Warhammer 40K: Darktide has some of the best video game dialogues of 2022

Warhammer 40K: Darktide has some of the best video game dialogues of 2022

In Warhammer 40,000: Dark Tide, you and three allies are all that stands between an army of Chaos-ridden mutants and the destruction of a massive sci-fi hive city. It’s a compelling premise set in Left 4 Dead-style missions, and the current pre-order beta shows a lot of promise. One of the best parts so far? Watching the four heroes – well, no one’s For real a hero in 40K – bickering and bantering among themselves.

Dark tide has four classes: Psyker, Zealot, Veteran, and Ogryn. Players can also choose their lineage and life path – along with a few incendiary incidents in their path – which lead to a much wider range of personalities. In fact, there are 21 voiceover and personality combos at launch — and boy, are there some big personalities featured here.

The Zealot is a holy warrior who wields the wrath of the God Emperor, but the other classes often mock them as obnoxiously loud or downright delusional. The veteran can be a prankster who supports his team with some “just leave it at it” wisdom, or a bitter, battle-hardened shell who hates everyone around him. No one really likes the Psyker, as in Warhammer 40K lore, demons sometimes erupt from the brows of these guys.

The most friendly and charming class already proves to be the Ogryn, a large, bulky warrior who goes into battle and takes up an inordinate amount of the dropship’s cramped space. Most of the Ogryn I’ve encountered so far clearly understand the command. They usually have a name like ‘Krunt’ or ‘Gort’, and if you’re lucky enough to get two of them in a match, they’ll spam as they face each other in their humans’ dance.

a muscular man with a grenade launcher in Warhammer 40,000: Darktide

Image: Fatshark via The Game Awards/YouTube

Barks (short bits of dialogue that convey important bits of information, such as an ally running out of ammo or a nasty enemy showing up) are surprisingly hard to catch in multiplayer games. Go too verbose and the information can get confused. Go too simple, and it can get very repetitive. (At least once a month I think about the Division looters always yelling “They’ve got Alex!”)

So it’s a pleasure to see how good Dark tide deals with these lines. They’re packed with world building while remaining snappy. In one instance, my Psyker snaps at a Zealot she saves from certain death: “Against both our instincts, allow me to help. The veteran sighs in relief as I ping ammunition for him. “Ammunition, a soldier’s best friend.” At one point an Ogryn helps me out of a fight and is strangely gentle when he tells me not to worry.

There are also plenty of great longer lines that take place in elevators and quarantine zones. Zealots and Psykers usually go at each other’s throats, bickering about the sins of the Imperium. The characters will have philosophical debates between waves of Chaos monsters, and occasionally a character will interrupt with a line like “There’s a right answer and an answer that shoots you.”

It’s a thin line to dance on. It would be easy to go too far and have the cast be a bunch of unlikely dorks, but I’ve grown very fond of many of my companions. We are all in the mud together, climbing through sewers and escaping death on the skin of our teeth. But none of us is a chosen one or a protagonist. We’re all just a bunch of losers strung together by Fatshark’s fate and queue, and I’m just enjoying the ride.

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