The world of Warhammer 40,000 has often branched into video games. The Games Workshop tabletop game has had virtual adaptations dating back to the early 1990s, with turned-based strategy titles like Chaos Gate and tactical title Space Hulk, which was revisited in 2013. Meanwhile, 2003 saw action-FPS Fire Warrior released for PC, to a mixed reception.
It’s fair to say that the Warhammer 40,000 universe has had as much variety in its video game spin-offs as it has in its fearsome alien races. The most popular and successful video game franchise based on the IP is Dawn of War, a series of real-time strategy games from Relic Entertainment. Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine gave players the chance to fight hordes of Orks from a third person perspective in 2011. There is even plans for an MMO set in that grim, dark future, called Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade.
Soon, there is going to be another chance for fans of the game to take the human Imperium up against bloodthirsty Orks and the colonial, mech-focused Tau. Games Workshop, along with Whitebox Interactive, has announced that Warhammer 40,000 will be making its way into the Massively Online Battle Arena genre with a brand new title. The game, called Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus Arena, will debut during PAX East next month.
Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus will allow players to fight in four-versus-four arena battles in multi-race and class teams. Although the Tau, Space Marines and Orks will be the first three races, more Warhammer 40,000 races and armies will be available, including the Tyranids, Chaos Space Marines, and the Necrons. The Dark Eldar will also feature at some point, and the game itself is set within a Dark Eldar arena in the city of Commorragh.
Dark Nexus will be up against some stiff competition. League of Legends has been known to get 7 million concurrent players, whilst DotA 2 was the first Steam game to break the 1 million concurrent user mark. Blizzard is also going to release its own MOBA title called Heroes of the Storm, which is currently in beta. There is something that sets Dark Nexus apart though. The game is set to include twin-stick shooter elements that could help give the title its own unique gameplay.
According to developer Whitebox Interactive, the game is also going to aim at being inclusive for any player, regardless of their experience with MOBA titles. Given the fanbase that Warhammer 40,000 already has, it will be interesting to see just how popular Dark Nexus will become. After all, these online titles live or die by their popularity. Games Workshop will be hoping to avoid the fate of fellow EA-published MOBA title Dawngate, which was cancelled in beta.
Those interested in Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus Arena can sign up for early access, which is due to launch in the second quarter of 2015.