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Thread: Dawn of War II

  1. #16
    I don't roll on Shabbos! Timman_24's Avatar
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    Here is my full review that I also posted on Gamespot.com:

    Introduction
    The Dawn of War series ranks highly in the RTS scene. It burst into the genre in 2004 and became an instant classic. The fast paced and intense bloody battles set in an unfathomable future mixed with streamlined traditional RTS features such as base building and a new take on resource gathering launched Dawn of War way ahead of anything else offered in its field. Following up the success of Dawn of War were three expansion packs that added more factions, units, missions, maps, and game play changes that kept the fans happy and more importantly Relic's war chest full to continue to develop the 40k universe. Finally news of a totally new Dawn of War built from the ground up made everyone jumppack for joy. What would they do this time? How can they possibly improve on the great balance between lightning fast battles and moderate base management?

    The answer is simple. They didn't. They made a totally new game that isn't anything like the previous games. Some could argue it shouldn't even wear the same name as the original game. It isn't to say the game is bad by any means, but fans of Dawn of War will not necessarily be fans of Dawn of War II since they are so incredibly different. I would go as far to say Dawn of War II is just barely an RTS at all, in my honest opinion it plays more like an overhead action/adventure game than anything else.

    Now let's get down and dirty with this game apart from series comparisons.

    Story
    As with most Warhammer 40k videogame storylines there isn't much depth here. They have to weave a tale that gets all the factions involved so the player can fight against each race in the game during the campaign. This makes the campaign seems a bit contrived and uninspired but most don't play this game for a life changing plot line. The story goes a bit like this without spoiling too much. You are an elite squad of Space Marines stationed on a distant planet that has problems with Ork infestation (cliché in the 40k universe.) As the story unfolds the Eldar make a brief appearance and the Tyrannid start flooding into the system. As I said if you want to read a good Warhammer story, invest in the Horus Heresy series because you won't find it here.

    Game Play
    In a traditional style RTS game the player typically starts to build a base while harvesting resources to make said base bigger and to advance technologically while managing funds to build an appropriate sized military until higher ranking units can be made. In earlier games this caused turtling which Dawn of War fixed by making the resources points of interest around the map which the player had to take and hold. This made getting involved with the other player/computer much faster than other games. Sometimes full scale war would start within minutes of the match starting. However, Relic didn't think this was fast enough. To "fix" the lull time in the game they decided to make the player contact the enemy even faster… by having no base at all, having zero resources, and by spawning up instantly at any "drop location."

    That's right. The player starts the game with a set amount of squads and that is that. If a few guys die then they can respawn at the drop locations. The player does not die until all the squads are totally annihilated. Just like Dawn of War there is cover in this game, but it works more like Company of Heroes. Target a squad of troops and the cursor turns into an indicator to tell the player what type of cover the squad will move into by displaying white, yellow, or green. The color green being the best cover and white being no cover. This plays a vital role in the game and must be closely watched. Just like in Dawn of War morale is a big issue in this game, the morale of a squad must be kept up or they are dead in the water.

    The single player campaign works by the player selecting a mission to execute and being launched to the surface. From there the squads are given objectives and wade through battle performing the various tasks that are set out for them to accomplish such as eliminating Ork populations or destroying Eldar web gateways. The player can also take over various structures in each mission that helps them while they are on the planet by giving them various bonuses at the mission start. Throughout the mission loot is dropped which can be equipped at the planetary menu. The mission culminates into a boss fight which range from easy to near impossible. After the mission is over the squads are given exp based on mission performance and can level up. Leveling up gives them "talent points" to use in various specializations. It works much like Mass Effect. That pretty much sums up the single player experience. Just keep running missions and upgrading the troops.

    As for multiplayer there isn't much to say. Take a few squads into battle with others in different play modes. This can be fun for a few hours but the long term satisfaction just isn't there. Some tactics that players have come up with are very interesting, but overall there feels like a disconnect between the players and the game.

    Graphics
    The graphics are great. The textures are high quality, the particle effects are staggering, and the environments and character models are highly detailed. This game plays more intimately than the first game therefore more time has been taken to ensure all the models are of the best quality and the animations are spot on. This is one of the best looking "RTS" games on the market as of its release.

