Warhammer 40,000: Darktide

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Warhammer 40,000: Darktide
Director(s)Anders De Geer
Writer(s)Dan Abnett
Matt Ward
Composer(s)Jesper Kyd
SeriesWarhammer 40,000
EngineAutodesk Stingray
  • Microsoft Windows
  • 30 November 2022
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • 4 October 2023
Genre(s)Action, first-person shooter

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is a first-person action video game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, developed and published by Fatshark. It is a spiritual successor to the Warhammer: Vermintide series.[1] It was released for Microsoft Windows on 30 November 2022. It also was released for Xbox Series X/S on 4 October 2023.


The game uses a similar formula to that used in Fatshark's Warhammer: Vermintide 2 in which four players cooperate to defeat periodic waves of AI-controlled enemies.[2][3] Rather than a set of pre-made characters, the game allows players to customize their class, appearance, and gender.[4] The four classes consist of a Veteran, Zealot, Ogryn, and Psyker; a balanced shooter, support class, tank class and DPS class respectively.[5] All classes make use of a regenerating shield.[6]

Unlike in Vermintide 2, multiple missions can take place in the same area, some of which include optional secondary objectives that allow players to obtain better loot.[6] Difficulty has been divided into two variables, one affecting enemy count and the other damage received from enemies.[6] Progression is split between random rewards, an in-game currency that allows the purchase of weapons and a contract system to earn a weapon of your choice.[6] Crafting also allows the player to upgrade their weapons and increase their stats.[6]


The game's story, written by author Dan Abnett, focuses on a squad of Inquisitorial Agents investigating a Chaos uprising in the Hive City of Tertium on the industrial planet of Atoma Prime.[7][8]

The player character Operative begins the story detained aboard the prison transport Tancred Bastion for a crime determined during player creation. During transport the Tancred Bastion is suddenly swarmed and overwhelmed by followers of the Chaos god Nurgle. The player rescues Explicator Zola and the two successfully evacuate the ship. Zola agrees to spare the player from the death penalty by conscripting them to the Inquisition. From their base aboard the ship Mourningstar, the Inquisition deploys the Operative to different sectors within Tertium to research and suppress the Nurgle infestation and cult.

Once onboard the ship, the player begins to earn the trust of the Mourningstar's different members, all of whom are subservient to Inquisitor Grendyl. They must enter the depths of Atoma's largest hive, Tertium, and foil the plans of the chaos cult by claiming supply drops, investigating the daemonic plague, assassinating leaders of the renegade Planetary Defense Forces and reclaiming important facilities across the city. After some time, it is discovered that the Mourningstar has been infiltrated by a spy for the cult, who was sending out detailed reports of the Inquisition's operations and subsequently killing off entire squads of elite agents planetside. Interrogator Rannick, the right hand man of Grendyl, leads the investigation of the Mourningstar's mole problem while also showing interest in the player's progress. Once enough trust is earned, Rannick welcomes the Player fully into the Inquisition while also killing the traitor once and for all. After this, the player continues their ongoing mission to purge the corruption of Nurgle in Tertium as a full member of the warband.

The plot is set to evolve over time in a manner that parallels a live service,[4] continuing to develop on a weekly basis and following a set meta narrative.[9]


The game was first announced in July 2020 during the Xbox Series X and Series S showcase event in which Fatshark showed plans for a 2021 release.[10] A gameplay trailer was released on 10 December 2020, which showcased the use of weapons such as a Lasgun and a chainsword being used to defeat hordes of Poxwalkers and chaos traitors.[7] Among the playable characters, an Imperial Guardsman and an Ogryn could be observed. The developers commented that Darktide is planned to be less melee focused than Vermintide 2, getting closer to a 50/50 split between melee and ranged combat.[11]

In July 2021 Fatshark announced that due to difficulties arising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the release date would be pushed back from 2021 to spring 2022.[12] The release date was again pushed back to 13 September 2022 in an announcement which was accompanied by a new trailer.[7] A further delay pushing the release back to 30 November 2022 for Windows was later announced.[13]

A closed beta was made available to some players on 14 October 2022 and ran for two days.[14]

On 24 January 2023, Martin Wahlund, CEO & Co-Founder of Fatshark, announced that development on new content was paused while the studio focused on improving progression, stability and performance, in response to the negative reception the game received post-launch.[15] In February 2023, Fatshark released Patch#4, also titled "Blessings of the Omnissiah", which changes the game's loot system and crafting. A revamped class system and progression were released with Patch #13, which saw the game released on consoles. [16] In August 2023, it was announced that the game would launch on the Xbox Series X and Series S on 4 October 2023.[17]


