Grimdark co-op FPS Warhammer 40k Darktide is already seeing a resurgence, as developer Fatshark prepares to celebrate the game’s first anniversary with two big free updates. Despite incredibly fun gameplay building on its predecessor Warhammer Vermintide 2, Darktide has gone through a rather rocky stretch of player dissatisfaction, but recent reworks have seen a big resurgence in its Steam review score and player count, and this upcoming pair of free updates looks to build further on that revival.
Warhammer 40k Darktide The Traitor Curse is a two-part anniversary update for one of the most fun co-op games on PC. For all its issues, the core shooting in Darktide is an absolute joy – picking up the best Darktide weapons and crashing through Chaos hordes with your pals to the pounding, industrial soundtrack is always delightful – and now seems like the best time to jump in, if you’ve been waiting.
This first installment includes a new area and mission, taking you to The Carnival, a “disreputable zone promising transgressive distractions and entertainment. There, you’ll punch into the heart of the Moebian Sixth Regiment, a group of Chaos-corrupted troopers who have abandoned the Imperium to embrace everyone’s favorite god of disease and decay, the delightful Nurgle.
Along with this new task, there’s a big upgrade to the Veteran talent tree that includes new Keystones. That means you’ll have to redo your tree from scratch, unfortunately, but you’ll probably want to do so anyway to take advantage of the new additions. You’ll also now be able to inspect other players’ loadouts in The Mourningstar, if you’re curious to get some more ideas for how everyone is kitting out each of the Darktide classes.
The Traitor Curse part one arrives in November, while part two is set to release during December – Fatshark says, “We will make sure to come back to you with more detail by the end of the month!” The updates come in the wake of the Darktide class overhaul on Wednesday, October 4, a big rework to how builds are made that seems to be marking a turning point in the game’s fortunes.
Despite positive reception during early access, continued performance problems, struggles with balancing, and a laborious grind left players feeling unsatisfied, and the game’s Steam review score and player count gradually sank as Fatshark suspended paid content while it worked on improving these problems.
The good news is that it appears to be working; tracking site SteamDB shows that, following that recent update, the Darktide player count has skyrocketed to numbers not seen since December 2022 and held fairly well since, while the game’s 30-day count of recent Steam reviews is a ‘very positive’ 82%, dramatically up from the 61% ‘mixed’ rating it had previously fallen to.
It’s also worth noting that subscribers to Microsoft’s PC Game Pass have access to Darktide as part of the included game library, so the total player count is likely even higher – and you can join them at no additional cost if you’re signed up to the service.
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