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Warhammer 40k Darktide has character creator and “live service” story

In an interview with Edge magazine, developer Fatshark reveals Darktide has character customisation and a developing story "almost as a live service"

Warhammer 40k Darktide character creator reveal - Fatshark official screenshot showing the four playable classes - Ogryn, Veteran, Psyker, and Zealot

Warhammer 40k: Darktide will have a character creator for players to customise their inquisitorial fighters, and its “storyline and missions will expand and develop after launch, almost as a live service”, developer Fatshark told Edge Magazine’s Alex Wiltshire in an interview published in Edge issue 372 this week.

“While in the Vermintide games you play as one of a set of prebuilt heroes, each with their own backstory and appearance, in Darktide you’ll be playing your own, born in a character creator,” Edge reports in its cover interview with Warhammer 40k: Darktide team members – including head of design Victor Magnuson, game director Anders De Geer, narrative director Mårten Stormdal, and head writer Dan Abnett.

“Darktide begins with your character having been recruited from a prison ship into the service of an Inquisitor,” it adds. “You are the lowest of the low, cannon fodder for the defence of the Imperium, and the game hangs your progression over its hours of mission-running on proving yourself worthy of being raised up the ranks of the Inquisitor’s retinue.” The character creator system referred to in the interview seems to be usable on all four revealed character classes (Zealot, Psyker, Ogryn, and Veteran) but there’s no detail revealed on how extensive the tool is, or exactly what customisation options we’re getting.

The 18-page interview, printed in Edge 372 on Thursday, also reports that, unlike Fatshark’s previous Warhammer co-op titles, “Darktide’s storyline and missions will expand and develop after launch, almost as a live service”

“At release, they’ll reflect the warband’s arrival at Atoma Prime, with reconnaissance missions and dialogue that establishes the setting,” Edge explains. “But in the weeks following, the narrative will change as the warband discovers more about the Chaos threat.”

“Darktide’s missions… reflect what’s happening in the Inquisitor’s campaign when you play – gathering information, killing targets, and preventing sabotage – all alongside your personal story of raising your rank from ex-con to a valued member of the warband,” the magazine adds.

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It also confirms that the game’s storytelling will come in more or less the same form as it did in Vermintide and Vermintide II: “Player characters talk to each other during missions, fleshing out their backstories and outlooks on the world, developing relationships between each other, and also expressing the game’s overall storyline.”

“We’re doing an online action co-op game, so there are no traditional and great places to tell a story”, De Greer tells Edge.

But narrative director Mårten Stormdal tells the magazine Darktide’s NPC conversation system is “one of the most intricately implemented things we have in the game” – reportedly powered by over 75,000 dialogue lines already written by Black Library author Dan Abnett and the writing team.

Warhammer 40k: Darktide is scheduled to release on September 13 for PC and Xbox Series X/S.

In the meantime, if you’re hankering for fresh Warhammer 40k videogame action, try our Chaos Gate Daemonhunters review – or do your homework first with our Warhammer 40k Grey Knights guide.