Title: Warhammer 40K - Eternal Crusade

Platform: Windows, Steam, PS4, Xbox One

Reviewed on: Windows

Genre: Third Person Shooter

Players: Multiplayer Versus (up to 64 players)



Written by Whistler 31st October 2016
















The universe of Warhammer 40K is a rather bleak one.

Cosmos devouring aliens, space warring orks, pointy eared aliens have managed to murder-f*** a god into existence, and humanity faces adversaries on all fronts while divided amongst the stars.

It’s a future of mankind that sees endless warfare, so when the development of a massive third person Warhammer 40K MMO was announced I was certainly interested.


I remember seeing it fair while back it it’s early alpha state, sure it was rough as hell and didn’t even have textures, but it certainly seemed promising. Eternal Crusade was promised as a proper TPS/MMO on a massive scale à la Planetside, what we’ve gotten on release is lacking. It still houses 64 pvp and pve, but Eternal Crusade is far from an MMO, and more a Battlefield title wearing a Warhammer 40K skin.


























There’s enjoyment to be had, however it's painfully hampered by several technical failures and rough edges. The MMO label is a incredibly loose sticking definition; there’s exp, levels and upgrades along with an overview of the world, but actual warring between the current four factions (Chaos, Ork, Eldar and Space Marines) are contained within smaller 16 - 64 player battles. Combat is akin to that of Gears of War with loadouts and similar cover based mechanics. There’s several loadouts per faction but one noticeable change from the norm for the better and worse, is a clear focus on melee over ranged weapons. While it’s a fresh take on large scale multiplayer, ultimately it leads to severely unbalanced combat. There’s attempts to create a sort of rock paper scissors affair between melee, heavy weapons and troops but it doesn’t seem to work in practice. Maps have a habit of favouring one side or the other and vehicles never really get to do much other than serve as transportation.


Eternal Crusade had been in early access for a fair while and yet despite being released as a full release now on both PC and consoles, it’s shockingly undercooked and unpolished. The in-game tutorial only walks you through basic controls, matches are plagued with disconnects and lag. Visually the game feels lacking. There’s definitely love shown into small details in the armour and architecture but bland level design, struggling framerates and generic customization are all too worryingly apparent. For a game that looks already aged Eternal Crusade is a horrendously unoptimized affair as it desperately attempts to maintain a 20+ framerate. Even on lowest settings gameplay chugs to a slideshow as you desperately attempt to fight enemy troops along with both visual lag and latency issues.


























While I usually leave microtransactions alone as some could help supplement a game’s longevity especially one that needs constant updates to stay alive and in other cases it’s purely cosmetic or to reduce grinding in solo endeavours. Here microtransactions can net player’s stronger weapons, and while these can be acquired in game, it feels rather underhanded to allow people to buy themselves an advantage especially in a title priced at £40.


As it stands Eternal Crusade feels very much dead at the door, there’s some enjoyable moments with it but it’s currently a mess. There’s potential with some genuinely awesome large scale battles, but these are rare moments amongst the constant monotony and frustrating technical failures. With other heavier hitters out there the fanbase will be the only thing that keeps Eternal Crusade alive long enough for them to fix the issues. With more polish Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade might rise to fight the good fight, otherwise might be best getting your fix from the tabletop or the upcoming Dawn of War III.



Pros:

Large scale W40K combat,

Promise of expansion,

Fresh take on combat.


Cons:

Lacklustre visuals,

Generic level design,

Full priced title with pay2win microtransactions.


Final verdict,

Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade scores a 6 out of 10.


Written by,

Whistler

 

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