There’s one thing you need to know about the Duty Eternal DLC for Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters: it lets you use Dreadnoughts! That’s probably going to be enough to convince 40K fans and Space Marines collectors to drop a few extra quid on this game, but there’s a bit more to Duty Eternal than that.
But let’s start with the Venerable Dreadnought, because these hulking techno-monstrosities are a defining part of any Space Marine Chapter. They’re basically a walking tank, stomping around battlefields with heavy weapons for arms, blasting away at every enemy in sight. At the heart of these machines? A fallen Space Marine on the verge of death, their body interred permanently inside what is as much a life support machine as it is a weapon.
In Duty Eternal, you can customise their loadout, picking from three weapons on one arm and four on the other, combining Psycannons, Multimeter flame throwers and more. These are brute force cudgels, dishing out big area of effect attacks, being able to perform charging melee attacks and ground smashes. Heck they’ll even smash up the scenery as they walk around (which could be quite important to factor in when considering if the rest of your squad is in cover!
They will be a fifth member of the squad, though can’t be used in every mission. Instead, they’ll be unlocked with an early event mission in a new campaign, before then being available during Technophage Outbreak missions – these are available after a Bloomspawn eruption. Oh, and should the pilot be killed? Well, you can put any of your Grey Knights that are critically injured into the Dreadnought body as a replacement.
You’ll absolutely need the Dreadnought’s support for Technophage Outbreaks. This is a new strain of the Bloom that remixes new and old maps with even tougher enemies to face. These Technophage Elite specialise in anti-armour attacks and they cannot be stunned, so you’ll have to be even more judicious in your front-foot combat tactics.
Backing up the Dreadnought is the Techmarine – an engineer class that’s got a bit of a Doctor Octopus vibe thanks to its bonus mechanical arms. This is another base class, so can be added to your group using Requisition, and comes with Combat Servitors that can be deployed and further bolster your squad in battle with a variety of weapons – they’ll auto-follow you around the map, but using their abilities draws from the AP pool of the Techmarine. The Techmarine’s going to be pretty important alongside the Dreadnought, though, thank to its ability to repair both Dreadnoughts and Servitors in battle.
Both Dreadnought and Techmarine tap into a new upgrade resource: Archeotech. This is linked pretty closely to the Technophage Outbreaks, with Archeotech being a mission reward and found in Archeotech caches dotted around the mission maps – will you risk taking a detour that could see you assaulted by another wave of enemies?
That’s one risk you’ll have to weigh up, while the other will be the command of the Gladius Frigate. This will be encountered during the campaign, a Nurgle-infested counterpart to the Baelful Edict that is your home ship. You’ll be able to recapture it from Nurgle with a special mission, after which you’ll be able to send it out with a complement of Grey Knights to take on other missions across the sector. You won’t have direct control over those battles, but the fights will autocomplete with all the same rewards for victory (and risks for the fights along the way). Again, Archeotech will be able to upgrade the Gladius, making it faster, and other perks.
There’s a good mixture of additions to Duty Eternal, affecting both the overarching campaign with the Gladius and new Technophage Outbreak missions, while beefing up your forces with a Dreadnought to face these new challenges. The one downside is that a game with an already long name is getting an even longer title!