Warhammer 40000: Darktide is Currently Being Reviewed

Warhammer 40000: Darktide is Currently Being Reviewed: Even though I wouldn’t expect to find a source of renewal in the oppressive gloom of Warhammer 40,000’s dystopian future, I’ve been reenergized after every session of Darktide. This four-player cooperative FPS from developer Fatshark regularly gets me laughing like an idiot, whether it’s because of the brutal yet darkly hilarious melee brawls or the head-bop-inducing Synthwave music blasting amid fierce shootouts.

My anticipation for Darktide’s general release next week has been dampened only by sluggish performance difficulties, yet even those don’t take away from the majesty of slashing heretics in two with a chain sword. The game is still receiving patches and new content throughout its pre-order beta phase.

Warhammer 40000: Darktide is Currently Being Reviewed

Darktide begins in the same way as many previous fantastically inflated Warhammer 40,000 stories have: with a legion of Chaos-worshipping traitors causing problems. You will gladly slay hundreds of zombie-like Poxwalker hordes, gun-wielding preachers shouting heretical gospel, and malformed, rift-powered boss monstrosities as a conscripted criminal in Tertium. Since only six missions are playable in the beta at the time of this review’s writing, I can’t comment on the game’s overall story, but the witty repartee amongst teammates is, at the very least, quite sharp.

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide Images From the Steam Version

Ogryn Skullbreaker is my favorite of the four playable classes because of his Tankiness and his ability to wipe out large groups of adversaries with a single clumsy swing. Strength in stopping power is always in vogue, and Darktide’s surprisingly deep melee combat will put your skills to the test time and time again.

Excellent results can be achieved by chaining light, heavy, and special assaults. Slicing and dicing a dozen Poxwalkers into little pieces in quick succession, then blocking an overhead two-handed hammer attack from one of the more intelligent foes and throwing them away, is endlessly delightful. Even better, if your attacker is wearing armor, knocking off their shoulder pad will expose a weak place and will likely make you smile.

Darktide isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself, and I had to laugh out loud after chopping off some poor sap’s arm and seeing him study the bloody stump before collapsing like he was in a Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner skit. I can’t tell if Ogryn’s “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” performance is deliberate or not, but either way, it’s great fun to watch.

Once you get into the exciting melee confrontations, though, Darktide’s performance issues become apparent. Unfortunately, Darktide’s performance flaws become apparent when you engage in those hectic, up-close exchanges.

Warhammer 40000: Darktide is Currently Being Reviewed
Warhammer 40000: Darktide is Currently Being Reviewed

Even if my RTX 2080 isn’t exactly cutting-edge these days, it’s not so ancient that the framerate should tank as the bodies start stacking up. Yes, Darktide can be beautiful; I adore gazing up at the ornately detailed superstructures above Tertium’s filthy underworld.

However, even with all visual settings on low, most current PCs shouldn’t overheat playing this. Hopes are high that Darktide’s performance will have been improved by the time it leaves beta, as Fatshark has stated that it is aware of the broad demand for greater optimization and that fixes are already on the way.

Once you begin eliminating threats at a distance, things tend to calm down. However, because of its effective suppression mechanism, firefights in Darktide are just as thrilling as their melee battles. Aiming at enemies who are smart enough to duck for cover rather than aimlessly shamble into gunfire is a good way to avoid getting shot at yourself.

They can’t keep up with your barrage, so their shots will be clumsy and will miss you by a few feet. Since they can stifle your team, too, it’s a fair fight. Suppression presents an excellent risk-reward choice: take cover to steady your shooting hand or rush the shooter with a melee weapon. Caving in some mutant’s orbital bone after they make it nearly impossible to shoot never gets old, especially when John Carpenter-sounding synth music full of enticing metal clangs celebrates the event.

While normally I wouldn’t spend 18 hours on a limited pre-order beta that stutters like this one, Darktide is surprisingly engaging. Even though most of the campaign hasn’t been released yet, I keep coming back for the thunderous melee clashes, the deft ranged exchanges, and the ever-so-delicate balancing act between those two kinds of slaughter.

Whether or not Darktide keeps up the thrilling momentum as more and more content becomes available in the buildup to its full debut, and whether or not the worst of its performance issues are fixed, my final scored review will be posted soon after release.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Darktide Still Coming Out?

Wednesday, November 30th is the PC launch date for Darktide. Although the Xbox Warhammer 40000: Darktide webpage still says “coming 2022,” the console’s Series X/S release is scheduled “shortly after.”

What Happened to Warhammer Darktide?

Fatshark is developing and publishing a first-person action video game called Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, which will take place in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Release dates for Microsoft Windows are set for 30 November 2022, and the Xbox Series X/S versions are expected “shortly after.”

Will Darktide Have Single Player?

Fatshark has promised solo play with bots for Darktide, and it looks like it’ll be ready for launch on November 30.

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