Warhammer Eternal Crusade has had a tougher go of things than most gamest that make use of the Games Workshop Licenses. Now hopefully it gets a save to give it a better future.
Initially pitched as a fully featured 40K Massively Multiplayer Online Game, the development of Warhammer Eternal Crusade has gone about as smoothly as the average imperial guardsman’s day. Beset with structural, financial and backing issues, the game has now ended up as a team based third person multiplayer Shooter. Now, they’ve opened up a Free to Play model to encourage more people to experiment with multiplayer combat in the grim darkness of the 41st millenium.
Eternal Crusade is built around two game modes. In the Player vs Player multiplayer game modes, teams of up to 32 players battle for territory and capture points on a Battlefield-style map. These maps consist of two of the four factions challenging each other. Playing as an Ork, Space Marine, Eldar or Chaos Space Marine of various in universe factions; Players choose a role like Tactical Marine, Painboy, Aspiring Sorceror or Sriking Scorpion and fight for battlefield Supremacy.
Almost all the features are available for the F2P audience, with only the jump pack equipped flying characters locked behind the paywall. This is in addition to being forced into random matchmaking or group play, as opposed to being able to specifically pick a faction to fight. This game mode works well enough, with opportunities for desperate sieges and pitched battles. Overall the design of everything is very 40K, with grand spires festooned with spikes and skulls.
In terms of other modes, the game offers a Player Vs Environment mode where a team of five characters group up to try and fight their way through a tyranid horde. This is very left 4 dead, up to and including Tank like Tyranid Warriors that are canonically powerful and scary. With a decent group of friends, there’s a fair bit of fun to be found here. Environments are varied enough too, with platforms over promethium mines and sumps filled with hidden nids.
Evidently the offer to play in the Eternal Crusade universe for free has been readily accepted, as the servers have been hammered since friday morning. Techmarines have done their job though, so If you’re interested, the game is indeed free to play on Steam right now for the princely sum of Free, with the premium upgrade coming in at around £20. Now go. For the Emperor!