Warhammer 40,000: Darktide wears its Left 4 Dead influences proudly on its sleeve, and its newest boss, the Daemonhost, is no exception. These monsters are terrifying, capable of eliminating a player from existence with the mere power of their minds. They’re also entirely optional to fight. Much like the Witch from Left 4 Dead, players can sneak around the randomly occurring spawn to avoid fighting them altogether. Of course, in the chaos of a pickup match, that strategy often fails, and you’ll find yourself in tense combat with one of these bad bosses.
The Daemonhost, according to Warhammer 40,000 lore, is the result of a Daemon of Chaos locked in the body of a mortal host. This brings them into the physical plane, where they are one of the most dangerous entities a citizen of the Imperium might encounter. Players who have been testing the pre-order beta of Darktide have already run into two bosses: the Plague Ogryn and the Beast of Nurgle. Turns out, these guys are little babies compared to the Daemonhost.
The Daemonhost starts out by whispering and chilling in an area, surrounded by white light. Once alerted, it freaks the hell out. It’s significantly smaller and faster than either the Plague Ogryn or the Beast, so players have the difficult task of hitting the thing while also staying out of its danger zone. If the Daemonhost staggers a teammate, she follows it up with a decapitation and then peaces out through a lime-green portal. On the default Sedition difficulty, the Daemonhost bounces after murdering one guy — which is fantastic, because during a recent play session, I don’t think we could have stopped it had it kept fighting.
That being said, this boss isn’t unstoppable. An Ogryn with a shield is capable of withstanding the Daemonhost’s attacks without becoming staggered, for instance. It’s a reminder that teamwork is really the only way to survive the grim darkness of the far future — whether that means defending your teammates or not waking those terrifying creatures up in the first place.