Dawn of War II

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Thread: Dawn of War II

  1. #1
    Hammerhead Shark [PinPals]Apu's Avatar
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    Dawn of War II

    Review time!

    This has been my most anticipated game since it was announced. Huge fan of DoW and Warhammer 40k (models are coming along nicely). So after picking the game up Thursday afternoon and putting it through its paces, I feel its time to post up a review. Although I am a bit biased as a huge W40k and DoWI fan, I feel I can accurately point out the flaws.

    Pros:

    - RTS/RPG/Huh? I was skeptical about the whole genre mixing thing when I first read early reviews, but I find I really like it. Instead of rehashing DoWI with prettier graphics but instead they made a whole new game and I love it. Instead of building a huge base, a big army and then smashing your enemy, you instead control 4 squads and thats it. I have yet to build a building, do any research or capture any requisition points. You have your Force Commander and then pick 3 other squads from Tactical Marines (basic Space Marines, can use lots of weapons, grenades etc), Assault Marines (melee focused with jump packs they use to crash into enemies from above), Devastator Marines (heavy weapon specialists, use heavy bolters, rocket launchers etc), Scout Marines (weaker marines that can use stealth, sniper rifles for 1 shot kills, and anti vehicle/building charges), and a Dreadnaught, a walker/tank that is ****ing AWESOME. You pick your 3 depending on the mission type and get dropped in. No base building, nothing. You advance through the map raping enemies and capturing points like communication arrays which resupply fallen members and side objectives that include factories and shrines, which provide additional XP and grant special abilities. Your squads never die, instead you lose members until the squad leader is alone and incapacitated and just lies on the ground wounded. You have to revive him with another squad or a health-kit and then move to a captured communication array to receive reinforcements and resupply the squad. This is one feature I like since it makes the game more tactical and you cant just charge in guns blazing. You have to think about how youre going to make your next move, what cover is available and how to use it to protect your men.

    The RPG elements come in the form of Wargear and ability points. Wargear ranges from weapons and armor to stuff like grenades, deployable sentries, badges with special powers etc. As you progress you get additional wargear by beating missions or sometimes a piece will drop during a mission. Each squad also gets 2 points per level which they can use to improve their health, melee and ranged damage, or energy which is used to perform special abilities.

    - Its been a long time since Ive really been impressed with the graphics of an RTS, but DoWII has done that. Landscapes, units, weather, weapon effects are all very well done. Grenades explode in a huge cloud and send enemies flying, assault marines plunge from the sky and crush everything they land on, even the planets in the campaign screen look great. Very impressed.

    - I dont know if AI is really a pro or a con, but I suppose its more a pro to me. So far the AI hasnt terribly impressed me tho. They use cover well and keep you on your toes with grenades but thats about it. Most missions have you fighting your way towards a boss which is super powerful. Slogging through all the enemies can feel like a bit of a chore at times as you try and reach the end boss. Again they just hide behind stuff and wait for you to smash them. As you progress they will pull out tanks etc to keep things interesting. The end bosses are a unit anyone who played DoWI will recognize. Eldar Prism Tanks, Wraithlords, Exarchs, Ork warbosses, Nobs, etc are all here and super strong. This part I dont really care for as it kinda throws any realism out the door. One mission put me up against a Warp Spider Exarch (sergeant unit from DoWI) and it took several minutes of beating with my force commander and 3 units to take him down. Really? A dozen marines vs a warp spider? I guess it makes the game away from being too much like DoWI and having to destroy a bunch of bases all the time. Overall Im split.

    - Sound is again great. All the explosions, gunshots, voices etc are well done in my book. Nothing bad to say about any of it (no bonesingers, woo!)

    Cons:

    - While the game itself is fairly bug free, the big thing for me is crashes. I cant play more than 2 missions usually before I get some kind of error and the game CTDs. Kinda annoying when Im in the mood to play more than 1 or 2 missions at a time. There was another bug about missions not populating but I never experienced it and Relic has already fixed it. Make the crashes go away Relic! Thats all I ask! (for now)

    - Psuedo-con really. Only 4 races. I know DoWI originally shipped with only 4 races, but a few more the 2nd time around wouldve been nice. As much as I dig playing the Space Marines, the Orks and Eldar were 2 races in the original I could never get in. Tyranids are a fantastic addition and something Im sure every DoWI fan was waiting for. Throwing in Chaos, IG, or the Necrons wouldve been nice. Guess well have to wait for the expansions for those. As long as they spare us the Dark Eldar from DoWI (shudder)

    - Already covered the lethargic AI above, and again I cant really decide if its a pro or con. They do the job but some flanking or special abilities would spice my *** kicking up a bit.

    - Did I mention the all to occasional random crashes? Did I? Good, theyre annoying.

    Overall, Im in love with DoWII. As a fan since I first got into 40k as a kid, this is as much fun playing 40k as playing the tabletop game years ago (and may again soon if I ever decide my Grey Knights are good enough and friggin finish em). DoWII has plenty of room for more races with expansions and mods. The graphic, visceral feel is well captured. Its a very welcome change from the DoWI mold and I think Relic did a smashing job. The tactical squad based strategy works very well here as does the mild RPG elements of leveling squad leaders and upgradeable wargear. The lack of races doesnt bother me from giving DoWII game a 10/10, but the crashing does. Overall a 9.5/10 for a helluvalot of 40k goodness without bothersome bases or resource collecting. Kudos to Relic and heres hoping for a quick patch to the crashing and the hope of future expansions.

