Warhammer 40k (Games Workshop’s dystopian science-fantasy franchise) has grown enormously in the past ten years. Numerous games have been released, some great, and some less so. Dark Nexus Arena is the most recent addition, and it a MOBA currently in early access on Steam.
While I primarily play RTS and RPGs on PC, I do enjoy the occasional MOBA with friends. I remember playing the original DOTA, back when it was only a mod for WarCraft 3. Since then I’ve played everything from DOTA 2, to Smite, to League of Legends.
All that said, I will be interested to see how Warhammer 40k: Dark Nexus Arena develops. The basic idea is that the Dark Eldar have captured survivors from various factions and are now forcing them to fight in an arena as gladiators. Keeping a Space Marine Terminator as a pet sounds like a great way to end up dead real, real quick. The first thing that came to mind was The Last Stand, a game mode from Dawn of War 2. While not quite a MOBA, this game mode saw warriors from any faction locked in an arena where you must cooperate to survive against endless waves of enemies.
The two diverge pretty quickly, as Dark Nexus pits players directly against each other. Each team consists of four characters, made up of a variety of unit types from the tabletop game.
At this point, the announced playable characters from the Warhammer 40k universe are:
Retributor, a heavy bolter armed sister from the Adepta Sororitas.
Assault Terminator, a heavily armored Space Marine armed with a Storm Shield and Thunder Hammer.
Scout, a rookie Space Marine that is lightly armored and equipped with a sniper rifle.
Stormboy, a grenade throwing Ork jetpack warrior.
Meganob, a hulking melee Ork encased in mega-armor.
Fire Warrior, a ranged Tau soldier that fires volleys of accurate shots.
Ethereal, a Tau support caster with valuable buffs and debuffs.
Apothecary, a Space Marine combat medic and surgeon that heals and buffs his team.
Khorne Berzerker, an axe wielding Chaos Space Marine that charges headlong into combat.
The Outerhaven will continue to follow the game, and I will share my hands-on game play impressions as soon as possible.
Original Press Release:
Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus Arena Brings the Battle to Early Access on Dec. 9
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Nov. 18 – Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus Arena, a MOBA/Shooter hybrid from Whitebox Interactive, aims to shake up both genres in substantial ways when it releases onto Steam Early access on Wednesday, Dec. 9.
A skill shot-based control scheme is at the core of Dark Nexus Arena, making the game feel like a shooter, while still providing the depth and character progression of a MOBA. With the ability to dash out of harm’s way and take cover behind walls and other characters, players will have an unprecedented level of control over their characters in Dark Nexus Arena.
Dark Nexus Arena, in closed beta since May, implements press and fan feedback. As a result, when the game launches into early access, Dark Nexus Arena will even further differentiate itself from the standard MOBA formula by replacing the traditional three lane design, in favor of a map that removes lanes and towers entirely.
The result is a more open battlefield that fits more in line with Warhammer 40,000’s lore. Matches take place in one of many arenas inside the Dark Eldar capital city of Commorragh, where captured gladiators of different races from the Warhammer 40,000 universe are enslaved and forced to fight each other to the death for the amusement of their captors.
With no bases to destroy, the first team to capture the Dark Nexus three times in a match wins. As with all MOBAs, coordination with your team is key; with no bases to return to and heal at, players must rely on their support characters to restore their health and their tank characters to be at the forefront of a battle, soaking up the damage.
“With its storied legacy, numerous races and passionate fan base, the Warhammer universe is perfect for a MOBA,” said Jonathan Falkowski, CEO, Whitebox Interactive. “The shooter control scheme and changes we are implementing for the upcoming Early Access launch provide an innovative experience for MOBA players, while staying true to Warhammer 40,000’s beloved lore.”
More information about Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus Arena can be found at http://www.darknexusarena.com/