Games Workshop, Slitherine, and developer Proxy Studios have announced a new game set in the grimdark Warhammer 40,000 universe, and for a change of pace it's adopting the 4X model of 'explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate' combined with what the companies call a 'combat-focused' strategy gaming system: Warhammer 40,000: Gladius.

Launched in 1987 by tabletop gaming specialist Games Workshop's Rick Priestly as a sci-fi-themed follow-up to highly successful orcs-and-elves franchise Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warhammer 40,000 puts the player in control of squads from the Imperium of Man, Eldar, Orks, or Daemons - equivalent to men, elves, orcs, and demons from fantasy literature - in a dystopic future known as 'grimdark' after the franchise's tagline of 'in the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war.' The tabletop franchise has given rise to many games over the years, but Slitherine's latest marks the first time it has been used as an officially licensed setting for a 4X-style strategy game.

Players of Warhammer 40,000: Gladius, the companies have promised, will be given the choice of four factions - Adeptus Astartes (Space Marines), Astra Militarum (Imperial Guard), Orks, and Necrons - then given the opportunity to explore an unknown world, work their way up a technology tree, construct a complex infrastructure, and manage military resources including 'heroes with special abilities and mighty war machines'.

The game will include single-player and multiplayer campaigns including a 'deep storyline [which] was created from scratch to allow players to explore an entire world and lead the expansion of an empire from the ground up'.

Warhammer 40,000: Gladius is set to launch 'soon' on Windows and Linux, the companies have confirmed, with more information on the game's Steam page.


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