Warhammer 40k Darktide is a cooperative first-person shooter, which heavily focuses on teamwork and is very much in the same vein as Vermintide 2. The gameplay being similar, albeit with far more focus on ranged combat and firearms.
As with the review of Vermintide, it is important to note the universe the game takes place in. This now being the Warhammer 40,000 universe. To break it down as simply as reasonably possible, Warhammer 40k can be summarized with the phrase “In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war”.
To add some context to the player character, in Darktide you play as a convict, who for one reason or another, has been arrested and imprisoned by an inquisitorial agent. Unfortunately, traitor guardsmen break into the vessel and free another inmate, leaving you to be killed by the mutated cannon fodder they bring to war. Instead of this, you escape and assist your former jailer earning you a place to fight for the holy God Emperor of Mankind once again.
You do so by accepting missions from the world’s hub area which has areas for you to both purchase new arms and armor, and practice and test builds before trying them out in a mission proper.
The enemies you will face in these missions are the Moebian 6th, a regiment of Imperial Guardsmen who have turned to worshipping the chaos god Nurgle, the god of disease and decay, and are thus trying to take over the hive city of Tertium. They fight with a combination of hordes of poxwalkers who rush into melee like zombies, and more properly equipped units who mix melee and ranged options.
Similarly to Vermintide as well, the game features elites and specials, as well as boss enemies which shake up the flow of gameplay and each offer slightly different challenges.
My main rating of the pre-order beta as a whole is that while I have very much enjoyed it and will sink many hours into it, I would recommend some caution in getting the game. Namely, I would recommend those who are skeptical of it wait till release, and not purchase the special edition as the benefts from that are purely cosmetic.
The beta so far has only convinced me that while the game is fun, the current content on offer can be somewhat lacking. Vermintide 2 launched with 5 characters and each had 3 carriers, whereas Darktide will be launching with only 4 different character classes. This is also somewhat compounded by 3 of the four classes sharing almost all of their ranged weapon options and the abilities for the 2 melee focussed classes being nearly identical.
As a quick and final suggestion, for $40 dollars, get this game if you loved Vermintide 1, or 2, and have a passion for Warhammer 40,000, but if not wait till release and see how the content has been flushed out then. (This review was made for the Steam version on PC)