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    Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters review

    Need to know

    What is it? A turn-based tactics game about combating a cosmic plague.
    Expect to pay £35/$45
    Release date May 5, 2022
    Developer Complex Games
    Publisher Frontier Foundry
    Reviewed on Ryzen 7 5800H, Nvidia GeForce 3070 (mobile), 16GB RAM
    Multiplayer? No
    Link Official site 

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    Grand Master Kai looms over my crew via hologram like an enraged Greek cybergod. It’s our bimonthly report and he’s not happy. Our onboard Inquisitor’s desire to procure knowledge about the Nurgle plague has inadvertently accelerated its spread, and he wants to know who’s responsible. Do I cover up for Inquisitor Vakir and piss off Brother Ectar, revered captain of the Grey Knights Space Marine Chapter, or do I throw the brash Inquisitor under the bus? Whatever I do, someone will be unhappy, and that will have knock-on effects.

    I go for the third option: tell the Grand Master that the mission is going exactly as planned. He buys it, and seeing as we’re doing so well in our campaign (which we’re really not) he diverts our requisitions and armoury access to some other chapter that needs them more. My reluctance to attribute blame has meant I’ve stayed onside with my crewmates, but have also ensured that the next two months of our campaign are going to be particularly gruelling.

    (Image credit: Frontier Foundry)

    Daemonhunters is not without a few frustrations. Enemy AI isn’t too bright, often resorting to Overwatch in seemingly random directions instead of, say, shooting explosive nodes when you take cover behind them. There could be a bit more clarity in certain mission objectives too. Crucially, It was pretty poorly optimised on my setup, with sluggish framerates that don’t respond even to drastic decreases in graphics settings, as well as some slowdowns between missions that can only be fixed by restarting the game.

    With all that said, I imagine fledgling developer Complex Games will patch these issues up sooner rather than later. It would be foolishness bordering on heresy if they didn’t, because they’ve created a bit of a gem here—one that smashes through its safe pre-release image as ‘Warhammer 40K meets XCOM’ to plant the seeds for its own series. Likewise, it breaks away from the austere stylings of 40K with a vivid, meaty art style that makes corrupted levels and enemy units ooze with character (as well as plenty of pus and bile). Where Daemonhunters could so easily have been ‘yet another 40K game’ or ‘yet another XCOM-like,’ it emerges as one of the best offerings on both fronts.

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