Throughout the years, video games have taken us to the grim darkness of the distant future. Come take a look at our favorite blasts from 40K’s past.
If you flip back through 40K video games , you will find an extensive catalog of games that strive to bring the grim darkness of 40K’s world right to your desktop. Over the years, a few have really captured the essence of the Grimdark. Others…not so much. But today we’re only worried about the former, come take a look at our five favorite Warshammers from the grim darkness of the 1990s.
Final Liberation is a Turn-based tactical game that lived up to the Warhammer 40,000 brand. This was the first time GW, and it’s partner really nailed the feel of the Grimdark universe. It was based on EPIC, and you got to play around with Titans and lots of the “big toys” from the universe as the Imperium faced off against the Orks. It did a pretty solid job of recreating the tabletop experience on PC. It’s not the prettiest game out there, but it’s at least tactically challenging and an engaging game.
Hey, do you like XCOM? Do you enjoy the Grimdark? Well, Chaos Gate was the tactical combat of XCOM set in the 40k universe, and it worked very well! It’s a tactical turn-based game built on top of a grid system. Players would move their squad around and face off against progressively more difficult Chaos Worshippers. Along the way, you could get better gear and options for your Squad. I remember sinking many hours into this game and while it’s graphics are clearly a product of 1998, the gameplay still holds up!
The OG Space Hulk video game was (and still is) the most stressful iteration of Space Hulk ever created for the digital realm. This game was a mix of real-time and turn-based gameplay but being able to pause to issue commands was hardly a reprieve. Space Hulk had a player take control of up to 5 Terminators as they marched through a Space Hulk in an attempt to complete objectives. I don’t think any other Grimdark game recreated the claustrophobic atmosphere and heart-pounding stress that this one was able to do. If you were able to beat this game without cheating, we tip our hats to you!
Rites of War is all about the Eldari. It’s the mission of House Iyanden trying to conquer a Maiden World, and the problems they face along the way. It really doesn’t get much more Eldar-y than Rites of War: it’s a turn-based game that ratchets up the difficulty unexpectedly, but it does so in as loving a method as you can, especially for a game forged all the way back in the 90s.
For our last entry we have to go all the way back to the Amiga days. Space Crusade is the first 40K video game ever released, and it was a digital adaptation of the board game of the same name. And in light of that, you could forgive it for being a little clunky, but by all rights this is one of the more faithful 40K games out there.
It was a hit when it released, delighting critics and players with its streamlined, space hulk-esque gameplay. It’s harder to find a playable copy these days, but if you can, definitely worth checking out!
There are so many more 40k video games out there it’s hard to keep track. Let us know your favorites in the comments!