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cover-Warhammer 40,000: Darktide

Tuesday, August 8, 2023 1:55:39 PM

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide Review (Degenerate Uni)

This review is coming from someone that has played a lot of Fatsharks previous release “Vermintide 2” and doesn’t know a lot about the 40k universe besides watching some Luetin09 videos. This review is being posted after patch 12 was released and after leveling up all character to level 30.
Playing Vermintide 2 and hearing so much about the 40k universe and learning that a renowned writer of the series was going to co-write the story of their next game, I could not help but be excited. With Fatshark learning from their mistakes of their previous game and the story set in good hands, how could this game possible be bad. 
Imagine my surprise to see that Fatshark has learned nothing and the “story” if we can call it that is… uhh I will get to that.

I want to start with the good parts:

The atmosphere on Tertium:
After seeing some lore videos for Luetin09, the hive city really feels like what is described in the lore books, with factories, slums and the terrible conditions I imagine a hive dweller would have to live in really shining through on the maps. Furthermore, the top of the map Is barren because of the clear disregard of the environment by the human faction. It looks cool, and to me Fatshark hit the nail on its head with this one.

The combat:
The combat has also had a welcomed speed increase from the previous title, with the player being able to sprint and guns being more of a focus in this game. Nothing feels more amazing than blasting away at the heretics with the bolter/plasma bolter or shotguns to name a few and seeing the heretics explode in blood and gore.

And now the mediocre to bad parts of the game:

The classes:
In Vermintide 2 there were 5 different characters that each had 3 classes with unique skill trees that changed how one would play that character.
In Darktide there are 4 classes with no subclasses, the zealot Preacher, veteran sharpshooter, psyker psykinetic and ogryn skullbreaker. 
This is a downgrade from their previous game Vermintide, but oh well at least they can then flesh out the individual characters… WRONG my poor ogryn has been completely neglected. With the other classes having between 15 to 19 different melee weapons and 20-27 ranged weapons, my poor ogryn gets 9 melee and 9 ranged weapons with 2 of the machineguns being useless as they can’t hit anything that is not staring directly into the barrels of the gun, leaving his arsenal of weapons even smaller. Why not give him a big hammer or something like the crusher enemy, I will take anything, just plz don’t leave my poor Bub alone.
With Darktide also not having unique characters like Saltz, Bardin, Sienna, dumb elf and Kruber that each have their own role in Vermintide, you can end up with 4 psykers or 4 sharpshooters in one game fighting each other to keep their warp charge or volley fire active.    

The maps and mission board:
As good as the atmosphere is on the maps, it wears of after a while, with Darktide only having 7 maps as compared to Vermintides 13 at launch, you would expect the Darktide maps to feel vastly different each other, but no, the story and setting fucks them up here as they are limited to only hive city, after 100 hours I still at a glans can’t tell the maps apart from each other and it doesn’t help that they reuse map parts from other maps making them feel even more like the same map. Gone are the big forest, destroyed city or frozen wastes and in are hive city factory variant, hive city top variant or hive city slums variant and they all just start to blend. I guess they achieve to make you feel depressed like what I imagine a hive dweller would feel.
This leads me to the stupid mission board that the setting also fucks up. you have these things called penances that require you to play on each map which Is not difficult, all you must do is select the map and…. NOOO says the game, in this game you have this cluttered menu with maps and difficulty all over the place that looks like shit, so you try to find the map, but wait they don’t tell you the name of the maps that you are missing and not all of the maps are available on the mission board, meaning that if the map that I need is not there, then tough luck dipshit comeback in half an hour and prey that it appears then. This is because in this setting you are a soldier taking missions as the battlefield changes (is what I am imagining the excuse is) so they can’t give you all the maps at once.  

The story “Trust me bro”:
Darktide apparently had a bestselling author of the 40k universe writing the story, so what is the story of this game you may ask? “Trust me bro” is the answer. I am convinced that Fatshark got scammed by an ogryn. The main story watched through cutscenes can be watched on YouTube and it will take you 6 mins. The story boils down to “Trust me bro?” --- “no, do missions”, “I trust you, but he/she doesn’t, do missions”, “we trust you, but traitor, do missions”, “we trust you and found the traitor off screen, welcome to the warband”. Riveting story telling right there and an amazing one at that if it was in fact an ogryn that wrote it. Admittedly you do get some lore while playing the maps, but they feel disconnected to what is happening it the cutscene and abord the ship.
I know Vermintide 2 isn’t the pinnacle of storytelling, but at least it felt like you were doing something each mission to stop Rasksnit’s grand plan.

And who is going to believe that it’s an ogryn being the traitor and sneaking around leaking information.

The story and setting have limited us to only fight in the hive city. Imagine instead if we just were one of Rannick’s enforcers on his quest to quell heretics throughout the galaxy, we could be sent to hive cities, trench warfare, fighting of beasts while traveling in the warp, fighting heretics on Agri-worlds or in frozen hells or swamps of some other planets.  

Weapon enhancing, skins, currency and the shops:
Learning that Fatshark was going to turn down on the rng elements from Vermintide to Darktide I could not be happier, so what do I see when I launch the game... rng, the stupid variant. Fatshark, all I want to do is craft the weapons how I would like them to be, so that I can have fun with the combinations I come up with, and if your excuse is player retention, then I say what players are you holding back, you are bleeding players off each month and locking the fun away with rng is clearly not stopping anyone. Yes, after patch 12 you can now select 2 out of the 5 perks and blessings to change, but you still have to get the blessings from rng weapons upgrade rolls in the first place, and it’s not like you have a useless shop you can change to sell blessing… oh wait you have Melk with his weekly missions and special currency selling worthless legendary weapons with shit base stats.
Speaking of currency, what is the point of diamantine when you use mostly plasteel for everything. You end up having thousands of useless diamantine and no plasteel, how does this happen.  

Skins, what do you get for playing the game and completing some penances, well you can get these fucked prison pants in blue. Yes, you can buy some clothes from one of the shops, but it is just the same 5 different sets with color variations. No, where you get unique skins is buying them in the premium currency shop. You can’t earn them; no, you can only buy them, because why would you play our game when you can just give us money for a half-assed game.    

Suffice it to say that I am disappointed in the game and do not recommend it to anyone except hardcore masochists and gacha enthusiasts.