Dawn of War II Review
Relic Entertainment has a long history when it comes to RTS games, stretching all the way back to the venerable classic Homeworld. Since then, Relic has gone on to develop some of the highest rated RTS’ series, from Company of Heroes to the original Dawn of War. Relic has just released their follow-up to Dawn of War, the aptly named Dawn of War II. Doing away with the traditional RTS trappings such as base building and resource management, Relic is using Dawn of War II to herald in a new direction for the RTS genre.
For those not in the know, Dawn of War II is based off of the table top game series Warhammer: 40,000 by Games Workshop. Set roughly 40,000 years in the dark future of man, Warhammer is a strategy game that lets players pit model armies of humans, of both the genetically enhanced and vanilla kind, against the never ending hordes of aliens, mutants, and heretics. Given its highly strategic nature and the massive amount of background material to work with, Warhammer: 40k is the perfect property to be given the RTS treatment.
In Dawn of War II, you play as one of the God Emperor of Mankind’s chosen warriors, the space marines, genetically enhanced humans charged with clearing the known universe of all adverse forms of life, such as alien creatures or dangerous mutants. You control an unnamed Force Commander for the Blood Raven Space Marine Chapter whose has been tasked with defending your home worlds from an assault by the alien Ork Horde. As the story progresses, certain turns of events eventually reveal that the attack is merely a front for a more insidious enemy waiting to strike into the heart of Terran space.
The story in Dawn of War II does a great job of grabbing the player and getting him to care about the unfolding story. It may not win any Pulitzer’s, but overall, we really enjoyed how the story played out and looked forward to further exposition through the campaign mode. Along your travels, you gain additional squad leaders, each with their own distinctive strengths and weakness’. Avitus is your typical tough and gruff heavy gunner, while Thaddeus plays the part of the impetuous assault marine, who is far too ready to go toe to toe with enemies.