The tabletop game "Warhammer 40,000" is not the easiest pastime to get into, between its incredibly bleak setting and the sheer amount of time and money required to purchase and paint a whole army. But "Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade," an upcoming massively multiplayer online (MMO) game from Behaviour Interactive, will let anyone experience the warfare of the far future — provided they are willing to fight hard and endlessly.
Tom's Guide attended a presentation about " Eternal Crusade" at E3 2014, and while there wasn't much gameplay footage to be seen, we did learn about how the game will play out, how it will differentiate itself from other MMOs on the market and how pricing will work.
For those who don't know, "Warhammer 40,000" is a fantasy property with sci-fi elements that takes place approximately 38,000 years in the future. There are no "good guys," per se, only varying degrees of evil. Players in "Eternal Crusade" will be able to choose between playing as the domineering Space Marines, the bloodthirsty Orks, the xenophobic Eldar or the nihilistic Chaos Marines.
While the game will contain some player-versus-enemy (PvE) content, the main focus in "Eternal Crusade" is on player-versus-player (PvP) battles. Each faction is violently opposed to one another, meaning that the world of Arcona, and the thousands of players inhabiting it, will constantly be at war with one another.
To that end, the game's campaign will encourage players to join up with squads, organize said squads into larger strike forces, and defend vital strongholds or invade enemy territory. To keep the never-ending battle from getting stale, each player and squad will receive instructions to ensure that they contribute something special to the war effort. For example, one squad may be charged with bringing a powerful assault vehicle to a key strategic location, while another will have to defend a remote supply depot in order to keep the stronghold on the frontlines in top shape.
Since organization is paramount to success, the game will also have a built-in leadership system. Players can elect their own squad and strike force leaders, each of whom will have special abilities to direct and enhance the players subordinate to him or her. This is no easy task, as a strike force leader may end up commanding hundreds of players in a single battle.
"Eternal Crusade" will be free-to-play, but will only offer the Orks as a free race. Otherwise, the full game costs $40 with optional microtransactions for more specialized gear and characters. Players who pre-order will also get access to $40 of additional in-game currency.
While we would have liked to see some more current gameplay (the video Behaviour showed us was a few months old, and the game supposedly looks and plays much better now), "Eternal Crusade" still seems like a promising installment in an IP whose video game adaptations have been decidedly mixed. The game is currently slated for release on PC in Fall 2015.
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.