According to Metacritic, Warhammer 40,000: Darktide has received "mixed or average reviews", based on 68 reviews.[18] As of 22 January 2023, the game faced sharp player falloff and negative reviews on Steam for the perceived unfinished state of the game and a lack of communication surrounding updates or improvements.[24] The loot and crafting systems have drawn criticism, described by Rock Paper Shotgun as "[a] fantastic FPS ruined by a rubbish MMO".[25][26]


  1. ^ O'Connor, Alice; Thorn, Ed; Archer, James; Richardson, Liam (14 December 2022). "Warhammer 40K: Darktide review: brilliantly grisly co-op". Rock Paper Shotgun. Gamer Network. Retrieved 15 February 2023.
  2. ^ "Warhammer 40,000: Darktide—release date, trailer and everything we know". PC Gamer. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  3. ^ "Warhammer 40,000: Darktide Is A New Game From Vermintide's Dev". GameSpot. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  4. ^ a b Hopley, Alex (20 May 2022). "Warhammer 40K: Darktide Unveils New Class and Missions That Will Develop After Launch". Game Rant. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  5. ^ Macgregor, Jody (20 May 2022). "Darktide will have a playable psyker class". PC Gamer. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e Fenlon, Wes (13 June 2022). "Hands-on: Warhammer 40K: Darktide absolutely rules". PC Gamer. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  7. ^ a b c Updated, Fraser Brown Last (31 March 2022). "Crush Chaos in Warhammer 40,000: Darktide this September". PC Gamer. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  8. ^ Tolbert, Samuel (31 July 2020). "Warhammer 40,000: Darktide for Xbox Series X and PC — Everything you need to know". Windows Central. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  9. ^ "Warhammer 40K Darktide takes the Destiny 2 approach to its campaign". The Loadout. 19 May 2022. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  10. ^ Yin-Pole, Wesley (23 July 2020). "Warhammer 40,000: Darktide announced". Eurogamer. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  11. ^ Brown, Fraser (11 December 2020). "Warhammer 40,000: Darktide gets nasty with chainswords in its Game Awards trailer". PC Gamer. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  12. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (15 July 2021). "Warhammer 40,000 Darktide delayed to spring 2022". Eurogamer. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  13. ^ "Warhammer 40,000: Darktide Delayed To November For PC". GameSpot. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  14. ^ Smith, Graham (15 October 2022). "Warhammer 40K: Darktide's closed beta is live but you can still apply". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 27 October 2022.
  15. ^ Smith, Graham (24 January 2023). "Warhammer 40K: Darktide developers pause new content to address "mostly negative" feedback". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 27 January 2023.
  16. ^ Koch, Cameron (18 August 2023). "Warhammer 40,000: Darktide Getting Revamped Class System With Skill Trees And New Abilities". GameSpot. Retrieved 24 August 2023.
  17. ^ "Warhammer 40,000: Darktide for Xbox Series launches October 4". Gematsu. 23 August 2023. Retrieved 15 October 2023.
  18. ^ a b "Warhammer 40,000: Darktide for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 14 March 2023.
  19. ^ Dalenay, Mark (2 December 2022). "Warhammer 40K Darktide Review - Left To Shred". GameSpot. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  20. ^ Lane, Rick (2 December 2022). "Warhammer 40k: Darktide review: "Lackluster progression systems undermine its grisly joys"". GamesRadar+. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  21. ^ Campbell, Kyle (24 November 2022). "Warhammer 40,000: Darktide Review". IGN. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  22. ^ Martin, Sean (6 December 2022). "Warhammer 40K: Darktide review". PC Gamer. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  23. ^ Tan, Nicholas (6 December 2022). "Warhammer 40K: Darktide Review - Thou Shalt Kill". Shacknews. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  24. ^ Zak, Robert (23 January 2023). "No, Warhammer 40K: Darktide Isn't Dying, But It's In A Mess Of Its Own Making". Dualshockers. Retrieved 23 January 2023.
  25. ^ Klimas, Martynas (2 December 2022). "Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is hurt by the loot treadmill". PC Invasion. Gamurs. Retrieved 30 March 2023.
  26. ^ O'Connor, Alice (10 February 2023). "Rather than overhaul gear and crafting systems, Darktide should rip them out". Rock Paper Shotgun. Gamer Network. Retrieved 30 March 2023.

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