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saladin yussuf

My Review of Warhammer 40k - Eternal Crusade & Why I went premium.

14 posts in this topic


Hello all! This is my review of Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade. The game is technically still in beta so it is a very active work in progress - keep that in mind. That being said it is really quite good.  I have kept my eye on this for most of the development cycle and recently got into the ‘free carnage’ which is basically a quasi-open beta. Players within this system advance at ⅓ the normal rate as ‘premium’ members ie those who have purchased the game. I have not purchased yet, but more on that below. At the time of this review i have logged about 11 hours of play - both in pvp quick matches, PVE, Garrison ( training ), exploration of the UI/advancements (skill trees) and the store.



Eternal Crusade plays like a mashup of Planetside 2 and World of Tanks/ Mechwarrior. Four factions vie for control over a planet and the resources it contains. Additionally they also fight against a Tyranid invasion. Neat. Players may chose a quick battle which is one off instanced up to 30v30 maps - generally centered around control point..control. Other options are PVE (more below) or the campaign where players fight over territory control. Only players who have reached premium status ( have paid ) may play in the campaign


Combat is a visceral combination of ranged and melee combat (more on that later). Fights are INTENSE and the struggle feels pretty genuine for both attackers or defenders, even if battles become lopsided ( more in the balance section). The game relies heavily on teamwork and individual player skill. If you are the type of player who lone wolfs yeah you will get some ganks, but you won't really advance objectives. So get with the whole teamwork thing or go play counter strike.


As you play you earn requisition points, XP ( to advance rank) and Advancement points. AP are used to advance your skill trees. Better weapons and cosmetic items may be obtained two ways: requisition points ( in game currency) which you earn for competing in matches - PVP or PVE. The other form is Rogue Trader Credits (RTC) which cost real money to obtain. They mostly grant cosmetic items, which honestly look pretty cool. There are a few RTC weapons i have seen that are better than their req purchased Counterparts, but not so much so to break the game (in my opinion). Not even close actually from what i can see on the ingame  spec sheets.


The following link really does a good job of breaking everything down




-Tested so far

So far i have two Rank two character slots - one Chaos and one Ork i have not tried loyalist marines or space Elves ( eldar, yuck). I have advanced roughly 35 Advancement points (AP) into the Chaos and ~20 into the Orks. I have mostly played an Aspiring Sorcerer (Chaos support/ranged dps) and an Ork Shoota Boy. As stated above i have logged just under 10 hours so i feel pretty good reviewing what ive played thus far.  I am testing with the following system specs:

Core i7 6800k @3.4Ghz, Geforce 1080 GTX, 16gm of DDR5 Quad channel ram with a high clock rate ( can’t recall, not looking up). My system makes the game default to ‘high’ settings. No artifacts, taring, graphical issues at all. Looks goood.



The game looks DAMN good. Because of my hardware the game looks amazing on a 27” screen, which honestly is the weak link in my hardware - only 2560x1440 resolution and refresh of 60. Great but not wtfbbq awesome. Not a real complaint just an observation. Models,Textures, maps, colors are wonderful, i feel like i am in an assaulted forge complex. Most animations are smooth. The dakkadakka of bolters looks good, explosions leave behind a smoldering patch which glows ( red or purple - purple is from plasma cannons), smokes, and makes a crinkle sound ( you know, like the end of a fire’s life). The art is wonderful and i feel like the devs captured the visuals of the 40k verse.



Sound, as always, makes a yuuuuge impact on the gaming experience. The buddabuddabudda or the dakkakaakaakakakaka of guns sounds REALLY good. Solid round impacts on cover etc have a nice spang and have a solid quality. Different weapons seem to have a different audible range which is kinda neat. For example, a normal bolter’s sound does not carry as far as a heavy or storm bolter. Interestingly plasma weapon sounds don't carry that far at all, but grenades/rocket explosions do. There is a satisfying whoosh/thump/clang of melee weapons. Force/power weapons make a crackle sound when active and have added ‘shockey’ sounds when they hit something. When a player vaults over an obstacle is sounds like someone in heavy tactical gear doing so, very nice. One of my favorite sounds, however, is space marine (traitor or loyalist) power armor when you run. I have read dozens of 40k books, and any one which features a description of power armor describes the sound: a low whir/buzz of the power pack and the armor actuators make a slight hum when they move. The devs have actually captured this detail and it is scrumptious.  Orks running sounds kinda thumpy/ploddy. I assume loyalist marines sound the same as chaos. Eldar probably have flute music when they move.



Controls are your standard fps : WASD. mouse buttons are for run/melee. No jumping - space bar + ( one of ) WASD will tumble you that direction to avoid something. Space is used to vault over obstacles or climb. There are various other hotkeys for other functions, so pretty standard. The Camera angle is over the right shoulder like Space Marine or the Mass Effect series. A bit odd if you are not used to it but you adjust pretty quick. Targeting reticule is right in front and si bound to mouse look.



Pretty standard health/armor/ammo/grenade counters. Your stamina bar is to the right of the reticule - stam is used for dodging with space bar. Pretty simple.



