Preview: Warhammer 40,000: Darktide’s Pre Order Beta Is a Drip Feed of Content Until Release

Darktide is finally here–somewhat. The pre-order Beta has kicked off, and if you pay in you can get early access to developer Fat Shark's follow-up to Vermintide 2. If you want to play a game that is still going through the tweaking process, it’s not a bad time to jump in, since progress should transfer over to the actual release. That is, of course, if everything goes to plan.

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, or just Darktide, is a cooperative first person shooter where you and a group of three others take on the forces of Chaos in the Hive City of Tertium on Atoma Prime. If you have no idea what any of that means, that’s okay, you don’t need to be super knowledgeable about 40k lore to enjoy the immensely satisfying gameplay of Darktide. Developer Fatshark has an amazing pedigree when it comes to creating Left 4 Dead style cooperative first person shooters, as they demonstrated with the Warhammer: Endtimes – Vermintide and Warhammer: Vermintide 2, the latter of which gave Valve’s on seminal series a run for its money. This time around Fatshark has channeled a few other popular co-op games, notably Deep Rock Galactic, as inspiration for their newest grimdark shooter with the ability to mix and match classes and an ever-changing, timed mission board. 

This pre-order beta doesn’t have everything that will be in the final version of Darktide, but I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve played so far. While there are three classes to choose from initially: the Veteran Sharpshooter, Psyker Psykinetic, Ogryn, and Zealot Preacher. I’ve spent most of my time with the Veteran Sharpshooter, plugging enemies with my Recon Lasgun and more recently chunking them to a gory death with my boltgun. There are only limited mission types available during the beta period, with only 10 of the 13 planned mission types going to be available. 

The full launch of Darktide will include optimization (which is much needed), over 60 weapons, 13 mission types, the ability to upgrade weapons, and a new zone. The Pre-Order beta will see these features unlock each week until the launch on November 30th.

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is shaping up to be an exciting follow-up to Vermintide 2. It has immensely satisfying melee combat, and gunplay, each of which doesn’t quite match the Vermintide 2 experience, but will feel familiar to veterans of that series. 

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide will release on November 30th.

Steam keys were provided to us for this preview

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Antal Bokor

Antal is video game advocate, retro game collector, and video game historian. He is also a small streamer, occasional podcast guest, and writer.