    Screenshots to follow shortly...
    Last edited by [PinPals]Apu; 02-22-2009 at 01:15 PM.
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  2. #2
    Awesome. Kamakazie's Avatar
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    You and I, 1v1, NOW!

  3. #3
    Astronomy Shark speedyaxon's Avatar
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    If you do 1v1, can you post up the video? I'd love to learn from it. All I've been able to do is skirmish. Crashed 3 out of 3 times so far in the first campaign, I can hardly get anywhere. Plays smooth, all settings on high, then just crashes.
    Last edited by speedyaxon; 02-22-2009 at 05:06 PM.
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  4. #4
    Awesome. Kamakazie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedyaxon View Post
    If you do 1v1, can you post up the video? I'd love to learn from it. All I've been able to do is skirmish. Crashed 3 out of 3 times so far in the first campaign, I can hardly get anywhere. Plays smooth, all settings on high, then just crashes.
    Sure thing, Speedy. I've got a few 3v3 replays too if you want me to post those up.

  5. #5
    I don't roll on Shabbos! Timman_24's Avatar
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    I went to BB and GS today to try to find a copy and they didnt have them. GS sold out and BB doesn't get them in until this tuesday. I don't really want to go with steam, so I guess I'm just stuck waiting for a bit. Oh well, I have other games to tide me over plus I just started watching Firefly! It is awesome!

    Thanks for the review. I'm still on the fence about whether I will like it or not. I enjoy the traditional RPGs more than the WCIII style (which this one is even more extreme than WC3.) I just don't know how long it will hold my attention, from what I have read it doesn't seem to have much depth to it.
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  6. #6
    Hammerhead Shark [PinPals]Apu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timman_24 View Post
    I went to BB and GS today to try to find a copy and they didnt have them. GS sold out and BB doesn't get them in until this tuesday. I don't really want to go with steam, so I guess I'm just stuck waiting for a bit. Oh well, I have other games to tide me over plus I just started watching Firefly! It is awesome!

    Thanks for the review. I'm still on the fence about whether I will like it or not. I enjoy the traditional RPGs more than the WCIII style (which this one is even more extreme than WC3.) I just don't know how long it will hold my attention, from what I have read it doesn't seem to have much depth to it.
    You have to install through Steam anyway, so why not just do that? The only reason I bought my copy from BB was because they had bonus wargear/MP map.
    My armor is Contempt
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  7. #7
    Awesome. Kamakazie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timman_24 View Post
    I went to BB and GS today to try to find a copy and they didnt have them. GS sold out and BB doesn't get them in until this tuesday. I don't really want to go with steam, so I guess I'm just stuck waiting for a bit. Oh well, I have other games to tide me over plus I just started watching Firefly! It is awesome!

    Thanks for the review. I'm still on the fence about whether I will like it or not. I enjoy the traditional RPGs more than the WCIII style (which this one is even more extreme than WC3.) I just don't know how long it will hold my attention, from what I have read it doesn't seem to have much depth to it.
    As Apu says, this game is like HL2 - even if you buy it in stores you're going to have to register with Steam.

    Speaking of depth, I can assure you that multiplayer has a ton. The need for quick thinking and solid battlefield tactics really put this game above the rest.

  8. #8
    Astronomy Shark speedyaxon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamakazie View Post
    Sure thing, Speedy. I've got a few 3v3 replays too if you want me to post those up.
    That would rock!
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    I don't roll on Shabbos! Timman_24's Avatar
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    Just got the game today and am enjoying it. Just got to where the Tyrannids show up in the campaign. At first I was sucking it up, but now I am doing pretty good. The force commander can take a lot more hits than I previously thought. I just throw him in there in every battle. I really like the campaign, I probably won't be playing much multiplayer. Hopefully they come out with new episodes, because the campaign format is a lot of fun and can tell some very interesting stories.
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  11. #11
    Sleeps with the Fishes
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    ah crap. I was hoping it would be a movie. This is like Game replays..I guess there is no version no. to worry about yet.

  12. #12
    Awesome. Kamakazie's Avatar
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    Actually there is a version # to worry about... as of last Friday those replays have been rendered inert -__-

    So here's two more!
    http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/91198/Rep...3.22-22-48.rec
    http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/91198/Rep...3.21-19-42.rec

    EDIT: And not 15 minutes after I posted those a new patch was released.
    Last edited by Kamakazie; 02-24-2009 at 12:01 AM.

  13. #13
    Sleeps with the Fishes
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    Yeah, I downloaded two patches already. A large one (130mb I think) and a small 10mb patch. I haven't installed the game yet though.

  14. #14
    Astronomy Shark speedyaxon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamakazie View Post
    Actually there is a version # to worry about... as of last Friday those replays have been rendered inert -__-

    So here's two more!
    http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/91198/Rep...3.22-22-48.rec
    http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/91198/Rep...3.21-19-42.rec

    EDIT: And not 15 minutes after I posted those a new patch was released.
    Ah, so that's what happened. I couldn't get them to play and was wondering *** was up. Lemme try these two.
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  15. #15
    Awesome. Kamakazie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedyaxon View Post
    Ah, so that's what happened. I couldn't get them to play and was wondering *** was up. Lemme try these two.
    I believe those are from version 1.2; we are currently on 1.3.

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