Roughly 22 years ago, I was introduced to a game called Warhammer 40K. A game where the forces of Space Marines, Orks, Eldar and Chaos clashed in battle as a part of table top war gaming. Fast forward a couple decades, Warhammer moved the battle to the digital arena, with the war reaching to PCs and numerous console machines.
Now, the Warhammer franchise furthers its growth with an MMO! So let’s check out the newest game for this fantasy world, Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade.
Starting out you need to create a character to use in game. I started out with Eldar, my favorite race. However, if you don’t want to go with the superior race, there are the options of Orks, Space Marines & Chaos Marines. You then have 5 factions within those races to choose from. The Tyranid are also available, but only as an NPC race. (See chart below for playable races)
Choosing the faction only gives you different color schemes to your armor. For my Eldar character I chose Biel-Tan, which is a green and yellow color scheme. From there, you enter a name and you are pretty much done. You can further customize your character by picking a loadout from 7 preset classes or there are slots for 5 Battle loadouts and 1 Veteran loadout you can create. If you’re brand new, I wouldn’t really spend too much time on the loadouts. You can learn the presets in game and go from there.
Once creation is done, you can choose to go into a Garrison Area where you can practice your character moves. If practice isn’t your style, you do have the option of jumping right into the action by selecting Battle Now. This will throw you into the first available battle. If you want to see what’s available to do then choose World Map. I highly suggest choosing the garrison option. In garrison you can change those loadouts I mentioned previously. This is the best way to learn your loadouts. You get to run around, get some target practice, use the vehicles, and I can’t mention this enough; switch your loadout and use the different infantry class types. If you already know your controls, you can go into battle scenarios which are mainly capture or defend areas on the board.
As for the technical side, the audio is about what you’d expect for any war based game, typical battlefield sound and almost no music. The only music you hear is a haunting chant that plays when you log in or during loading screens. It goes on in several different parts of the game. The only problem I noticed so far was machine gun sound getting “stuck” while in a vehicle. Only way to stop it was to exit the vehicle or switch to a different position/seat.
The graphics were nothing special to write home about. The buildings look great, but there’s a persistent haze over the landscape that covers up the mountains and everything else you look at. I had issues with the reticule just disappearing when switching loadouts, usually when switching to a heavy weapons class. I also expected to see some cut scenes between battles or something, but there are none. The only visual you get is while the battlefield loads. All they show is some concept art, but that’s about it.
There really isn’t any story to this game; at least none that I have seen during my gameplay. There was mention of a PVE where you confront Tyranid, but I have not seen that yet. So far it’s just another capture the flag online shooter.
The one thing that really stood out for me was the gameplay. Gameplay needs work, lots of work. The controls are very clunky to me. The best description I can give you is to imagine you are driving a car. Except, in Warhammer 40k you’re working the steering wheel with your feet and operating the pedals with your hands. The same applies if you are in a vehicle; just add ice to the ground. It makes it nearly impossible to effectively operate.
Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade is now available on Steam for $49.99for PC/MAC/Linux, console versions (PS4, XB1) should be available late 2016. Eternal Crusade is made by Behaviour Interactive (it’s a pity Relic Entertainment did not develop this) & Bandai Namco is the publisher.