REVIEW – It wasn’t that long ago, but so much has happened in the real world that it seems like millennia since I first played the original game, the refreshing Warhammer 40,000: Chaosgate. Well, not 40,000 years ago, of course, but it was a long time ago when I was finally able to defeat Mortarion, the primarch of the Death Guard, in the infested garden of Nurgle, the chaos god of destruction and plagues. The good and twisted story, the overthrown elda master world, the victim of inquisitor Vakir, and the 666th space guard order, the Gray Knights, gave me unforgettable hours. Although Steam measures exactly how long it was, I’d rather not write it here for the sake of my marriage. One word like a hundred, when I heard that an add-on containing combat machines called Eternal Service was coming to the game, I was happy to take the opportunity.
However, before we get into it, please allow me a short digression – as usual – please. In the area of intellectual property (IP), which is so delicate, Games Workshop has been very, very careful in handing out the rights so far. It took a star and fan the size of Henry Cavill to break the ice. However, this respectable restraint was unfortunately not typical in the field of computer games. Thus, in recent years, a series of PC and mobile games were born, which presented the struggle between the human empire and the God Emperor, who had been dying for 10,000 years, and his opponents. Unfortunately, with solutions that are worse than worse. The extremely simple renderings reminiscent of the solutions of 8-bit computers, or even completely omitting certain parts of Civilization, were often shallow, or downright scandalously bad, despite the unique graphic solutions. In this area, mobile games in particular are “great”. I myself have almost slowly given up hope of playing a game similar to Final Liberation or an original Chaosgate. Then came Daemonhunters, or the recently tested Darktide, and my good mood returned again.
So, returning to the Daemonhunters add-on, the concept itself is a good idea, and it must have been similar in the history of game development, but by supplementing the original story with a side story, it took the original game in quite interesting new directions. For those who know the background story, the title already tells a lot, because “Service is Eternal!” With exclamations, the seriously injured space guardsmen were used to the two-legged battle machines the size of cars, brilliantly translated into Hungarian as infantry tanks, well, how can I say it? So plug it in for good. These bulky machines, originally called dreadnoughts, are capable of enormous destruction thanks to their thick armor and heavy weapons, as well as the warrior planted in the life-sustaining sarcophagus. Well, we ran a little ahead.
Whether the player starts a new campaign or continues an earlier one, suddenly a call for help comes from the planet Dyronan IV, where a group of Gray Knights is in serious trouble. And here comes the first surprise for a one-time player like me. After the 471st day of the game, I sent a fairly well-prepared team to the surface. With some difficulty, I fought my way to the gray flashing dot on the map, and I was very happy to find that a fairly successful Venerable dreadnought (Brother Krask) was waiting there on the field table, although the other battle brothers were no longer heard of by then. But I didn’t have much time to be happy about the new combatant, because the game showed quite quickly and brutally how much it had changed in the new add-on. A Helbrute appeared right away, i.e. a chaos version of my newly acquired infantry tank, as well as an untranslatable Foetid Bloat Drone. The latter is also in a new version, complete with melee “lawnmower” blades. Oh, and some Chaos Terminators and Space Rangers for garnish. Daemonhunters, which until now was played on the “easy” level for reasons of efficiency – hm-hm, see the amount of time mentioned above – then switched to “hell” difficulty. Up to this moment, it has happened to me in the rarest case that any of my knights would have lost all their health (in field table language, one of their wounds), i.e. they would have become temporarily incapacitated by kneeling. Here soon, I was not fighting to prevent them from receiving a serious wound. but to stay alive at all. Although brother Krask’s cover-destroying charge, his heavy flamethrower that enveloped several targets in flames, or his plasma cannon were effective, if the outnumbered opponents were able to do the same. In the end, the grenades saved the day. In the battle over the constantly simmering cauldron, I managed several times to make my opponents, even at full health, fall into the depths from a single grenade explosion, so I didn’t have to worry about first depleting their armor and then their health. Fortunately, in such a case my own warriors climbed back from the chasm, cursing.
