They say in the future there is only war. If Eternal Crusade is the future then god emperor on the golden throne help us all because we are doomed.
It's not that Eternal Crusade is a bad game, well it’s that too, but it had the promise of being so much more. Budget constraints clearly pinched the scope of this project and what is left is a game that feels like it was sent out to die. If I could give it a review score of incomplete I’d definitely tag this one with a capital I but since Behaviour is collecting customer’s hard earned coin they earned a hard number in return. And believe me, they earned every bit of this one.
You can choose to play between four factions. Space Marines, Chaos, Eldar, and the Greenskins. I spread my time out playing between the four. I definitely had the most fun with the Chaos Space Marines but I also won more with them. There are definitely balance issues still out of line between the factions. Regardless of whether I played as the regular Space Marines or against them they always seemed to lose. The Eldar also felt really strong. Then there are the Greenskins. I had such a hard time getting matches with my Ork I almost gave up hope as even playing as him. The quality of the game is impacting the size of the playerbase. Makes me think they really should have kept the F2P Ork faction.
Once you finish the tutorial, or just skip it and learn on the fly, you can queue up for the war. There are three PvP match types but only two are readily available. The third is for guild versus guild combat that is only available during certain times. The battles are supposed to take place on hotspots across the world map, which you are shown, but regardless whether you win or lose you don’t really get a sense of accomplishment for whether or not you progressed the front on the map. There are six spots, one for each combination of the 4 factions to war with each other, but it’s all just for show. The layout of the factions doesn't make a lot of sense either. If they were going to make a superfluous map they could have at least figured out a way to lay the factions out that seemed plausible.
If all of that wasn’t enough the most disappointing part of the game is that the core shooter play feels bad. Regardless of the faction I choose the disconnect between where the character faces and where they shoot is inexcusable. You’ll shoot what your cross hairs are aiming at which the majority of the time is way to the right of where your ranged weapon is pointing. If the core gameplay mechanic was passable some of the game's other flaws could be forgiven. But even that is so butchered it makes all the other flaws stand out that much more.
The graphics also leave a lot to be desired. I've seen more realistic scenery in hobby shops where players have clearly paid more attention to detail than the developers have. The textures are poor and the scenery looks like constructed cardboard cutouts set across the map. That or backdrops from the set of a 1950s movie studio. There character models do not even begin to do justice to the quality of some of the minis they are based upon.
Behaviour did do one thing right. They found a way to reward experience that encourages cooperative play. If you guarded a facility, you earned experience. If you rezzed a downed player, you earned experience. If you went out to where the squad leader marked on the map and did things you’d earn more experience than normal. If you did something that put team before self you were rewarded for it. This at least shows some keen insight on the part of the developers while the rest of the game leaves a lot to be desired and left wondering how could this have been if given the right amount of time and money.
Had this game been given more time to germinate it may have bloomed into something nice. Instead it was uprooted and launched before its time and the flaws show. Only the most ardent of Warhammer 40K fans would find something to like here. For all the rest they should wait until this title hits the bargain bin and has a few updates before they dare jump into these waters.
A review copy of Eternal Crusade was provided by the PR team for Behaviour on this title.
Gameplay: 5 The core shooter mechanic doesn’t feel good. The world map is for show. Game has balance issues.
Visuals and Sound: 5 The characters don’t live up to the minis they are supposed to represent and the environments are uninspired.
Polish: 5 No if, ands, or buts about it. This just isn’t a finished game.
Longevity: 5 There are 4 different factions to choose from and a number of different loadouts to choose from but the matches take long enough to pop that you probably won’t play most of them.
Value: 4 $49.99 for this is about 5 times what is should cost.