I’m secretly excited, and have been for some time now… Ever since I heard whispers of a Warhammer 40k MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), and more recently with the real announcement that there is active development on it! To say the least, I’m stoked. I ranted and raved at my friends for a while, but they all looked back at me suspiciously, so I kept quiet… and for good reason.
I’ve always been fascinated and pulled in by the amount of depth in the Warhammer 40k ‘universe’. Games Workshop have sole ownership over (And guard fiercely from my understanding) the entire Warhammer franchise, and have recently been putting it to good use. By this I mean that there are many 40k projects on the go that further tap into the vast amount of content and storytelling already woven around the 40k universe.
Examples: At the moment of the this writing, The Ultramarines Movie is JUST released (That being the FIRST real Warhammer 40k movie, all done in CGI), the W40k: Space Marine game is also soon to be released (The closest comparison I can make is to Gears of War or other 3rd person action games) and of course not to forget the steady stream of quality 40k games that have been released over the last few years (Dawn of War, Dawn of War 2, Warhammer Online and Blood Bowl among others).
The reason I’m so happy about this is because for some time Games Workshop got into an unhealthy trend of signing the Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40k names to quite a few very mediocre and often just plain awful games. Fire Warrior springs to mind (Among others), and may it be struck from the history books back to whence it came. I think this is also why many fans of Warhammer go very quiet when a new Warhammer game is announced, or even comes close to release. There is a long line of games that were just… awful.
But things seem to be changing, mostly it seems because Games Workshop themselves have hand-picked and been VERY picky about who develops their games. The Dawn of War franchise did very well and has solidified Relic Games as a solid developer of quality Games Workshop games… and rightly so! Relic are the developers behind many quality games including Homeworld, which holds a VERY special place in my own heart and always will. *sigh*
But back to the game at hand; Dark Millennium Online. It looks awesome! Not only that but there appears to be a genuine intention to include some of the scale of the wars and going-on in the 40k universe. There are footage of Titans (yes TITANS!) stomping around in all their 80ft glory, stepping on whole squads. I’ve seen in one video an ork riding in a Deffkopta, which made me chuckle, and in the included screenshots here you can see that there are tanks and such included too. I’ve even seen Space Marines on bikes! If this is true to final gameplay and the game is balanced, then there might well be some EPIC battles to come. This brings me to consider what the other factions in the game will be and what they will represent or mean to the overarching experience. The Imperium is the ONLY CONFIRMED faction so far, and its obvious to see the presence of the Imperium of Man (Space Marines, Mechanicus and Imperial Guard perhaps) and the Orks (Who presumably will mostly be there to cause mayhem and fuel war which is so endemic to 40k), however, there is something to be said for the other yet unannounced factions who will be there to vary the carnage and add more diversity and agendas to the proverbial pot. According to Wikipedia, the Eldar and Chaos are rumoured but not as yet have no official word. The Eldar in particular make me wonder, as they are an enigmatic and secretive race, always meddling in the other goings on of Man, Ork and Demon.
The structure of the gameplay also makes me wonder. Will it just be a free-for-all or will there be strained alliances and turncoat behaviours at each turn? Will the Orks be truely portrayed as the ‘Sea of green’ that they are, and will the Eldar be few but powerful?
The questions… so many questions… But LOOK, here is a trailer!