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Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters looks like a grimdark XCOM in first gameplay footage

Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters is an extremely Warhammer-ass videogame title, and the majestically overwrought cinematic that rolled out in August absolutely matched that energy. Somehow, though, the gameplay reveal trailer that dropped today manages to surpass it all with a bombastic call to arms exhorting the Grey Knights to strike down the vile corruption of Chaos.

Once you're past all the sound and fury, though, you will get a look at some gameplay, and it actually looks pretty good. Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters is a turn-based tactical RPG—grimdark XCOM, basically. The action is pleasingly chunky and sticky, and there's one good environmental kill that gives me hope for more of that sort of interactivity throughout the game.

We also get a brief look at the game's strategic layer, which of course occurs in a warp drive-powered Neo-Gothic temple in high orbit. The video indicates that you'll travel between worlds on your quest, repairing and upgrading systems, pursuing research, and customizing your Space Marines to ensure maximum killability.

Tactical combat games live or die on subtleties—reactive AI, risk and reward, gameplay surprises, that sort of thing—that generally don't come across in trailers. Even so, I think Chaos Gate looks promising at this point: If the mechanics can live up to the ambience, this could be a really entertaining tactical combat experience.

Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters (if nothing else, it's a helluva title) is set to launch sometime in 2022 on Steam and the Epic Store. If you're looking for some Warhammer gaming to keep you busy in the meantime, we've got a ranking of every Warhammer 40K PC game ever—and if that's not enough to keep you occupied, we did every Warhammer Fantasy game ever made, too.

And just to make sure nobody misses it, here's that Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters cinematic. We are the hammer!

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.