At the cost of some difficulty, I managed to complete the mission, but I was surprised to find that, despite the welcoming words of Brother Ectar, who was tied to the ship, I could not deploy the dreadnought in the next, very difficult mission. In return, I received a Techguardian, and the tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus serving the Machine God, i.e. the Omnissiah, thanked me for my help with archeotechs. With this, a new resource appeared in the game and the ancient technology marked with the Greek letter phí can later be used to develop the techguard and the dreadnought that appears in certain missions. Although the former is a full-fledged battle brother of the Gray Knights, it maintains a close relationship with the Adeptus Mechanicus due to the supervision of the machines. With the increasing number of demi-human servitors as he levels up, and with the help of the machine arms mounted on his back, he is not only suitable for repairing the dreadnought, but also becomes a serious combat factor in his own right.
Of course, the game wouldn’t be balanced if new opponents didn’t appear at the same time, and this is where the new add-on gets serious for the first time. But about that a little later. In addition to the already mentioned Helbrute and the lawnmower drone, a new type of Chaos Guard appears on the battlefields, whose bell attached to its back can “mute” our knights, so they cannot use any psi (will power-based) skills. This would be understandable in certain cases, but for example, the apothecary cannot heal in this way, and the interceptor cannot use the teleportation device mounted on his back, which represents his essence. In addition, there are several new units called technophages in each wave.
The last novelty of the add-on is the Gladius-class space frigate accompanying our previously used battleship, the Doomsday Judgment, after certain conditions have been met. The smallest escort ship of the fleets of the space guard orders can’t even take more fighters on board than a single start, i.e. in this case four Gray Knights, but its appearance eliminates one of the game’s big flaws. Until now, we tried to push back the chaos infection by “racing” on the rather large map, with less than more success. Now that due to the technophage threat we often have to be in not three, but four places at the same time, the help provided by the frigate allows us to confront two threats at the same time. I mean, almost.
And then come the black soup. We can’t control the battle brothers sent on the frigate, we can’t play the battle fought by them, but like the space battles fought with chaos cruisers, we get a roughly random result and that’s it. Since the opponents are also significantly stronger, after day 400 there are no more chaos cultists, but only chaos space guards, even terminators and the new war machines, the already somewhat lame engine suddenly become our enemy. The fact that it was possible to injure the superhuman, genetically engineered Space Guardsmen with energy armor with a simple autogun, i.e. the future equivalent of today’s machine pistols, is a fact. But the fact that with the appearance of new gadgets the game has become almost impossibly difficult, even on the easiest difficulty level, is not so good. The combat machines destroy the cover, which played a big role until now, as if it wasn’t there, and even our terminator armored fighters fly away from their attacks and from the explosion of their heavy weapons as if they were made of sponges, well that’s quite debilitating. It seems that the add-on wants to force a completely new style of play on the player, and it’s one thing that I haven’t quite found it yet, but it doesn’t seem like it’s possible. In addition, the new character class for dealing with difficulties, the tech guard, comes as level 1 among the other characters of levels 7-9. Thus, at first it not only helps, but specifically hinders the 4-person team during battles with significantly stronger opponents, in addition to the fact that most of the time it cannot perform its main task of supporting the infantry tank dreadnought, because it is not even there with us.
All in all, despite the advantages of this solution, it didn’t really work, obviously it can be corrected with patches, but I think we would all have been better off if the new character class had been introduced not with this solution, but in a new sector, in a mandatory new campaign. So, even with its low price, this DLC is only a strong medium.
+ Gray Knights, 40,000
+ Dreadnought and heavy weapons
+ As in the original, the feeling is in place
– Almost unplayable hard, even on the lowest difficulty
– The integration of new content is far from perfect, few battles with infantry tanks
– New character class not really usable
Publisher: Complex Games
Developer: Frontier Foundry
Style: tactical RPG
Release: December 6, 2022.
Warhammer 40 000: Chaosgate Daemonhunters, Duty Eternal
Gameplay - 3.8
Graphics - 6.1
Story - 5.3
Music/Audio - 7.4
Ambience - 6.2
All in all, despite the advantages of this solution, it didn't really work, obviously it can be corrected with patches, but I think we would all have been better off if the new character class had been introduced not with this solution, but in a new sector, in a mandatory new campaign. So, even with its low price, this DLC is only a strong medium.
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