Warhammer 40,000: Dark Tide (opens in new tab) won’t officially launch until November 30, but it’s available on Steam now for anyone who pre-orders the game. Reactions to the game, to use a common phrase, are decidedly mixed at this point: some players dig it, but a fair number post negative user reviews. Darktide currently sits on a “mostly positive” user ranking on Steam, with 70% of the user reviews (opens in new tab) giving it a thumbs up, but earlier today it dropped all the way to “mixed”, meaning only 40-69% of user reviews were positive.
That’s a surprisingly low number for the follow-up to the acclaimed Vermintide games, but it may not reflect how players will feel about the game in a few weeks. Technically, Darktide is reviewed before it is “released”. In a message (opens in new tab) on what to expect from the “preorder beta,” developer Fatshark listed a number of features not in the beta, including proper spawn points and a detailed display of weapon stats, and warned that the first beta release would have quite a bit of content. to miss.
The plan is to roll out new content, events, and presumably fixes and tweaks over a four-week schedule. (It’s not really broken down into weekly chunks, but that’s how Fatshark describes it, so we’ll continue with it.)
WEEK ONE (November 17 – 20)
- Full access to the game hub and mission board.
- 4 varying missions in 4 zones
- We regularly organize in-game events (conditions), namely power cut and fan flush. We don’t want to spoil them too much. We encourage you to experience them for yourself 🙂
WEEK TWO (November 21 – 27)
- Up to 8 varying missions in 4 zones
- In-Game Events, other surprising additions that we don’t want to reveal right now
WEEK 3 (November 28 to 30)
- Up to 10 rotating missions in 4 zones
- Downtime to prepare the game for wide release: Tuesday, November 29, 2022 19:00 UTC
NOVEMBER 30 (LAUNCH)
- 13 missions in 5 zones
- 1 new zone (we don’t want to share the name yet)
- New Terms (In-Game Events)
In other words, Fatshark is treating this pre-release beta as, well, a beta test: giving a limited number of players access to limited selections of the game to make sure everything works as it should. But while the studio specifically noted that no detailed view of weapon stats is available, for example, there are complaints about missing weapon information. Other user reviews criticize the lack of private lobbies (opens in new tab) or playing solo, and there are many complaints about the overall performance, even on relatively beefy hardware. Many of the negative reviews actually indicate that the game is fun, just not quite ready for launch – which is, of course, exactly the point of this latest beta.
“It’s a fun game and not bad, just not enough content to feel fresh,” one Steam user wrote. “After a few games with different characters, I didn’t feel the excitement I felt with Vermintide 2 and none of the opening characters were my favorite.”
“This game was not ready for release, it crashes constantly, the (early access version) runs arguably worse than the beta,” wrote another.
Darktide players aren’t all to blame for the confusion. Beta tests are as much a marketing tool as a diagnosis these days – they’re often presented simply as a way to start playing the game early, rather than finding out what’s still broken – and opening up the user rating functionality on Steam only reinforces that impression. Fatshark says this Darktide release is a beta, and obviously it is, but it’s also fully available on Steam, user reviews and all. In other words, for everyone who bought it, Darktide has basically been fully released, and how they react to it will leave a lasting public impression – for better or for worse.
We’ve listed some of our own thoughts what we like and don’t like about Warhammer 40,000: Darktide (opens in new tab) so far: it’s wonderfully grim, but like many others on Steam, our dear Warhammers found it struggles with ray tracing and has an unfortunate tendency to crash. In the words of our online editor Fraser Brown, Darktide is “still a beta” at this point.