Earlier this year, Whitebox Interactive announced an exciting new way to immerse gamers in the world of Warhammer. Warhammer 40 000: Dark Nexus Arena combines everything fans have grown to love about Games Workshop’s monumental master work, with the energy of a merciless Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. Players take control of iconic warriors from the
Space Marines, Space Orks, and Tau armies, to battle to the death in a 4x4 match, and gain dominance over the dark Warhammer universe.
This Free-to-Play epic is currently available as for pre-sale through Whitebox Interactive site for PC with packages that range from their base package of $25, which includes early access to the game, forum access and special Avatar, to the $250 deluxe package gives players limited edition skins and HUD’s. The completely free-to play open-beta is expected to be launched around September and October of this year, and a full release of the game through Steam for PC is anticipated for late 2015, early 2016.
CGM caught up with Jonathan Falkowski, CEO of Whitebox to find out a little about the company and what we should expect from Dark Nexus.
Comics Gaming Magazine: So obviously you’re a big fan of Warhammer. How long have you been playing the tabletop version, and what armies do you play?
Jonathan Falkowski: I've been playing Warhammer Fantasy and 40k since 1994 and I have so many armies that I lost count. But I think it's about 10-12 armies, fully painted and ready to play. I have Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Dark Eldar, Eldar, Imperial Guard, and in Fantasy I got a bunch more. I love it.
CGM: So tell us a little bit about how Dark Nexus got started.
JF: We started about a year and a half ago. We were just making a game and I thought one day, “well I love Warhammer 40k, and I love [League of Legends] and MOBA’s, so why hadn't anybody made this game yet?” So I just started doing it doing it. I grabbed a couple friends of mine at work and we just started making it. We carried on and went on, we contacted [Games Workshop], and they said "continue" but they didn't give us a contract. It took almost another year before we got a contract. So we did this all in good faith. We pressed them enough that eventually we were able to sign a contract.
CGM: So how closely does Dark Nexus fit into the Warhammer universe?
JF: Loosely based, we're in the dark world called the Commorragh, the Dark Eldar home city. Essentially what is going on here is the Dark Eldar and their Archons have slaves and you're playing for them, which is why the factions don't have to be unified; you can be several factions together. So we're not really following the lore. We've taken a lot of the input from the game itself and from some of the books, but we're not following the lore.
We represent every race in the Warhammer 40K universe and so eventually we'll get all the characters out. We actually have the license for all the characters, all the named guys and their lore to use in our game.
CGM: Can you describe the style of gameplay involved?
JF: So in this game we're trying to do mix a couple of genres together: a twin-stick shooter/MOBA style game. We're not really trying to revolutionize it - we're trying to innovate. We're trying to make it familiar so players don't get scared away from it and try it out.
Right now the game is an action-based game so it's all WASD movement and skill based. Left-click to shoot, there is no auto-attacks in the game and you use your right click for another secondary ability, QEF right now for your other abilities, F is your ultimate. There is a dodge in this game too, so you move a little bit faster or get out of trouble a little bit easier. Everybody has that ability.
Executions are probably our number one thing. When you knock somebody down, you get some points for it and when you go to execute them you get more points. It actually becomes something you WANT to do, right? And so the opposing guy comes up over top and puts a bullet in him to finish him off.
CGM: One of the things that draws players into the Warhammer tabletop game in the first place is the tactile aspect of painting your army to make it your own. How does Dark Nexus bring that aspect to its platform and encourage fans to make the leap to your game?
JF: One of our plans is actually create an army painter, so that you can sort of customize your guy a little bit. We plan to create a paint section: you build paint on the character itself; so it can be a little bit unique. And so then there will be some chapter banners and clans, all sorts of ideas so you can make your army a little bit different. That's down the road a little bit, but that's the plan.
CGM: Do you see a place for Dark Nexus in the world of eSports?
JF: Yeah eventually that's kind of a goal. We want to make the game fun and develop the eSports aspect along the way. We feel that if we make it fun first, that will bring the eSports. We've got to keep in mind the competitive nature of it though. And we're trying to keep that in mind throughout the development process. I mean that just helps the longevity of the game, right? We want to keep that in there so that the characters can be balanced for eSports essentially.
Want to give Warhammer 40 000: Dark Nexus a try? Visit Whitebox Interactive here (https://www.darknexusarena.com/#HOME). And when you do, let us know what you think in the comments below!