When I hear sequel in the gaming industry, I can only think of one thing. Blowing the original game away and that’s just what Dawn of War II set out to do here. Can RTS games (like Stormrise and Into the Breach) and RPG come together in one game?
|Title||Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux|
|Publisher(s)||THQ (2009-2012), Sega (2012-present)|
|Developer(s)||Relic Entertainment, Feral Interactive (macOS, Linux)|
|Genre||Tactical role-playing, real-time tactics, real-time strategy
|Release||February 19, 2009|
|MATURE - Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.|
Some of the changes that Dawn of War 2 makes are the elimination of base-building and adding in an amount of RPG. It’s a hybrid between RPG and RTS, and it works well. Relic also added the Next Generation RTS Engine – Utilizing Relic’s proprietary Essence Engine 2.0 to deliver cinematic visuals, detailed graphics & special effects. Achievements were also a nice bonus for the hardcore gamers really into their gamer cards and points.
Relic offers gamers two modes of the gameplay. Campaign mode, which you can play co-operative through the entire single-player campaign with a friend. And entertaining skirmish mode online that allows you to play in standard one-on-one matches, or three-on-three.
When you begin the campaign mode, you start as a Space Marine, and you will play as a new Force Commander from the Blood Ravens as you’ll fight against the Orkish, Eldar, and Tyranid. When you drop onto the map at the start of the game you only have one tactical squad and your commander unit to use.
As you advance the storyline you acquire additional squad types you will have to push through waves of enemies to complete set objectives. These range from search and destroy to defense or rescue missions. Most end with a boss battle of course. Though six squads become available, you can only have four units with you and given so many variations that four’s all you need.
Creating a core group of four might not always be the best idea, since defensive missions usually rely on the Heavy Weapons Marines, while assault missions could benefit from the presence of a stealthy Scout.
During the campaign, you fight on three different planets, each with four to five zones or maps. Eventually, the game opens up from a linear progression and lets you choose your path. Though there are consequences if you focus on one planet without helping the others.
Some missions are optional and may provide you with an excellent piece of gear, while others continue to advance a segment of the storyline, until the final mission.
Multiplayer allows you not only to play as a Marine but Orks, Eldar, and Tyranids. A nice addition is that a players select a race. They also must choose from one of three commanders for that race, with commanders having their unique abilities.
There are two modes. The classic destroy your opponents everything has and control point mode. Victories are self-explanatory for both. With the limited number of maps available in multiplayer at the time of the review, it might be one of the downfalls, but I know that will be corrected.
With the small number available, I can see players mastering maps. It makes the games unfair if you are your new. You will make a mistakes but I liked what I played of multiplayer in my time reviewing the game.
Some tips for gamers to remember are when on a mission. It’s crucial for the player to use tactics and the terrain to their advantage. Weapons, grenades, etc can destroy the cover. Also sometimes when squads are told to retreat, they do so by picking the shortest route. If that route happens to go through an enemy camp, you’ll have to fight them off.
Overall I think die-hard strategy fans may complain about adding a blend of RPG, but I think it works excellent. Graphically, the game is, and the sound makes you want to crank your surround sound up and shake the windows.
The gameplay is a little short and doesn’t offer much replay value except for multi-player. Dawn of War II doesn’t feel like the first game with a new coat of paint. So if you’re like me and you enjoy a new take on the genre, then this game may be for you.