True to WH40K there is a strong blend of ranged/melee - some classes are melee focused. I enjoy this because in a lot of other similar games melee is a backup combat knife. Eternal Crusade has power axes and lightning claws as primary weapons/classes which is AWESOME.


-Map types / PVE

The PVP maps i have played are two types of point control with attackers/defenders. There are 3 points which can be recaptured if lost. The longer you hold points the more influence you have. Whoever has the most at the end of the match wins.

The other is a straight up attack and defend: breach a wall ( which is heavily defended) and capture points in a linear fashion. Points cannot be recapped once the defenders lose them. The defenders only have X amount of reinforcements total/per node. So if point A has 60 reinforcements and 60 defenders spawn at that point, the reinforcements run out and defenders must spawn elsewhere. Attackers have no cap. If i recall it is ~12 minutes to cap before time runs out. Time is added when a point is lost.  I like this mode pretty well as it focuses the fighting around one point at a time so it gets pretty intense - tracers zipping all over, plasma explosions and savage melee. There are generally a few ways to get into a point so there is always an option. Coordination and teamwork wins.

There are currently two types of PVE maps against Tyranids - last stand kinda thing against waves and then a more ‘traditional’ dungeon crawl. I have only played the latter and find that while it needs more work, it is great for learning your class, the mechanics, and teamwork. One thing of note is the Tyranids come from EVERYWHERE - up down under sideways and possibly through time. Situational awareness is key, and for the love of the dark gods stay close to your support. I foresee great enjoyment as this is developed more.



Current races are Space Marines, Chaos Marines, Orks, and Space Elves. Uh. Eldar. Each has their own unique flavor and playstyle. Each race has several factions from which to choose having their own unique colour and emblem scheme - true to table top. Tyranids make an appearance as the PVE component. I suspect Tau will make it in at some point, and possibly necon as another PVE



My experience with the classes are limited to Chaos and Orks, but the general theme runs true through all races : each has a ‘general purpose’ infantry with either anti personal or anti vehicle grenades, a heavy ranged weapon class, a melee class, healer, and jump assault. As one gains advancement points and requisition you can further customize your play style within the base classes. Eventually elite/veteran classes will be released. Example: the chaos aspiring sorcerer can become  a sorcerer. An ork shoota boy can become a shoota Nob. An interesting point is that heavy weapons classes cannot capture points, and are slower than other classes. I would guess that if terminator classes are released they will be slow and unable to cap points   Thus far i find the rock-paper-scissors with the classes to work well.People who have read about this game will see a lot of qq about how melee is overpowered (more on that below) but if you look at the history of melee in WH, yeah, it is. A power weapon will totally mangle anything up close. But you have to GET close. While you close the distance you will likely be shot to hell unless your targets do not see you coming.

When i first started i pretty much sucked at melee because of how their system worked. I didn't know what i was doing so i lost most 1v1 fights. So i did some reading and found the following link - the link breaks down pretty  the melee RPS well. Once i understood the mechanic i started to win.Now my win/lose rate is 50:50 so i'm feeling good about my progress!

Each class has a loadout - main weapon, secondary weapon ( except for heavy weapons) grenades, inventory items ( health or ammo packs in lieu of grenades) armor, and bits of wargear which add health etc. Each class has a max of LP your loadout can cost, limiting what gear you can use. For example my sorc has 950 currently. So if i use a weapon that costs 400lp i will have less for my armor, other weapon, etc.



Anti personal weapons include a  range of bolters, shootas and their heavy counterparts. Melee weapons include swords, axes, maces ( in chain/power/force versions). Anti Vehicular weapons are lascannons, melta/multi-meltas, and various types of plasma weapons. AV weapons also work well on infantry certain classes can equip shields or jump packs which makes for some very interesting gameplay! There will likely be more weapons rolled out as time goes on.



Each race has one advancement skill tree - the different branches focus on aspects , generally, of a single class or playstyle, however there are caveats to this. For example the chaos sorceror has skills in the Tzeentch, Nurgle, and Slaanesh ‘trees’. Each has their own chaos god centric flavor, which is nice. Want to be a Khorn Berserker? You can. Want to be a plague marine? You basically can. Something that originally bugged me about AP was having to ‘waste’ them on skills that lowered the LP cost of weapons, until i realized what those skills do is build much flexibility into your wargear loadouts. Shave hundreds of LP off your weapon cost so you can equip that awesome armor? Yes please.


-Free V Premium

The game currently comes in two playable formats : free, or premium. Free has your advancement rate slowed to ⅓ of premium . this includes XP, AP, and req Earned from matches. If you start free and go premium all your banked 2/3s of earnings come flooding in. Currently i am Rank 2, once i go premium ill be closer to 4 given how much extra XP is banked. I will also have a tonne of AP and req to use.  The free model  does not allow players to use jump assault classes. I am not sure how i feel about this - mostly Meh. As i am currently ( but not for long ) playing the free version i cannot comment on the advancement rate of the premium time.  I found that after 10 hours split between two races and time spend in the AP trees that i have two rank 2 races and enough req to buy weapon upgrades i actually don't find this grindy at all as the  baseline ‘starter’ weapons are more than effective in the right hands. I also found that facing off against players who have spent more time was situationally balanced. That is to say if i got the drop i could win, if i outmatched them i could win. Again it all goes back to the skill part of the game.



