Warhammer 40K Chaos Gate: Daemonhunters: Execution Force Review
Warhammer 40K games uniformly excel at many things. Whether first-person shooters or tactical turn-based games, the fact they spring from the infinitely deep Warhammer lore almost guarantees an over-the-top, dramatic experience. What else are Warhammer 40K games known for? Ridiculously long names. Case in point: Warhammer 40K Chaos Gate: Daemonhunters: Execution Force. We’ll just be calling it Execution Force, thank you very much.
DLC the Second
Warhammer 40K Chaos Gate: Daemonhunters was released just over a year ago. It’s an excellent, Xcom-style turn-based strategy game. You play as the Grey Knights, a subset of the iconic and hulking Space Marines. Grey Knights have psychic abilities in addition to their more conventional weapons. Brother Ectar is a veteran and dedicated Grey Knight soldier. Vakir is an Inquisitor, who sees the Space Marines as cannon fodder in service of a greater goal. Lucete is an emotionless Tech-Priest. The enemy is the Plague God Nurgle and the corrupting Bloom that he is spreading across the galaxy. Since Execution Force doesn’t really change the narrative arc of the main game, the new content just adds more variety of enemies, units, and missions.
Execution Force adds four new unit types to your barracks, members of Officio Assassinorum, who will join your Knights on their quest to defeat Nurgle. They are the Vindicare, a sniper class; the Callidus, a spry assassin; the Culexsis, with psychic and anti-psychic powers; and the Eversor, who specializes in area-of-effect spells. All of the new classes are fun to use, but you can only have one in the squad at a time. They’re also uniformly fragile, best used as secret weapons with a lot of protection in the area.
Execution Force follows last year’s Duty Eternal DLC, which introduced the Techmarine and Dreadnought units. The new expansion adds a trio of new enemies called The Tainted Sons. Working together to create maximum chaos, the Nurgling Swarm, Beast of Nurgle, and Plague Surgeon are some of my favorite enemies from the tabletop game. The trio has it all: fast expendable units, a mini-boss, and a healer, a devastating combination. Like all of Daemonhunter’s units, the new enemies and Assassins have engaging animations and excellent audio effects.
The DLC adds a few new mission types. Tentarus Hive missions are tense encounters with Bloom-infested plant life and a host of mobile enemies. Boarding Missions are interesting new assignments in which you send a boarding team that only has 10 turns to destroy 4 generators, with infinitely respawning Nurgle. Both new mission types highlight the Assassins’ ability to quickly move and dispatch enemies.
Jumping back into Daemonhunters, I was reminded why the base game impressed me so much. It’s absolutely one of the best translations of the Warhammer 40,000 license into videogame form. It packs a visual punch and looks like expertly painted figures come to life, with stellar animations, great lighting and combat effects, and excellent voice work.
It also remains an intimidating experience in terms of tactical complexity, player choice, and interwoven systems. However, the patient and attentive player will find the game does a pretty good job of explaining everything and ramping up the difficulty at a reasonable pace.
Glad to Add
Although limited to just two factions out of dozens, the Grey Marines and Nurgle are classic enemies, and Warhammer 40K Chaos Gate: Daemonhunters is as close to the tabletop experience as you can get. The base game’s campaign is already dozens of hours long and while Execution Force doesn’t have a lot of new stories, it does fold in some great new units, enemies, and mission types. Daemonhunters fans will want to add this new DLC into the mix.
***PC code provided by the publisher for review***
- Useful new units
- Fun enemies and missions
- Base game remains excellent
- Small number of new enemies
- Thin story
- Game is still very complex