Darktide will have a playable psyker class

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is following in the footsteps of the Vermintide series, which are four-player co-op games where players choose from various themed appropriate classes. While we saw an ogryn, a fanatic and two veterans in the release date trailercover story of latest issue of Edge magazine confirms that a psyker will be another option.

In the 40K universe, psykers are able to reach the parallel universe called warp with their minds and harness their power to essentially work magic. It’s risky, because the bend is where Chaos comes from: a sentient, malevolent force that manifests as daemons. The Inquisition hunts down rogue psykers before they do too much damage, and recruits the strongest of them to join the ranks of the Sanctioned Psykers.

As PCG writer Alex Wiltshire sometimes writes in Edge #372, “The Psyker is an unstable magic user who, if he overuses his powers to pop heads, will succumb to the dangers of Warp and explode, much like Sienna the sorceress of Vermintide, does.”

The Darktide psyker can also use the power of warp to protect itself against ranged attacks, though it appears that all classes have a similar shield, with the veteran protected by armor, the fanatic by the power of faith, and the ogryn by sheer thickness. All shields encourage grouping by reloading faster if you are close to other players.

While the classes in the Vermintide games are five distinct existing characters, in Darktide players can customize them by customizing their own equipment and face. “Fatshark didn’t design a character creator for its previous games,” writes Alex, “but the system built in here deftly allows you to build the dark, mutilated hero you’ve always wanted to be.”

This might explain why we saw two different veterans in the promotional material. Maybe they are two versions of the same class, with different cosmetics and equipment?

If so, that means even counting the psyker, we’ve only seen four classes, and there may be another one yet to be revealed. (Vermintide games have five classes, so even if you’re the fourth johnny-come-recently joining a group of three friends who’ve already called dibs, you have two to choose from.)

Your class in Darktide apparently determines the loadout options available, with the example given of a psyker being able to wield a force sword but not a plasma weapon. Each class also has its own special ability, with the veteran able to zoom in even further and get bonus damage on headshots, and the fanatic able to attack enemies, interrupting them and trapping them in melee.

While the classes are adjustable, it seems they still have personalities of their own, expressed through a complicated dialogue system. Edge quotes narrative director Mårten Stormdal as saying, “It’s one of the most intricately implemented things we have in the game”, and notes that over 75,000 lines have already been written for it.

Dialogue will differ based on whether a character is talking to someone they don’t like, who they’re around when they say it, and whether they’re a rookie or leveled up enough to have seen some shit. Fortunately, the lines will also have cooldowns so you don’t hear them over and over again.

(Image credit: Fatshark)

Another detail from the Edge article that arrived online is that the “plot and missions will expand and develop after launch, almost like a live service.” This has been interpreted by some as a complete Destiny 2 approach to campaigns, which I would call a little premature.

While it looks like the variety of quest types and certain lines of dialogue will update over the course of Darktide’s life, it’s too early to worry about a Destiny 2 style. content vault where old parts of the game are retired so new players can never experience them. It feels more like an additive approach, with updates turning your quests into a continuous story rather than a campaign with a beginning and an end that you have to repeat for the sake of character progression, as was the case with the Vermintide games.

Darktide will be released on September 13th and will be available on Steam and First day of GamePass.

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