Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II (PC) Reviews

  • CSARdiverCSARdiver378,624
    31 Dec 2009 31 Dec 2009
    27 0 2
    Warhammer: Dawn of War II

    I have to admit tremendous bias for this game. I started playing 40k over a decade ago and have every Warhammer video game released, so I was overjoyed to see DoW II hit the PC – even more so discovering this would be achievement enabled. DoWII requires one to use Steam – if you don’t have an existing account it takes a matter of seconds to create one.

    The campaign is from the Space Marine faction point of view, taking the player through yet another assault by Eldar and Ork forces, when they discover the newest threat to the galaxy – the Tyranid swarm. Each faction focuses on a particular strength – Marines and Eldar being the more balanced of the four – Ork dominate offensive capability and Tyranid assume the role of the Zerg – fast, mobile forces that populate in seconds if not checked can take over a map very quickly.

    The campaign starts slowly, allowing the player to familiarize with the controls and unit commands. While this is a RTS, the actions are squad based and do not involve base building. Through most missions you are in control of 4 orbital dropped squads, each specializing in one aspect of combat, although the leveling system allows for enough deviation to keep it interesting. Completing the game on lower difficulties makes for a quick run, while Primarch difficulty requires the use of precise and deliberate tactics. Individual missions have a clear set of goals and there is some variety during the campaign.

    Mulitplayer allows for single or team competitive play. Victory is achieved through annihilation or the control of strategic points on the map. Troop building is very simple and access to stronger forces requires nothing more than a base advancement (three tiers). One can also equip individual squads with various tech upgrades. Advancement through the MP ranks grants certain race-specific perks. Matchmaking is created via trueskill rating, the success of which is largely dependent upon the MP population at the time. While MP activity has slowed since release, there is still a strong community and finding a game is not an issue. Furthermore the Relic community is very active and maintains a strong presence with the player base. There have been numerous patches to ensure balance between the factions, still there seems to be continual cries to nerf Eldar.

    Graphics - 10/10 Close up actions are done in great detail. Explosions are absolutely beautiful.

    Sound – 9/10 The soundtrack and effects are fantastic. Crescendos in all the right places. The voice acting probably will not appeal to those not already familiar with the Warhammer universe.

    Gameplay – 9/10 Relic made a bold move removing basebuilding and focusing on a tactical squad based RTS and were very successful.

    Controls – 9/10 Keyboard/Mouse controls are very intuitive and easy to master. Hotkeys are a necessity for MP battle and simple to map.

    Overall – 9/10 A must have for PC RTS fans. A top tier game with loads of replay and an expansion on the horizon.

    Achievement Difficulty – 7/10 Most of the achievements can be earned through the solo campaign. To get 100% you’ll have to locate a friend and playthrough cooperatively as well as complete a minimum of 100 MP games.
    Showing both comments.
    RhyoliticIt's a shame about it requiring Steam. I simply will not have that on my computer. Otherwise, I would've gotten it. I see zero need to require it for a boxed game.

    Love RTS games, but going to have to give this one a pass simply because of that 'service'.
    Posted by Rhyolitic on 10 Jan 10 at 07:31
    ugliGreat review. I dunno if it's importan or not, but I would make a note about some of the achievements being glitchy/buggy
    Posted by ugli on 08 Apr 13 at 14:23
  • LimafoxtrotLimafoxtrot282,884
    08 Jun 2010
    7 0 0
    I think it is a blast. It is an RTS/RPG game. The closest I can think of is Warcraft III but this is heavier on the RPG side.

    You don't build or gather at all (at least not in SP). You have your squads (5 - 4 of which you can assign to a mission) which you command in RTS like fashion. Each has unique skills and abilities that help in certain situations. You get a Commander, Marine unit, Assault Marine unit, Heavy Bolters (think 50 cal squad) and a scout squad.

    As you play you do your typical RTS like maneuvering, taking points, clearing sectors, defending a spot etc., however it all gives you xp which you use to level your troops. You also get mission rewards to better equip your teams. Enemies even drop gear sometimes to add to your stash.

    The story is compelling, and the mission structure seems well thought out. Enemies include orks, eldar and tyrnaids (sp?). I find the difficulty just right on normal which is a nice change from struggling on easy in many RTS games. The pacing is good and in general I am loving the game. I really like the non-cranking out units aspect of the game play. It's all about squad level combat, tactics and using your teams abilities to their fullest.

    I can imagine if you really like traditional RTS game play this might not be to your liking as it removes the building aspect entirely and focuses just on engagements. On the plus side this also applies to the AI - there are not many cases (except a few specific tyrnaid missions where your goal is to destroy a base) where the AI has buildings making troops either - so you can fend things off and as you progress there is less in your way with out the AI cranking out wave after wave.
  • 4 2 1
    Dawn of War II is a sequel that does not seem to be plagued with the issues many sequels face. It is a well constructed, if different title to the first. While there are some elements I disagree with, I will explain in full detail later, it was a good experience.

    The game not only looks good, but plays well. The control system is well done, and the unit abilities and skills are well thought out. As a fan of the first, I thought I would hate this, but I was proven wrong, quite quickly.

    Of the issues I face with the game, there's two big ones.

    Unit size is an issue I had with the first, and I hated the decision to go to one Broadside in the patch to Dark Crusade. Again this game has got it wrong. While I feel that the choice was made in good spirit, I feel that more work would have resolved the issues faced. Look at the Space Marines, you have so few members in a squad. Ideally I'd like to see the Tactical squad rise to 8 member, Scout and Devastator to 5 each. Assault squad I would like to see at 8 as well. That way it is closer to the table top, and allows for specialists and commanders to be joined to the squad with no difficulty.

    The second is the story as ever. It's got some element of heresy or betrayal that would get whole chapters wiped out. If you know your WH 40K lore, then it's happened before. Nothing to stop the all powerful Inquisition doing it again. I can over look it because the game play more than makes up for the lacks in the story and squad size.

    Fun? Certainly, well worth playing, though to be honest it is a shame to see that achievements have gone across to the RTS PC market as well. They never needed them before, and I still can't see why they need them now.
  • 12 10 8
    Brilliant game not to be missed

    The gameplay is brilliant the levels look good and has been well constructed for each and every level, just hope there are new addons to the game ata a later date. Hopefully if they do they will allow you to buy the addon on disc or Dlc through the windows market place.

    The game boosts good new gameplay with primary and secondary quests, bosses to kill and structures to capture.

    Also this game is only available on pc which is the rightful place for this type of game. Plus its one of very few Games for windows game that are live enabled which allows achievements to be added to gamerscore just like the xbox. The points are added to you xbox live account. Achievements are relitevly easy to get, i have 12 at the moment within 3 days 1/4 of the total ammount of achievements you can get. (there are 49 in total).

    The multiplayer mode also is a great addition to this game with great game types, you can also play the cpu at these games for practise if you wish.

    There are four levels of difficulty within the game also which is really good cant stand games that are to easy or difficult.

    The xbox controller can also be used!!!

    Now the bad the only problem with this game for some users is that you need to activate a STEAM account and login each time to play the game, this is no problem for most however people without the interenet cannot play any of this game at all.


    Hope this helps you all

    "Good News Everyone" The new add-on to the Dawn Of War 2 game called
    Chaos rising comes out in march 2010 which will feature a new faction. Looks to be promising.