I’ve always liked the idea of Warhammer, even though I never fully got into it myself. I was always fascinated by the figures, the assortment of clans, and the creative designs, but I could never be bothered actually painting them – thus resulting in me admiring the franchise from afar, instead.

One thing I do love though is a flight game. Whether it’s on-rails like Star Fox or more open like the Rogue Squadron games, I just find flying and blasting stuff out of the air to be exhilarating fun.

Which is why I was instantly captivated with Warhammer 40,000: Dakka Squadron when it was announced, and why I was ultimately disappointed shortly after booting it up.

Many thanks to the publisher for the review code.

In a (seemingly) never-ending war, you play as a member of one of the Ork klans as they brutally blast away their foes with their massive supply of Dakka. These green little cretins are hardly the sharpest tools in the box, but what they lack in brains, they more than make up for with their brutality. It’s a simple premise, but ultimately quite fitting given their role in the Warhammer universe.


The first thing you’ll notice upon booting up the game is just how low the resolution is; even before you get to the main menu, you’ll notice that the developer’s logo isn’t even particularly clear, and this only gets worse as the game loads into the hangar. With the various options being blurry, and your starting ship being even blurrier, I initially assumed that the textures hadn’t loaded properly and I’d have to wait a while for them to actually pop in – but this waiting would soon prove to be rather fruitless. Combined with a tediously slow mouse pointer, these first impressions seemed to indicate that this was a poor port of the PC version and little effort was made to make it work well on home consoles.

Regardless of this terrible start, I was still optimistic that the main game was going to be a vast improvement, and – whilst the visuals in the opening cutscene were still poor – I was still pleasantly surprised by the quality of the dialogue that felt rather fitting for the Orks. Sure, their dumb personality is probably going to be divisive for those who aren’t fans of the series, but you can’t deny that it fits well with the source material.

Things however started to flail once again once you get to the actual game itself. Not only is the resolution so bad that it was tough to make out what was going on, but the button mapping and ship controls were horrendous too. Sure, I did get used to it a little after the first few missions, and the circular marker of the lock-on function was also quite welcome for hitting fast moving targets, but the spotty framerate still made shooting things way harder than it should have been. Even the dialogue, which I praised in the cutscenes, is rather repetitive and tiresome in-game as you start to hear the same lines over and over again.


As for the gameplay, it plays a little like the Rogue Squadron titles in that you fly around an open area fulfilling different objectives. There’s not a massive amount of variety to them, usually requiring you to destroy buildings or waves of enemy fighters, which made them feel stale rather quickly – especially as the game likes to tell you to take out a batch of fighters, only to tell you to take out another immediately after. The occasional defensive mission does help mix things up slightly, but they still amount to taking out the same old fighters in the same relatively small area. Even further missions feel exactly the same as the one before, as there’s not a lot of visual variety within each of the five planets, making you eager to move ono the next for something a little bit different.

Upon completing each mission, you can use your funds to customise your ship or obtain new ones, which is a nice touch, and a lot of the ships are taken from the Warhammer universe. The problem is that the visual quality makes them hard to appreciate, as you can only really make out their general form due to the laughable resolution making all the details unclear. There’s certainly a praiseworthy amount of choice available though, which is something these types of games usually lack, so that’s certainly something in the game’s favour.

Unfortunately gaining a new ship is little consolation as you move through the game, as each new planet seems to perform even worse than the last, making things get tougher to stomach the longer you play. One of the stages performed so badly that I even started to feel motion sick at one point. It’s a shame really, as the PC version seems to lack all these issues, and it’s current state is so bad that I find it unlikely that it will be fixed to an acceptable level.

With some of the lowest resolution graphics on the Switch, dreadful performance, and awful controls, it’s hard to recommend the Switch version of Dakka Squadron. There is a chance that these issues can be fixed, and I hope so – but, even then, the repetitive gameplay would make me suggest buying another flight game on the Switch instead. This one really isn’t worth your time.