    Sound
    As with the graphics no expense was spared when putting this game together. The soundtrack isn't anything to write home about but the blasters, grenades, bazookas, jumppacks, and everything make a huge impact through the sound. It really sounds like I am in the middle of an intense fire fight.

    Value
    I am sorry to say there isn't much here for what you pay. The campaign is lengthy, about 15-20 hours. Multiplayer is okay, but if you have spent any time with World in Conflict it is nothing new. I beat the campaign and decided that was enough for me. I am STILL playing the original Dawn of War and its expansions. I have been playing them steadily on and off since the first one came on in 2004. I don't see myself firing up Dawn of War II again any time soon. I would say the game is worth a purchase if you are a Warhammer 40k fan and it is about 20 dollars, but otherwise just pass.

    Conclusion
    This game was the biggest disappointment for me so far in 2009 (I am writing this review at the end of April 2009.) I had HIGH hopes for Dawn of War II because I am a major fan of the series, but this was just a let down. It's not to say it isn't a good game, it is not bad by any means, but it is just not what this series needed. We didn't need a bare-bones run and gun action adventure game. We needed a true sequel to Dawn of War, the game that brought the genre to another level. Dawn of War II doesn't change the RTS scene; it abandons it for an all action, run and gun experience.

    Score and Justification
    I give this game a 7.0 and I feel that is a very fair score. Taking into account the bland campaign, the lack of replayability through other factions, and the forgettable multiplayer experience makes this just a mediocre game. The universe the game is set in is incredible, the lore is fantastic, but this game just does not do it justice. I hope Relic gets back on track and gives the fans what they really want. A first rate RTS experience.
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  2. #17
    Awesome. Kamakazie's Avatar
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    I just want to refute your opinion on multiplayer. I feel like this is the best multiplayer strategy game to come out in years. Unlike DoW 1 however, I feel that the game is weak in 1v1 and extremely strong in 3v3, so I am really speaking only in terms of 3v3. The pace of the game is so fast and teamwork is so crucial to survival, you need to constantly be thinking on your feet and be ready to counter anything as well as have backups for counters to your counters. I love the diversity of the hero, as it helps makes 4 races seem like 12; I love the single building structure idea as it puts all the focus on the battlefield; and I love the versatility of units.

    If you did not have a good experience with multiplayer, I am convinced that either you did not try 3v3 or you had some really shitty games. I urge you to play a few games with me.

  3. #18
    I don't roll on Shabbos! Timman_24's Avatar
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    I only played a hand full of games, and I admit I did not give it enough time. I just don't like the gameplay. I like base building and such. I didn't like multiplayer in WIC for the same reason.

    I might play with you sometime though.
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  4. #19
    Into the Wasteland Astros Fan's Avatar
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    I am really enjoying this game. I like the 4 squad lay-out. I SUCK at base building and am having a ball moving these units around to cover and stuff while engaging massive amounts of enemies, setting up ambushes for my assault marines, etc. I liked company of heroes, but keeping up with cranking out waves of dudes and equipments was tedious for me. This gamestyle is perfect for my speed/skill level.
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  5. #20
    Mako Shark Kung_Fu_Fighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timman_24 View Post
    The universe the game is set in is incredible, the lore is fantastic, but this game just does not do it justice. I hope Relic gets back on track and gives the fans what they really want. A first rate RTS experience.
    We already have that in spades when it comes to this franchise, it was time for something new and although I am only a handful of missions in I am enjoying the game immensely.




    Quote Originally Posted by Astros Fan View Post
    I am really enjoying this game. I like the 4 squad lay-out. I SUCK at base building and am having a ball moving these units around to cover and stuff while engaging massive amounts of enemies, setting up ambushes for my assault marines, etc. I liked company of heroes, but keeping up with cranking out waves of dudes and equipments was tedious for me. This gamestyle is perfect for my speed/skill level.
    I agree. What DOW 2 does, it does brilliantly so far in my opionion as well. It could have been the equivalent of Star Trek: Away Team.
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