Four-player co-op shooter Warhammer 40,000: Darktide (opens in new tab) is coming to PC in November, but before it gets here there will be beta testing and you can sign up now for a chance at access.
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is essentially a WH40K version of Vermintide, the four-player Warhammer fantasy co-op action games originally published by Fatshark in 2015 (opens in new tab) and 2018 (opens in new tab). They were excellent, and our handy June preview (opens in new tab) from Darktide strongly suggests that even better things are to come: it’s more weapon-centric than you’d expect from the 40K setting, but still packed with lore, weirdness, and “frankly, enormous hordes of enemies.”
“It’s a game I would have liked to have played all day, even in it [pre-release] State,” Wes wrote. “I don’t yet know how well the loot and leveling changes will play out here, but the action is everything I wanted from a 40K version of Vermintide.”
Darktide’s closed beta runs from October 14th to 16th and is available exclusively on PC via Steam or the Windows Store. (The full game is also coming to Xbox Series XS consoles.) There will be more content and features in this beta than was offered in the previous tech test, and more players will be supported, but limited choices of weapons, enemies, maps , missions, and other systems will be available – less than the full game – and progress will not carry over.
In order to get into the Darktide beta, you need to go to the login page (opens in new tab) and give them your email address. Sometime after that, you’ll receive an email with a link to a survey asking for more detailed information, ranging from basic system specs and internet connection speed to your location and previous experience playing co-op shooters. Once that’s done, enter the waiting period: if you’re selected to participate, you’ll receive a follow-up email with a Steam key that you can redeem for access to the game.
Fatshark has not specified how many people will be allowed to take this test, but it has been specified in an FAQ (opens in new tab) that the pre-order of the game is Not necessary for access. At the same time, it hinted quite strongly that it has something in store for people who do: “We recognize the players who pre-order as some of our most dedicated players, and while we have nothing to share today, it is as I can.” expect to have a few things to share going forward,” the studio wrote.
Another note: while the beta is closed, you can stream it if you like that sort of thing. Fatshark also invited streamers to sign up for future information on its creator program (opens in new tab).
I recently played Necromunda: Hired Gun, another WH40K shooter, and it was fantastic: probably the wildest, ultra-violent Grimdark nonsense (in a good way) I’ve ever seen. (It’s also in much better shape now than it was when we reviewed it.) The two games are entirely independent, but generally very generic “All Metal All the Time” I really hope that Darktide can pick up the setting where Necromunda left off and continue with it.
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is scheduled for release on November 30th. The full game is now available for pre-order on Steam (opens in new tab).