31 DoH, Day 27: Darktide is Now Indisputably the Best 4 Player Co-Op Game
I love Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, and I have since day one. Even so, I acknowledged in my review that it’s not quite the game that Fatshark had promised–and it had so much more potential. It was also heartbreaking to see the fanbase hate on it, since it had so many good things going for it. Since the class overhaul, the community is singing a different tune–and even praising Darktide for things that have been in the game since day one–and that warms my cold, cynical heart. However, the class overhaul was necessary to turn Darktide from wasted potential to the best modern four player co-op game you can play right now.
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide–or just Darktide–is a four player first person perspective cooperative game set on one of 40k’s hive worlds that has a bit of a Chaos problem brewing. You play as a character arrested for whatever reason you decide in your backstory, and forced to fight the Emperor’s enemies as a pawn for the Inquisition. It’s seen as a suicide mission, and your character isn’t expected to survive–but as they complete more missions, they gain more trust and eventually get accepted into the ranks of the Inquisition.
There are four classes in Darktide: veteran, zealot, ogryn and psyker. When the game first released, each class had a set of inherent skills and you could further hone them into the character you wanted by choosing a few key talents. That entire system has since been thrown out, and now each of these classes have three robust branching paths they can take to build their character–or you can even choose to turn your character into a hybrid of two classes.
The class overhaul significantly changes the potential for each class. Instead of each class being defined by their ultimate ability and a few other details, you can make the class into exactly what you want it to be. Each character now has access to three different grenade types (for the Psyker, this is three different casting abilities instead.) For instance: I always loved the Ogryn’s weapons, but in the original class system I was forced to play an Ogryn with few ranged abilities and emphasis on melee. Now I can build an Ogryn that is all about shooting his oversized guns–and it’s glorious.
There has also been an overhaul to Darktide’s weapon procurement and upgrade system. There’s still a lot of gambling involved, but now you can switch weapon Blessings out without fear of locking your weapon. It’s still possible to get a “brick” weapon–one that meets max weapon level, but is stuck with bad perks. But it’s by no means necessary to min-max in Darktide to
succeed–and those trying to find the perfect weapon are just wasting their time.
I would have liked to see more levels come along with the patch, but the levels that we have are still pretty great. While some of them are just alternate routes that have you running “backwards” through a level, the design of each level is fantastic–just like I said in my original review. There are often multiple paths forward, and if you take an alternate route you can usually get to where you want to go–instead of being met with a dead end. Levels are also dripping with atmosphere, and gives the sense of claustrophobic dread.
Despite Darktide having great gunplay with impactful weapons and having melee that is one of the best melee combat systems in any first person game I’ve played it was missing something. The class overhaul turns Darktide from a good game into a classic I will play for years. It creates a way to make fun new builds that just weren’t possible in the previous class system.