Yesterday Behaviour Interactive announced their Chaos factions for Eternal Crusade. For those of you who have not seen it yet you can find it here. I have very mixed emotions about this announcement because the factions included are not necessarily chaos god specific. The team at Behaviour has gone with four factions of chaos which could lend themselves to almost any of the chaos gods. I am sure a lot went into this decision, but let’s break down the good and bad that comes with it.
The four Chaos factions in Eternal Crusade are: The Black Legion, Iron Warriors, Word Bearers, and Night Lords. So you can basically build your character around one of these legions. For those who do not know their history: The Word Bearers really became the first corrupted faction during the Heresy. They are zealots capable of summoning daemons. They have no real ties to any single god. The Black Legion was originally Horus’s own legion. They are the overall chaos bad guys and can have ties to any of the four chaos gods. The Iron Warriors are heavy weapons and siege specialists who employ lots of tanks and destructive weaponry. The Night Lords owe their allegiance to no one and prey on the weak using stealth and terror tactics. All four factions are generally unaligned. So here are the bad and the good aspects of playing unaligned chaos...
The thing that makes chaos so interesting is the four chaos gods: Khorne the God of War and Slaughter, Tzeentch the God of Magic, Nurgle the Plague God, and Slaanesh the God of Lust and Decadence. All of the factions selected for Eternal Crusade do not use these gods in a specifc manner. Khorne Berserkers are known for their violent melee tactics. Slaanesh Marines use sonic weaponry. Tzeentch’s Thousand Sons are iconic in their design and deadly bolters. Nurgle of course gifts his warriors with mutations that make them almost unkillable. These types of elements are what set the Chaos Marines apart from the Imperium. Now, all of that being said, The Black Legion does employ any of the above forces at any time. What Behavior Interactive will have to do here is employ Chaos Gifts to players that mirror the effects of serving a chaos god. As excited as I am to see Night Lords in the game, the lore states that they ignore the gods and only believe in themselves. So having Night Lords with Berserker rage or something like that makes it difficult.
For Eternal Crusade to exclude the chaos gods will make fans of the game feel like icing is missing from the big chaos cake. Hopefully the team understands this and will work a lot of the boons and gifts into the players' customization options to make sure these elements of 40K make it into the game.
Each of these factions does come with a rich history and other amazing options besides gifts from the gods themselves. The Black Legion can bring in lots of options for a player and really does encompass chaos overall. This is where the team should allow for all kinds of custom choices, the Black Legion were the biggest and cruelest of the Chaos Legions so that should bring a lot to the table. The Word Bearers should have options to summon daemons. This might sound crazy, but nothing is cooler than these religious fanatics being able to call upon the Warp and having daemons burst through the portals. Fans of the Iron Warriors will be very excited to see their faction in the game. These soldiers of destruction should have access to every vehicle and bonuses to use them. Tanks, heavy weaponry, and huge guns are the bread and butter of Iron Warriors and Behavior should have the tools already set up to make them amazing.
Last but not least, The Night Lords are a great dark horse choice for the game. I personally love this faction but have never built an army around them. The main reason I have not is because they are unaligned. In tabletop 40K giving up on so many godly powers can hurt your army in any game. That being said, the Night Lords have a unique and dark look to them. Their armor glows with lightning and their bat-winged skull is my favorite sigil. I am very excited to see them on the field and from the picture they look like Raptors. Having Night Lord Raptors fly down from the sky to chop foes to bits will be great to watch on the battlefield. If I were to play chaos, I would definitely choose this faction.
So there you have the four chaos factions in the game. The team went with a more general approach but hopefully they will include gifts from the gods as well to customize the warriors that players will want. I am mixed on this decision by the team, so I am waiting for more information on how chaos powers will be used in the game before I pass final judgement.
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