I STRONGLY urge any new player to spend time in the Garrison - you can try classes, familiarize yourself with controls etc and duel others in your faction. Do this before hopping into any match, it will help. Spend some time looking at the advancement trees. Once you log some time and have some AP give some serious thought to what playstyle you like and go from there.  While i feel like the trees could use some work i do feel like there are some good options for the races i have tried. I would like to see the Tzeentch line become a bit more Tzeentchy. Word is some of the of the spells seem a little lackluster for having to sacrifice health. But - i take this with a few grains of salt. My guess is most players see the health sacrifice needed to advance the line into ‘better’ spells and thus never get there. Or perhaps the spells are so crappy those who have advanced that far never use them.  Honestly the qqing  isnt enough to sway me away from that line - Tzeentch does have some sweet armor regen buffs.


One of the neat systems is that of cover - you can put your back against a wall and ‘peek’ around corners and over obstacles, only exposing yourself to shoot. I dont use this mechanic enough - when i do it is very handy - duck behind cover, poke out and dakkadakkadakka! If hiding behind a rail you *can* be seen so watchful enemies will be on to you. Rushing into an enemy held point without peeking *will* get you killed every time.


-Thoughts and recommendations

Admittedly i was skeptical of the game - the IP has proven difficult to develop for many studios. I followed with great anticipation during closed development and was excited to see the direction the game was taking. When early invites and adoption became available i didn't have the time to dive in. not like i have much more now, but more than i did a few months ago! The reviews were mixed, with  many negative comments focusing on elements of the game which were yet to be completed/released -  think most people forgot they were buying into alpha/beta status of the game or simply did not pay attention. I also think people thought it was going to be ‘easy’ to play etc….just point and shoot hack and slash. Well, it isn't. It actually takes some skill and group coordination to play and win. I don't mind that, in fact i enjoy it. Maybe it will keep the CS scrubs out. There are still some things i have a little issue with - some of the movements during melee and evading seem clunky. If i tumble out of harm's way i want to be able to keep running when i do. Currently there is about a 1 second pause ..WTH devs? Do you think an astartes with 250 years of service is going to take a pause when dodging heavy bolter fire? No, he will KEEP GOING. Same with melee - let's take some of the pauses out.  These are things i find annoying but not game breaking - i have similar thoughts with just about every game i have ever played. Taking the current mechanic into account while i play helps - knowing your limitations helps.


I have decided that i am going to buy at least the $20 version. Why? I personally feel it is worth at least that much.  I love the IP, i want the game to succeed, and honestly i have fun playing. I find it satisfying - there is nothing like it on the market at the moment. It is the only WH40K game like this - i have been waiting forever for something like this and i am SO happy Eternal Crusade is finally here. Is it perfect, no. but it is DAMN good for what it is. The Devs have been working constantly to improve and refine and i support their endeavors. Hats of ladies and gents for a job well done. If you are at all interested give the free version a try. If you want some goodies use this code when you sign up EC-BJTZLSVA7VBCB. Now if you excuse me i have kids to mind and a game client to upgrade :)


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I remember when it was first announced and I was stoked that it would be planetside with WH:40K ... I mean an IP Mash up like this has never been more meant for each other.   Then time went by and the hype fizzled.  I remember when a gif came out of the space marine model and it was solid meh.


And then this review popped up and I decided to download the free version.   Initially it felt cheap and unfinished.  But the second you step out of your garrison onto the rocky landscape ... you're absolutely right, it's a BEAUTIFUL GAME.  It's very well done, and even if it's not what it was originally hyped as, it's still great in its own right.  I'll probably pick this up too to be honest.  I'll probably do it in the next 10 minutes while I'm at work.  


Still not settled on a race though, probably chaos ....

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For the Emperor!  Traitor dogs!


Are there options for which Legions you can play? 

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Adeptus Astartes can be Ultramarine, Blood Angel, Dark Angel, Space Wolf and Iron Fist.



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Duuuude, love the review. Also one of the few who found this title ages ago, basically at the concept level of development. After a time it became clear that many of their directions shifted (ie. focusing on a smaller scale than planetside) and so i stopped watching but after reading this I will absolutely dl and give it a real chance.



Edited by LupusIntus

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45 minutes ago, Annamas said:

Adeptus Astartes can be Ultramarine, Blood Angel, Dark Angel, Space Wolf and Iron Fist.

Chaos Marines have, Word Bearers, Alpha Legion, Nightlords and 1 more I cant remember




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I think we need to get online and do some SG stuff once steam is up and running, full comms etc. dink around in garrison, try a hive run then dive into battle. honestly dont care which faction as long as it isnt eldar.

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Anyone still messing with this? I follow it on Steam & get a lot of updates for it, so I get the impression it's still being worked on.

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I play on and off still.


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