HomeReviews4/5 ReviewWarhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters Review

Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters Review

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I am, as I have explained in the intro to every Warhammer 40,000 game I’ve reviewed, a sucker for the story of the Warhammer universe. I haven’t got the time to become fully conversant in it, so when I play a game, I do my best to learn what it is about.

The latest entry in the franchise is the snappily named Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters. It is from Complex Games (great name for a strategy game developer, no?) and Frontier Developments. It promises to bring fast paced, brutal action to the strategy genre, and I am really rather excited to get stuck in. So, let’s go back to the future (different franchise!) and indulge in battle to save Humanity. Again. 

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It’s Warhammer time!

It is the story that always drags me into these games, and here the news is no different. The Grey Knights are an elite group of Space Marines, whose very purpose is to combat the forces of Chaos wherever they can be found. In the opening, the Commander of the Grey Knights falls in battle with Khorne, the Chaos god of blood, Of course, while this is very sad, it does mean there is an opening at the top, and someone needs to fill his big stompy battle boots.

And as luck would have it, we are next in line and must take over running the entire chapter of the Grey Knights. However, as we are returning to Titan to repair our very badly damaged ship, we are accosted by an Inquisitor who commandeers the ship in order to combat a new threat from Nurgle, another Chaos god. The Bloom, as it is known, appears to be spreading across the galaxy we happen to be in, and so we must bring it to an end. Can we manage to keep our ship limping on, battle a Chaos god and return home in time for tea and medals? Well, the future is in your hands…Try not to fumble it!

The presentation of Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters, along with the game itself, is very much of two halves. There is the battle screen, which looks a lot like every other Warhammer strategy game ever made – an isometric top-down view of a battlefield, a grid laid over the ground, and the standard looking Warhammer Space Marines running about on it. 

Alongside the various minions of Nurgle, there are interactive elements on the field of combat to interact with, and bringing everyone into combat and battering the Chaos Spawn is the name of the game. The battle section looks good, whilst the fully adjustable camera is a great touch, allowing you to always have the best view of the action. The enemies are a varied bunch with various grim looks and abilities, and this all works well. 

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Get fighting

The other section of the game is the management of the ship – what this means is there are a lot of menus to have a look through, text based conversations to be had and all manner of tasks to prioritise, all in order to make our journey as smooth as possible. Talking to the various NPCs on the ship is pretty good and very engrossing, and some of the decisions we have to make can have far reaching consequences. While there are some issues with the graphics, in particular the close ups when you execute an enemy (there’s a whiff of the PS2 about these sections), the majority feels and looks pretty good. All in all, the visuals and sound of the game works very well; the unpleasant squishy noise as a monster explodes is a real highlight. Voice acting is pretty cool too, whilst the battle sounds are as expected – all is groovy here. 

As you’d expect with a game where the presentation is in two halves, it should come as no surprise to learn that the gameplay is too. 

We’ll start with the ship based section of Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters and it’s in here where we have to balance the needs of the Inquisitor, who wants to have the Grey Knights capture bits of the Bloom so she can study it. We also have to keep our Tech Priest happy and get the ship repaired, and we have to keep the Grey Knights alive, promoting them after battles and equipping them with the latest and greatest weapons, armour and psychic powers. 

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That map needs a traveling

All this in addition to looking at the galaxy that we are traversing, and deciding which missions are best to concentrate on – as we cannot reach all of them. You see, travel between planets takes time, and while this can be a good thing, it can also be a bad thing. Let me explain. When you choose what the Inquisitor is going to research, or which bit of the ship you want to mend, this takes a set number of days to complete. It’s similar when a Grey Knight is injured in battle, they take a number of days to recover. While we are travelling, time passes and progress is made on all these things. This is a good use of time, obviously, but the downside is that as we travel, the Bloom infestations we are going to fight can go dormant again, well before we reach the location.Planning therefore certainly helps with this section of the game. 

The battle segments of Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters, by comparison, are a lot simpler and more stripped back. These are designed to be fast and furious, it seems, and this certainly ups the excitement. The game plays out in the usual way for this genre – we have a 3AP at the start of our turn for each Marine (although this can be reduced by certain enemy actions), spending them in any way we fancy. We can use all of those AP to move, and each point we spend allows us to move further. We could spend all points in attacking, shooting foes from afar with our Bolters or hitting them with our mighty melee weapons. Seriously, smacking a Chaos Marine around the chops with a big hammer is a lot of fun. We can also mix and match, manoeuvring troops into position before unleashing a crossfire that will chop them to pieces, putting our guys into Overwatch mode, where they will fire if something moves into their view and so on and so forth. 

As troops battle and gain experience, they can be promoted and gain new abilities, capable of turning the tide of battle in your favour, from being able to equip the massive Terminator armour through to gaining new psychic abilities, from increasing the damage of firearms to beefing up melee attacks. Having a balanced squad certainly helps with staying alive in the later battles, mostly as Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters can get very hard indeed. 

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Like Warhammer? You’ll love Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters

Another point of customisation is found in the weapons our Grey Knights can wield – as we finish missions, Requisition Points are gained, and these can be swapped for new Knights, new weapons and again, these can turn the tide of battle in your favour. Want to swap a Bolter for a Flamer? Get one ordered. 

If you’re a fan of Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters will keep you interested. The story arc is very enjoyable and keeps you pressing forward to see what is going to happen, whilst the managing of your ship is a lot like trying to keep a load of plates spinning. It’s all helped by the fact that the combat is suitably brutal and visceral. 

All in all, as a solid entry in the Warhammer 40,000 strategy genre, Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters is one that you will enjoy.  

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Good story keeps you playing
  • Combat is very satisfying
  • Ship management is surprisingly engrossing
Cons:
  • Graphics can look a bit ropey in sections
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Frontier
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC
  • Release date and price - 20 February 2024 | £34.99
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Good story keeps you playing</li> <li>Combat is very satisfying</li> <li>Ship management is surprisingly engrossing</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Graphics can look a bit ropey in sections</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Frontier</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC <li>Release date and price - 20 February 2024 | £34.99</li> </ul>Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters Review
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