Like many, I’ve given Darktide a “Not Recommended” on Steam. I’ve updated my review a few times as things change, but it still stands as Not Recommended.
If you have a “Not Recommended” rating on steam, what would be the minimum changes that would cause you to switch to Recommended?
When people ask me about the game, this is what I say:
There are amazing parts of Darktide. The atmosphere, combat gameplay, audio, music, environmental design, and enemies (mostly), and 40k-feel is all great. But everything surrounding that core experience is miserable and poorly designed. From crafting to resource management, gear progression, build diversity, and the insane levels of RNG, this all makes it hard to feel a sense of progress or reward for playing the game. The game doesn’t respect your time at all.
So what is the minimum that would take for me to flip the rating to Recommended?
#1 - Remove blessing & perk locks.
The crafting system is pretty bad, but the locks mean that you can never escape the compounding effects of multiple layers of RNG inherent in the crafting. Removing the locks would give players considerably more flexibility to tinker and experiment with builds and extract more value and longevity out of the content that’s already in place.
#2 - Resource sharing between characters
We already share premium currency across the account. At a minimum, let us share ordos, melk money, and crafting materials. Icing on the cake would be sharing curious too. Not having shared resources is a direct disincentive to playing multiple characters and mixing up the gameplay. Sharing resources would let players play what they want and apply the rewards of progress where they want to.
#3 - Freely pick difficulty + intensity levels for missions
The whole mission board is pretty miserable, but at a minimum just make it so that players can choose the difficulty level of the missions that are randomly rolled AND ensure that there is always a selection of both low and high intensity missions on the board. The other modifiers and secondary objectives can stay randomized, but being able to consistently pick a high intensity mission on a desired difficulty would be great (for example).
Those three things are the minimum for me. They don’t even seem like that big of an ask in my opinion, and it would do so much to open up the game space for players.
But beyond that, is there more that can and SHOULD be done to improve the game long-term? Absolutely.
We need content badly, in particular more MAPS and classes. I’d also love to see some more variable elements to mix up the missions themselves, like subtler modifiers that can some into effect, more secondary objectives. I’d love to see the reward system made more transparent for Emperor’s Gifts and better connect that with the challenges you take on during the mission. I’d love to see seasonal content actually start up, where each season has special challenges that reward cosmetics (and I’d expect FS to pair this with a set of premium cosmetics for each season too).
Ultimately, there are tons of places DT can go in terms of content and seasons/events to drive sustained engagement. But if the core is still miserable, none of that will matter in the long-run.