Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade is an online third person shooter created by Behaviour Interactive. Originally, the game set out to be a massively multiplayer online third person shooter but for whatever reason that was dropped and the game is now more similar to a more standard multiplayer first person shooter like Battlefield rather than Planetside.
Upon starting the game, you pick one of the sides: Eldar, Ork, Space Marine or Chaos alongside a sub faction which only appears to decide how your character looks. Races have different pros and cons, Eldar are meant to be pretty good at melee and Orks soak up more damage. From there you can do a tutorial or dive straight into combat. Entering combat you’ll be placed against one of the other races.
You can pick from a range of weapons and items to create your load-out or use the predefined ones available. I didn’t spend much time on this as hovering over weapons and items in the interface didn’t give me any details about them so I hadn’t the faintest idea what anything was. Obviously a gun shaped thing is probably gun but how does it compare to other gun shaped thing that’s a slightly different colour? Pre-defined classes with stars next to them, usually one per race, can capture objectives (e.g. Tactical Marine for Space Marines). There are a bunch of ways to earn new weapons and items, including buying with real money.
There’s nothing really special about the objectives. Maps have a bunch of capture points and you either need to attack or defend them.
Moving on to combat, Eternal Crusade comes crumbling down with bad choices, bad choices that when stacked together suck the fun out of the game.
Mixing these all up you end up with a situation in which you can’t (end up hurting your teammates) and shouldn’t go ranged (not really contributing). Now everyone is pretty much melee based, you can’t all enter a fight at once because the risk of friendly fire and so have to wait around for a good moment to enter combat. Melee - with it’s lack of feedback involves vaguely trying to dodge and smashing the mouse until one of you dies. Don’t even think about throwing a grenade - you can guarantee a flying teammate will land on it. This mix just doesn’t work and I don’t understand why the developers haven’t spotted these glaring gameplay problems.
Graphically the game is meh, could be worse, could be better. Resolutions the game should support aren’t there and the FOV is forced appallingly low. I’ve never had sore eyes from a game before, this was a new experience. The audio is a bit mixed, I liked some of the voice overs and a couple of the weapons sounded good but then vehicles didn’t sound like they had any sound attached (a tank can literally sneak up on you). Sound was generally quite flat and repetitive so any hint of positional audio was out of the question.
I wouldn’t say I experienced any bugs but it’s hard to tell given the incomplete feeling of the game. Tanks not making sound - is that a bug or have they just not implemented it yet? - Who knows?! Performance is awful, I’m not sure how it runs so badly given the Unreal Engine’s quality.
For those interested in the Warhammer-y-ness of the game: I was pleasantly surprised. Space Marines, Chaos And Orkz all look pretty good and behave kind of how you’d expect. The Eldar on the other hand are absolutely awful. While I imagine it’s actually pretty difficult to make decent Eldar, they look like badly made anime characters. The howling banshee model is hilariously bad and the races animations are stiff, particularly the jump/flip animation. Eldar feel like they have been wanged together at the very last minute.
Despite wanting to enjoy this game with every fibre of my Warhammer universe fanboyism, Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade is the worst game I have played in recent memory. It shouldn’t be for sale and certainly not outside of the region the servers are located (North America?). The combat mechanics don’t work. Despite being in development for quite some time, the game gives the distinct feeling that you’re playing an unfinished early development build.
Usually, I like to put in at least 8 hours for a game like this but only managed about 6 primarily due to losing the will continue given the lag.