Venture into the Warhammer 40K universe, the grimdark future envisioned by Games Workshop, in the newly announced Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade, developed by Behaviour Interactive. The game, described on Massively as “a third-person action MMORPG set in a persistent world” will be developed for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Eternal Crusade will not be the Warhammer 40K universe’s first foray into the MMO space. Originally announced in 2007, Warhammer 40K: Dark Millenium has since dropped from the gaming blogosphere since the bankruptcy of THQ, according to Kotaku.
Whether or not Dark Millenium‘s doomed fate as an MMO will have an effect on Eternal Crusade‘s development remains to be seen. Details on the game are scant, but Behaviour’s E3 press release indicates that the Eternal Crusade experience will be something akin to Sony Online Entertainment’s Planetside 2. Players choose from the myriad of Warhammer 40K races and “fight directly as one of their warriors in massive conflicts for territory.”
Persistent world PvP definitely fits the Warhammer 40K modus operandi, though I’d reserve judgment until more details concerning the game’s RPG elements come to light, especially PvE. I can’t wrap my head around a Warhammer 40K dungeon crawl with a party consisting of an Eldar farseer, a Space Marine chaplain, and a regular Imperial Guardsman. For one thing, even with the best master crafted weapons and wargear, a single Imperial Guardsman is far outclassed in one-on-one combat by most other races.
And while the Warhammer 40K franchise has done moderately well for itself, with the much-loved Dawn of War franchise and the action-oriented Space Marine, it has yet to break into the MMO gaming space, unlike its related franchise Warhammer Fantasy, which since 2008, has let players clash in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.
The question should also be asked as to whether another MMO, even one with an IP as unique as Warhammer 40K, can do well in a market currently inundated with titles such as World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, Neverwinter, and the upcoming Elder Scrolls Online and WildStar. At least Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade can be counted on to have the proper competitive spirit: “In the grim darkness of the far future [of MMOs], there can only be war.”