Sunday, 10 October 2010

Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War® II

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2 is the second game by relic in the Dawn of War franchise, beating World of Warcraft’s: Wrath of the Lich King Expansion sales in March. Dawn of War II, DoW2, brings the incredibly popular table top game of Warhammer40k to gamers’ PC screens, in a constant action RTS game. The game requires a Windows Live account to play, but not a Gold Account, so you not need to pay monthly to play DoW2 online. Valve’s Steam is need for start-up; the game can be purchased offline via steam, or a hard copy from a retailer.The story of DoW2 in the campaign is of the tale of the Blood Raven Space Marines. Where you control a handful of hero squads, gradually being able to upgrade their gear as you progress though the game finding items amidst the battles. Each squad has their own different abilities which are highly valuable to have fun and make it through each part safely; it is by no means a matter of highlight all your army and click attack. During the Story you will encounter, Eldar, Orks and the fearsome Tyranids, each playing their part in the story. The campaign with provide a good 5-6 hours of play, on the main plot, there are however many optional quests and you are encouraged to explore all the map to find points that will help you later on in the game. 5-6 hours isn’t terribly long, but you will get your money’s worth with the online multiplayer. Throughout online if you’ve played other RTS games including the first DoW you will notice the absence of constructing buildings. In its place there is a main building which can be upgraded 2 times to allow new units to be built, also a sturdy system of capture and controlling of points which will increase the income of the 2 main recourses needed to build units, Energy and Requisition. The only flaw with the aspect of the story in DoW2, is that you are only able to play as the Space Marines, where as in the first DoW there were story options for all the races.  
The game can be played purely on mouse point and click basis, but also has hotkeys assigned to everything other than locations to go on the map. Either way can be played effectively, however mastering the hotkeys and macros will make you far more formidably mainly online. The hotkeys you will pick up gradually over playing, they’re not something you should focus on at the start, but they will be beneficial to learn.  Each race has its strengths and its weaknesses, there may be points where you feel one race is far stronger than the one you’re playing; but there is always a solution. DoW2 has only had one major update since its release in February of 2009, which made some drastic changes to the races you play as online, in terms of units strength speed etc, to new units being available and old units at different costs to build; the update only affect the campaign in that it added a few extra items. Some of the new units added may seem largely unneeded, and only useable in specific situations, but it is good that they’re there.
The game play is well structured and flawless in the actual map battles and strategic placement options, such as the use of cover and buildings. Cover is also directional, which adds more thought and strategy to how you play. Each unit has an array of upgrades available, on the campaign these are achieved through a levelling system and then assigning points earned to specific areas, melee, ranged, energy and health. In the online multiplayer, upgrades are in game clickable options which use up a small amount of resources. Which upgrades you chose can decide the course of a match. Upgrades include different types of grenades, Shields, vehicles effective weapons and the power to become invisible to the enemy to name a few. Most abilities when used will use up some of that units’ energy, and then the ability will have a cool down time before it can be used again. Choosing what to build when plays a big part online, it isn’t just a case of build your strongest unit and send it blindly in, everything needs thought. 

The presentation of the game is extremely well done, the maps are all functional yet organic. They don’t seem setup for battle, they feel used spaces and function fantastic for the battles which take place. They’re over 15 online multiplayer maps, spanning from 1 Vs 1 maps to 6 player 3 Vs 3 maps; each are highly impressive with a different feel and way to play while moving around them. The maps instead of feeling like purposely made maps and more like actual places. Relic has seriously cranked up the graphics since the last Dawn of War; you’ll need a high end machine to run this game with all graphical settings on high, but notching them down a bit with few sacrifices; but drastically increase performance which is no price to pay for all this graphical splendour.
The voice acting during the multiplayer is well done, with each unit having various dialog fitting the action given; the Orks as in DoW1 are great and humorous to hear. Though the dialog during the campaign is dry and done by voice actors we’re becoming far too familiar within gaming.
The interesting but in the end weak single player campaign is defiantly a letdown but  mixed with the incredible innovative multiplayer which will keep you amused for hours, makes this an admirably priced and highly recommended real time strategy game. Game play which is based on the battles and controlling of your units instead of the building bases to make and upgrade new units means that the game is more fast passed and action packed than other RTS games.


Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War II:

Overall:  9/10
Shame about the lack of motivation and weak story, but fantastic multiplayer which you’ll need your head to win.


  1. This is such an epic game :o

  2. I remember having to paint the figures. Im excited to see these developments!

  3. The first one was amazing. Unfortunately, don't have any time or money to play the second one :(

  4. i dont playing never this game :(

  5. I agree, it had a very week story, but that battles were most awesome. I may be the only on but I enjoyed the expansion Winter Assault too.

  6. good review, I might look into getting this one

  7. great review, convinced me!

  8. WOW, looks so cool, like SCII Never heard of this one, I might check it up!