Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade
|Bandai Namco Entertainment
|Multiplayer team shooter
Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade (commonly shortened to "Eternal Crusade" or "EC") is a Multiplayer Team Shooter set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. It is being developed by Montreal-based studio Behaviour Interactive. The game released in September of 2016 and is currently available on Steam with both Free-To-Play, Premium (for $20 US), and "Premium-plus-wargear" bundles. The game also allows a player to start as Free-To-Play and upgrade to Premium via incrementally purchasing Rogue Trader Credits (RTC, the game's Premium currency) until they reach the $20 Premium line. Free-To-play players are prohibited from access to the Assault Marine, Chaos Raptor, Swooping Hawk Aspect, and Ork Stormboy "classes" as well as having 2/3 of all Experience and Requisition "banked" until the player upgrades to Premium. In all other respects, Free-To-Play is identical to Premium status. RTC may be used to acquire cosmetic changes for your characters as well as some exclusive weapons which - while powerful - are not in any particular sense better than weapons you can unlock in game normally.
Eternal Crusade is a third-person shooter built in Unreal 4. It uses a fixed, over-the-shoulder camera perspective (except when a player switches to a weapon's scope), has a toggle-able cover system on walls and barricades, and involves a mix of infantry melee and ranged fighting, often supported by jump pack-equipped Assault units and the ability to use transport vehicles and tanks. Most Player-versus-Player battles revolve around the capturing and holding of objectives on the map by the opposed team, with each side being assigned as either the Attacker or Defender at the beginning of the fight by the game's matchmaker system. For those who want a break from Player-versus-Player combat, Eternal Crusade offers a Player-versus-Environment section where a Kill-Team of up to five players can descend into a number of facilities overrun by AI-controlled Tyranids in either "Lair" or "Horde" modes. Each faction also maintains a Garrison map where players can learn about the various weapons, equipment, and class abilities as well as duel or congregate as an in-game social space. Currently all action takes place on or under the surface of the planet Arkhona.
Like all games in the Massively Multiplayer Online category, EC cannot be judged SOLELY by its content, but also by the community that forms around it. Its community is comprised of a number of aspects such as player-run Guilds, the official Forums and Social Media accounts, as well as the many active Steam Communities, fan Wikis, and Discord servers. By and large these communities are united, though as with anything online individuals within the community may alter a person's experience and should be approached with that in mind.
Initial reaction to Eternal Crusade was high after word of the bankruptcy of THQ/Vigil Games and the associated failure of Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online in early 2014 had left the 40k community without what they believed to be a "worthy successor" to THQ/Relic's 2011 MMO title, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. As EC's "transparent development" process took a turn for the worse, the community's enthusiasm and criticism were both equal and highly volatile. During this process, the development team was adamant they were considering all criticism and development ideas. When the change from open world to a more match-based model was implemented, refunds were offered for a brief time but community opinion had already taken a turn for the worse. Since the release of the game, reviews have been mixed. As of 23 January, 2018, EC currently holds a 54% positive rating over 3,429 reviews on Steam.
The Arkhona Campaign
The story of Eternal Crusade is told through several mediums, primarily via short stories written by Graham McNeill, but also through in-game call-outs, 'boiler plate' text blurbs on the world map and on individual facility loading screens as well as the garrison via tutorial servants. The largest way to see the advancing story, however, is by participating in and reading the advancing narratives presented during EC's recurring 10-day long battle campaigns. Each campaign requires the player's faction to win a variable number of matches. If their faction reaches that threshold by the end of the 10-day window, the faction will get the "victory" text, otherwise they will get the "defeat" text. A number of individuals are collecting the results of these missions and using them in furthering the storyline of the Arkhona campaign and providing context for the overall war effort.
For more detail, see EC Story
Eternal Crusade is set on the former Imperial World named Arkhona, the fifth planet in the Kharon System, in the year 999.m41, shortly before the events chronicled in War Zone Fenris: Curse of the Wulfen, the Gathering Storm series, and the Age of the Dark Imperium.
Most of the initial background story was written by author Graham McNeill and former Narrative Designer Ivan Mulkeen, though the change-over in the official Games Workshop timeline has caused Behaviour to have to go back and revise the timeline to stay in the same continuity as the tabletop game and novel series. There are currently fifteen short stories written by Mr. McNeill that set the initial scene for the Arkhona conflict, which the remainder of the story being told via in-game campaigns that will advance the story and build on the successes and failures of each race on the planet.
Forces Deployed to Arkhona
The battle for Arkhona is poised to be a grand conflict, and as such has drawn a number of notable characters to Arkhona, Including Jain Zar, Ezekyle Abaddon, Belial, Ragnar Blackmane, and Mephiston, along with a cadre of characters crafted specifically for this battlefield by Graham McNeill, Ivan Mulkeen, and members of the Community-based "Warzone Team".
The game caters to a variety of 40K fans, allowing them to create characters from any of the four playable Factions, each Faction further sub-divided into one of five Subfactions representing the Space Marine Chapters, Heretic Astartes Legions, Eldar Craftworlds, or Ork Clans involved in the conflict on Arkhona. The game has hundreds of weapon, wargear, consumable, and back-banner options which contribute to player effectiveness in combat, but also an in-depth variety of cosmetic options to make virtually every character unique on the battlefield.  Players initially start with four open "slots" for characters, but an additional 4 more may be purchased for RTC. As characters are played in games, they earn points that measure growth, unlock new abilities, and unlock more powerful wargear to be used against their enemies.
Behaviour Interactive, the developer of the game, announced in July of 2021 that it would be shutting the servers down and, as of September the game is not playable. Based on the announcement on the game's Steam page, the developers wrote: "As part of the shutdown, all personal data related to Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade has been removed.
Sourcing and External Links
- 1: Official Eternal Crusade website (Last Accessed 2014.07.13)
- 2: http://redthirst.co.uk/ (This link is not correct, Last Accessed 2018.01.17)
- 3: Steam
- 4: Official Behaviour Interactive website (Last Accessed 2018.01.17)
- 5: news