons every have new main instruments – as an example, the psyker is usually a long-ranged glass cannon who pops particular enemies with a mind burst, a protecting pal who throws up shields round their allies, or a Sith Lord with all types of lethal projectiles who shreds teams of foes.
Including depth to Darktide
With the intention to compensate after placing all these thrilling new instruments in gamers’ fingers, Fatshark has buffed up the enemies too. Snipers, Trappers, and Chaos Ogryn have at all times felt like a risk, they usually’re even meaner now. Even humble dangerous guys who beforehand served as street bumps now have a bit of extra kick to them, just like the Scab Shotgunner. The tip result’s that matches really feel extra fraught and harmful — particularly on greater difficulties. The maps and music are the identical, however the technique has extra nuance; the sport now looks like Darktide 2.0.
Right here’s how the adjustments work in observe: Every character has a grenade, a category means, and an aura. For example, the ogryn will get to decide on between throwing a rock, throwing a field of small grenades, or throwing one large grenade. Every possibility has its professionals and cons; one could be nice at eliminating an enormous particular goal, whereas the opposite choices are good at eliminating small teams of specialists or an enormous horde of swarming poxwalkers.
Every class can select between three new class talents, together with one which’s a a lot stronger, upgraded model of their unique means. The opposite two dramatically change the way in which the category performs out in-game. The veteran can use their means to spotlight enemy specialists and volley hearth from afar, or they could select the choice that permits them to duck into stealth. Lastly, the auras give the remainder of your get together a lift in a useful stat like toughness or cooldown discount.
These talents are linked in a expertise tree net; the massive headline selections are accompanied by smaller stat boosts and utility talents. My large critique of the brand new system is the complete expertise tree construction is overwhelming. Selection paralysis settles in quick, particularly coming to it as a participant with a number of level-30 characters. It’d be good for Fatshark to additional emphasize which selections matter most, and to make clear the intent of every expertise path a bit of extra. As soon as I acquired over my uncertainty and began making some selections, I had loads of enjoyable experimenting with all of the enjoyable new toys within the cupboard.
A contemporary coat of paint
This replace makes Darktide’s class roster really feel a lot larger. There have been at all times variations inside every class, however now every archetype feels prefer it has three distinct varieties. The veteran is now a marksman, a squad chief, or a short-range shotgunner who makes use of stealth. The ogryn is usually a large boy with a mini-gun, a shield-wielding tank with an AOE taunt, or a brute power brawler.
The adjustments go deeper than simply the expertise tree upgrades: there are new cutscenes across the Mourningstar quest hub which can be an enormous enchancment over the few story cinematics that gamers might unlock at launch.
Some plot threads appeared deserted, however this patch picks them again up. There’s a foul man within the tutorial who taunts the participant, then vanishes – on this replace, he exhibits again as much as harass the rejects over comms. As for the traitor who the participant helps uncover by leveling to 30, it seems they’re nonetheless on the Mourningstar … as a lobotomized servitor vendor. Very grim and darkish!
Darktide has at all times had a few of the greatest dialogue and barks within the subject, and there are tons of recent interactions that play throughout matches. Whereas enjoying during the last couple of days, I’ve skilled a number of matches with solely new dialogue added from this patch. Regardless that I do know every map just like the again of my hand, every thing nonetheless feels new, and the added dialogue is an enormous a part of that novelty.
I used to be excited for Darktide when it was first launched in 2022, however Fatshark has taken the time since then to answer fan suggestions and return to the drafting board. Issues have been quiet for some time, however this new replace exhibits that Fatshark’s replace hiatus was for good objective. Darktide is deeper, and it affirms its spot as top-of-the-line Warhammer 40Okay video games available on the market proper now.
Darktide is now obtainable on Xbox Sequence X; the sport can be marked down on Steam, the place it’s at present on sale at 35% off.