Warhammer 40,000 Chaos Gate Daemonhunters: The first hands-on preview

I’m not the only one to describe Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters as “XCOM with Space Marines”. But now that I got my hands on it, it’s much clearer how it actually changes the tactical formula. Enemy Unknown can feel like a horror game at times, as you’re chased by Chrysalids and Mutons through weird crash sites and warehouses. But in Chaos Gate, there is no mistake: the demons are the prey and you are the hunters.

That’s not to say that unfolding in literal hell is completely tension-free. It is certainly possible to find yourself in bad situations if you are not careful. But when you send your man of confidence to break down the doors of a huge space cathedral and send various creepy cultists scattering for cover, it’s a totally different vibe from the very methodical and potentially deadly room cleaning routines. that I had run in XCOM. The camera descends in there and punctuates every breach with enough bravado to get the message across: we’re not trapped here with these heretics. They are trapped here with us.

Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate- Daemonhunters Screenshots

And it’s not an empty posture either. Using that kind of momentum in your face has worked pretty well for me in a lot of situations where I’ve found myself outnumbered. It is said that fortune smiles on the bold, and it seems the Emperor does too. Especially if you equip one or two members of your team with terminator armor, which limits mobility but boosts defense, they are more than tanky enough to shrug off a few hits and allow you to quickly take down an enemy position. Judicious use of grenades and the environment can crush the opposition even faster, so battles can be fast-paced, but they still reward thinking and observation skills.

We are not trapped here with these heretics. They are trapped here with us.

You’ll look great doing it too. There’s an incredible amount of cosmetic customization available for each member of your team, and they show up against the dark tiers of their silver power armor – whether you’re zooming out to line up a shot or closing in for a melee finisher. . I didn’t even really have time to scroll through all the detail and decal options in the limited time I had to play, but I can see myself spending years with it in the full version to create my perfect team of punishers.

Perils of the Warp

At the same time, Daemonhunters doesn’t want to let us find one-size-fits-all tactics and fall into a routine. Nurgle’s corrupting Bloom increases with each turn, and when it reaches 100%, something will go sideways – but I never knew what. It could be extra reinforcements or a force-sapping plague miasma coming out of the warp in the middle of the map. It’s another incentive to get in, kick ass, and get out fast, but even at top speed I’ve never been able to clear a map without having to deal with at least one of those curve balls.

Was it a mixed metaphor? You know what, talk to the inquisitor.

Ah, yes, Inquisitor Vakir. We answer her, and it may come as no surprise to any 40K fan to know that she doesn’t always have the health and safety of your battle-brothers as her top priority. She will ask you to do things like get close to a plague carrier and extract a sample. What if he tries to bite your face at the same time? Well, you’re a tough boy. I’ll let you figure that part out when you get there. It’s not entirely heartless of her, to be fair. Completing these goals advances your research into the Bloom, without which you will never be able to permanently rid the Corrupt Sector of Nurgle.

Threat Level Midnight

I was also impressed with Daemonhunters’ ability to provide complex challenges with its bosses. When facing off against a Great Foul, I had to dodge his disgusting area attacks while deploying to destroy a number of annoying nests, otherwise his filthy little helpers would keep respawning endlessly and eventually wear down the Emperor’s best. It was a big change of pace from the simpler door-to-door missions, as well as a welcome increase in difficulty. I can’t wait to see what else they can throw at us in terms of big baddies if they get that intense.